Cruise JC142 Leaves for Tropic Seamount

Cruise JC142 of the RRS James Cook, is leaving Tenerife, Spain, on the 29th October bound for Tropic Seamount, North-east Atlantic.

The cruise will depart and return to Tenerife in the Canary Islands. While at the Tropic Seamount, we will deploy the autonomous underwater vehicle 'Autosub 6000', and the remotely operated vehicle 'ISIS' to map and sample ferromanganese crusts across this 50km wide gyot. The gyot (a flat-topped seamount)  rises some 3km from the abyssal plain where it forms a plateaux at a depth of ~1100m. Here, the conditions over the past 20 million years have led to the growth of ferromanganese-rich crusts.

Autosub6000 (left) is NOC's deep-diving autonomous underwater vehicle famous for its discovery of the deepest hydrothermal vents know on Earth in the Caribbean at a depth of 5000m. It will carry a number of sensors including sidescan and swath bathymetry sonar and bottom photography to map crusts and sessile biology. ISIS (middle) is NOC's deep-diving ROV and will deploy a core drill to sample over 100 sites for manganese crusts. In addition, we will deploy hydrographic moorings to map Taylor Column and other turbulence caused by the seamount, and a benthic lander to monitor sediment plumes generated by the ROV. HyBIS (right) is NOC's versatile robotic underwater vehicle that delivers payloads, surveys and samples the deep sea floor. In MarineE-tech it will survey and collect samplesf from the Rio Grande Rise.

Cruise JC142 will involve partners from NOC, BGS, University of Southampton, HR Wallingford, Gardline Marine Environmental Surveys Ltd., the Spanish Geological Survey and the University of São Paulo, Brazil.