Cruise Dispatches

R/V Roger Revelle at NE Lau Basin

New black smokers discovered at Niua South Volcano. News from the current expedition at:

EMSO-Azores standalone seafloor observatory

Successfully reinstalled for a third year of operation! We are leaving the Lucky Strike Mid-Atlantic Ridge volcano and hydrothermal vents after an eventful 12 days cruise with RV Thalassa and VICTOR 6000 ROV. We successfully maintained and reinstalled the components of the EMSO-Azores standalone seafloor observatory: 1 - the two seafloor SEAMON (Sea Monitoring) stations and their connected instruments : a 3-components seismometer and an hydrophone for seismic event detection, two pressure probes for geodetic measurements, a turbidimeter, a video camera, a dissolved-iron analyzer, and an optode (oxygen and temperature probe) for ecological time-studies. 2 - the BOREL transmission buoy, equipped with GPS (buoy location) and meteostation. The buoy communicates acoustically with the seafloor stations and relays data (detection of seismic events, pressure at seafloor, video snapshots, turbidity, fluid temperature and chemistry, system status) via satellite every 6 hours to the Ifremer node of the EMSO (European Multidisciplinary Subsea Observatory) data center. This system is nested in arrays of autonomous instruments at the seafloor (seismometers, geodetic pressure probes, temperature probes in vents, biological and microbiological colonization devices) and in the water column (oceanographic mooring).

Virtual AUV cruise based at the Inner Space Center, Univ. of Rhode Island, USA

Watch video feeds from NOAA Ship Okeanos Explorer at Blake Ridge, with AUV Sentry.

R/V Langseth and R/V Oceanus, Juan de Fuca plate

June 2012: Three InterRidge-sponsored students - Berta Biescas-Gorriz (Dalhousie University), Guillermo Bornstein and Jhon Fredy Mojica-Moncada (both at CSIC, Barcelona) - are participating in Suzanne Carbotte's cruise to the Juan de Fuca plate as part of a complex program involving both the R/V Langseth and the R/V Oceanus. Details at:

R/V Atlantis at 11N MAR

Karen Jacobsen (artist featured in IR News 2010) is onboard the RV Atlantis as scientific illustrator. The cruise began on 1 June from Barbados and is heading to 5 rare and unexplored methane based, cold-seep hydrothermal vent communities in the western Atlantic. The voyage will have 2 legs. The 1st Leg to Orenoque A and Orenoque B to the SE, and the 2nd Leg to El Pilar, Manon, and Atalante. Read more at:

INSPIRE: Chile Margin 2012, R/V Melville

20-30 April, 2012: During the 10-day cruise on the R/V Melville, we will probe for strange new biological life forms, communities, and ecosystems dependent on as-yet-unknown conditions. Members of the INSPIRE team will use an autonomous underwater vehicle (outfitted with cameras and chemical sensors) called Sentry - in combination with instrumentation to measure conductivity, temperature, depth (CTD), a multicorer, and a towed camera system - to locate and characterize heretofore unknown and some barely known ecosystems. Follow this cruise's progress at:

IODP 336 - North Pond, MAR

11 Apr-10 May 2012: Microbiology of a sediment pond and the underlying young, cold, hydrologically active ridge flank Co-chief scientists: Katrina Edwards and Wolfgang Bach

Astrolabe cruise, SEIR

On 24 Feb 2012 we cut the Southeast Indian Ridge west of the recent Korean survey, at 60°S and 151°E. We saw a pretty nice axial magnetic anomaly, and perfect sequences of magnetic anomalies up to 40 Ma (on the Australian plate) and 15 Ma so far (on the Antarctic plate). We approach 65°S, time to get our towed magnetometer onboard and go straight to Dumont D'Urville, the French Antarctic Base. Then we'll do our measurements again back to Hobart, Tasmania, arriving 8 March.

