Beginning Leg 4

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This morning the R/V Thompson began its transit from Newport Oregon to Southern Hydrate Ridge. Onboard we have eight students, a group of engineers and scientists from the Applied Physics Laboratory and School of Oceanography at the University of Washington, respectively, and a member of the staff at the Aquarium of the Pacific in Long Beach California. This expedition we will be spending a few days at Hydrate Ridge and the base of the subduction zone ~ 120 km west of Newport Oregon, and then steam to Axial Volcano on the Juan de Fuca Ridge. There, we will finish installation of the last extension cable, install two short-period seismometers, and test a high definition video camera that will be deployed at an active hydrothermal vent called Mushroom in the ASHES hydrothermal field. The ROV ROPOS will also be working in the International District Hydrothermal Field, recovering instruments placed in vents this year and in 2011.