Cabled Array Cruise 2015 is About to Set Sail

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On July 4, 2015, the University of Washington274 ft long research ship the R/V Thompson will set sail for the first operations and maintenance cruise for the cabled component of the National Science Foundation's http://oceanobservatories.org/. The global class research ship will host the state-of-the-art underwater robotic vehicle 'ROPOS' (operated by International Subsea Solutions), which will be the workhorse for the expedition. During this 35-day cruise, ROPOS will recover and install over 100 instruments from the seafloor at distances >300 miles offshore and at water depths of ~ 10,000 ft. The vehicle will also recover and install 9000 ft tall moorings with instrumented wire crawlers, and other instrumented platforms and winched science pods at depths of ~ 18000 ft beneath the ocean's surface. Work sites include the largest volcano off the OR-WA coast, Axial Seamount, which erupted April 24 of this year, the base of the Cascadia subducation zone, active methane seeps and shallow water sites off of Newport Oregon rich in ocean life. Nineteen undergraduate students from the University of Washington, Grays Harbor College, and Western Washington University will participate on this expedition where they will learn many aspects of sea-going oceanography, stand watches in the ROPOS control room, and learn to take water samples and conduct analyses. We are anxious to get offshore and begin work on this exciting adventure.