Expedition 340T: Atlantis Massif

Donna Blackman is Chief Scientist on a cruise just started to the Atlantis Massif. Follow progress at:

R/V Atlantis OASES cruise to Mid-Cayman Rise

Beginning January 6, 2012, an international, interdisciplinary team of scientists will be spending nearly a month at sea aboard the R/V Atlantis and using the deep-diving, remotely operated vehicle (ROV) Jason to explore and sample newly discovered hydrothermal fields (the Beebe vent site at 5000 m and Von Damm vent site at 2600m – see Connelly et al., Nature Communications, 2012 ) on the Mid-Cayman Rise—Earth’s deepest and one of its most slowly-spreading mid-ocean ridges. On board is one of InterRidge's 2011 Fellows - Dr Eoghan Reeves. Follow the Oases 2012 expedition online: The Oases 2012 cruise and previous cruises to the Mid-Cayman Rise is a joint venture between the US and UK funded by NSF with additional support from NASA and NERC.

IODP Expedition 336 - Mid-Atlantic Ridge Microbiology

Wolfgang Bach and Katrina Edwards are co-PIs on the current cruise at North Pond, MAR. Read their progress at:

News from NEPTUNE Canada, R/V Thomas G. Thompson

Follow this cruise at:

JOIDES Resolution IODP 336, North Pond, MAR

Information on this cruise and blog at:

R/V Celtic Explorer - VENTuRE expedition

The Irish-led VENTuRE scientific expedition aboard the national research vessel RV Celtic Explorer has discovered a previously uncharted field of hydrothermal vents along the mid-Atlantic ridge – the first to be explored north of the Azores. The mission, led by Dr. Andy Wheeler of University College, Cork (UCC), used the Remotely Operated Vehicle (ROV) Holland 1 to discover the Moytirra vent field. Read more at:

New eruption at Axial

It was discovered in July that Axial Seamount experienced a significant volcanic eruption in April of this year. Groups of scientists on several research vessels have been gathering data about this eruption. From August 20-31, live video of seafloor operations at Axial Seamount can be viewed from the Regional Scale Nodes (RSN) web site:

News from Okeanos Explorer - Mid-Cayman Rise

Chris German (WHOI) and Paul Tyler (NOCS, UK) are leading the cruise on RV Okeanos Explorer. 10 days of off-axis exploration of the Mid-Cayman Rise are planned, including the recently discovered Von Damm hydrothermal field. Details:

2011 Pacific Northwest Expedition

12 July - 3 September: MBARI's research vessel Western Flyer is hosting a multidisciplinary expedition on gas hydrates, carbon dioxide in the deep sea, underwater volcanoes and deep-sea animals. Details at:

News from R/V Pourquoi Pas? at Lucky Strike

We are leaving the Lucky Strike volcano and hydrothermal vents after an eventful 4-week cruise during which we successfully reinstalled all the components of the EMSO-Azores standalone seafloor observatory:
-the two seafloor SEAMON (Sea Monitoring) stations and their connected instruments: a 3-components seismometer and a hydrophone for seismic event detection, two pressure probes for geodetic measurements, a video camera, a dissolved-iron analyzer, and an optode (oxygen and temperature probe) for ecological time studies.
- the BOREL transmission buoy, equipped with GPS (geodetic experiment and buoy location) and meteo station.
The system is improved compared to last year, with new lower consumption acoustic modems, a revised earthquake detection software, more solar panels and a new GPS for the buoy. It transmits data every 6 hours to the ESONET-EMSO data node at the SISMER in Brest. Data from Lucky Strike have been available there for a year now. Our next effort will be to offer a more user friendly web interface to visualize and access the Azores node near realtime data set

News from Endeavour site, NEPTUNECanada

Endeavour, 2.3 km deep, July 8-10: Fields of hot vents near the tectonic spreading ridge. A BARS instrument—which helps scientists understand the hostile chemistry inside active hot vents—had shown electrical troubles after installation. The team discovered that a new vent chimney had sprung up under its power/internet cable. The instrument was retrieved and will be reinstalled in September. More information at:

GALREX 2011 Expedition underway at Galápagos Rift

Leg II (July 11-28) of the Galápagos Rift Expedition (GALREX) 2011 is underway with a team of scientists and technicians both at-sea and on shore. Mapping and water column information collected during Leg I identified a number of exciting targets to explore with the Institute for Exploration’s Little Hercules ROV. During Leg II the team will explore seamounts, the oldest known vent fields, off-axis sulfide mounds, deep fracture zones, and newly-discovered vents.

German R/V Sonne (leg SO-216)

July 2011: Scientists from the MARUM Center for Marine Environmental Sciences (University of Bremen) and the Max Planck Institute for Marine Microbiology (Bremen) are currrently aboard the German R/V Sonne (leg SO-216, Chief Scientist W. Bach) with the ROV Quest 4000m (MARUM) to sample hydrothermal fluids, sulfur deposits and symbiotic microbial communities in the Manus Basin. We have already discovered new areas of activity on the flanks of North Su and PACMANUS hydrothermal vent fields (previously sampled by the ROV Jason in 2006). Among the most exciting observations to date are spectacular candle-like chimneys composed entirely of molten sulfur, and nearby venting of liquid carbon dioxide. The goals of the cruise are to examine biological diversity associated with the vent areas as well as to document temporal changes in this poorly understood system. (Text sent in by Eoghan Reeves, an InterRidge Fellowship 2011 awardee). (German only)

Expedition AT18-07, west coast US/Canada

June 26 - July 14, 2011: Completion of single- and cross-hole hydrogeologic experiments on the eastern flank of Juan de Fuca Ridge. Follow progress of this cruise at:

This expedition is a follow-on from IODP Expedition 327 during the summer of 2010, when subseafloor observatories (CORKS) were placed in the seafloor on the Juan de Fuca ridge. The overall goal of the expedition is to understand hydrologic properties and processes within volcanic oceanic crust, including links between fluid flow, geochemistry, rock alteration, and subseafloor microbiology. The science and education team on the expedition will also offer "Adopt a Microbe From the Deep Sea Floor,"  a web-based, interactive module to allow students and educators to follow the mission in real-time, virtually ‘adopt’ a microbe from the bottom of the ocean, and receive daily science updates from the vessel:

Three new hydrothermal fields found on 13-14°S Mid-Atlantic Ridge

Jan-Feb 2011: the 2nd Leg of the COMRA¹s 22 Cruise found three hydrothermal fields on 13-14°S Mid-Atlantic Ridge (MAR). They were named temporarily as Rainbow Bay North, Valentine Valley and Tai Chi, respectively. Details at:

IODP Expedition 335: Superfast Spreading Rate Crust 4

May 2011: The Superfast Expedition is the fourth in a campaign of expeditions aiming to recover gabbros from the ocean crust to better understand the formation and evolution of the oceanic crust. After nearly three weeks of repeated reaming, cleaning, and cementing, the staff and crew of the JOIDES Resolution have successfully recovered their first core from Hole 1256D.

R/V Poseidon at Atlantis II Deep

Jan-Feb 2011: Akumbom Vishiti, one of the 2010 winners of the InterRidge/ISA Fellowship awards, is aboard this cruise, along with Colin Devey, Germany's InterRidge StComm member and a former InterRidge Chair. For marine scientists, the Red Sea is a unique area. This marginal sea with a width of 360 kilometres and a length of 2240 kilometres is an infant ocean with similar conditions as in the Atlantic many million years ago. Rimmed by many coral reefs, the deep-sea trench at a depth of 2000 metres is a unique ecosystem. So far it has been very difficult for foreign researchers to carry out research in this area. The new cooperation between IFM-GEOMAR and the King Abdulaziz University provides the German scientists with an excellent opportunity for extended research in the Red Sea. Read more at:

JC55 RRS James Cook

17th January 2011: Today has been almost entirely spent travelling south in anticipation of our biogeographical exploration of the Bransfield Strait. We have now crossed 60 degrees South, and so are officially in Antarctica. The only stop we made today was to 'stream' the ROV cable, which involves winching out the cable (sans ROV) to check it is all reeling out without any problems. Apparently they checked 3000 m worth of cable, which is as deep as we will take the ROV (Isis) on this trip. Follow the latest news at: and

IODP Expedition 330: Louisville Seamount Trail

Dec 2010 - Feb 1011 The objective of this cruise is to study the implications for geodynamic mantle flow models and the geochemical evolution of primary hotspots. For regular updates on the expedition, visit:

Expedition to the Woodlark Basin

27 October - 6 December 2009 "Magma genesis, tectonics and hydrothermalism along the propagating spreading axis in the Woodlark Basin," an expedition led by Colin Devey (IFM-GEOMAR). Cruise dispatches (in German):

Guaymas Geomicrobiology Cruise

7-17 November 2009 A main objective of this cruise is to study the microbial ecology of actively venting sulfide deposits at hydrothermal vents in the Guaymas Basin. The cruise is led by Co-Chief Scientists Anna-Louise Reysenbach and Margaret (Meg) Tivey from the USA, with participating scientists also from China, Mexico, and The Netherlands. Blog:

Oases Expedition to the Mid-Cayman Rise

October 7 - November 6, 2009 The key purpose of this cruise is to search systematically for and locate the first sites of deep-sea hydrothermal activity along the ~110km of the Mid Cayman Spreading Center (17°50'-18°50'N, 81°30'-82°00'W) - Earth's deepest ultraslow spreading ridge. Blog by PI Chris German: Blog by Master of R/V Cape Hatteras:

2009 Endeavour-Axial Geochemistry and Ecology Research (EAGER) Cruise

Expedition to the Endeavour Segment of the Juan de Fuca Ridge, 13-28 June 2009. Blog posted by graduate student from University of Massachusetts, Amherst (USA):

FLEXE's Lau Basin Research Cruise 2009

Join FLEXE on a research cruise to the Lau Back-Arc Basin, 16 May - 8 June 2009. Find out what questions U.S. Ridge 2000 and InterRidge scientists are working on as they study factors influencing animal distributions in different communities at vents along the East Lau Spreading Center. The cruise is being watched by students in Australia, Germany, Thailand, and USA. Featured on the GLOBE Program's website:

NE Lau Basin Eruption Response Cruise 2009

Shipboard updates from the Ridge 2000/MARGINS/NOAA-OE-sponsored NE Lau Basin Eruption Response Cruise (5-13 May 2009), led by Chief Scientist Joe Resing, will be posted at:

Expedition to NW Rota 2009

April 3-17, 2009, R/V Thompson, Chief Scientist Bill Chadwick (USA)

ChEsSo cruise in the Southern Ocean

The ChEsSo cruise (JR224) on board RRS James Clark Ross is underway from 12 Jan - 18 Feb 2009, exploring deep Antarctic waters for hydrothermal vents and cold seeps. The latest news includes the excitement of locating three hydrothermal plumes on the East Scotia Ridge. Check the cruise website for daily updates:

Extreme 2008 cruise An expedition to explore deep-sea hydrothermal vents at the East Pacific Rise and Guaymas Basin. The new interactive website includes a special Teacher's Corner, Extreme Activities for students, daily blogs, a chance to listen in live during research dives, and much more.

Multi-disciplinary cruise to the Mid-Atlantic Ridge

A multi-disciplinary cruise aboard the R/V Revelle with ROV Jason II is underway at the Mid-Atlantic Ridge from 9 July - 8 August 2008. The cruise includes three science teams, led by scientists Anna-Louise Reysenbach, Jeff Seewald, and Bill Seyfried and Kang Ding from the USA. Participants also come from China, Portugal, Russia, and The Netherlands. They will study the geochemistry, geology, microbiology, and biology of the Rainbow, Lucky Strike, Lost City, and Snake Pit vent sites. Tune into the cruise website for daily dispatches:

Mid-Atlantic Ridge, 45 degrees 30' N

Daily dispatches are posted from 23 May to 28 June 2008 for Cruise JC24 of RRS James Cook, at the Mid-Atlantic Ridge, 45 degrees 30' N. Log on to watch the action as the scientific team, led by Dr. Roger Searle (Durham University, UK), uses the ROV Isis for a detailed study of the geology and geochemistry of the axial volcanic ridge.

Southern Mid-Atlantic Ridge - Dive and Discover Expedition 12

Jan. 2008 Hop aboard and watch the action!

LADDER III cruise - East Pacific Rise

Nov - Dec 2007 Background information and daily dispatches from the cruise are posted online: