Chief scientist leg4
Frank Wenzhoefer
f.wenzhoefer.d at merian.briese-research.de
Weblog 8
16.11. - 22.12.2009

Starting the 4th Leg

After finishing our last dive 251 everyone on board was happy that leg MSM 13-3 ended with a successful dive without cable cutting. Dive 251 was entirely dedicated for exploring a new area where fluid venting has been found by Parasound-Transects. During the 5 hour bottom time Miriam Römer, Heiko Sahling and Paul Wintersteller found several fluid and gas venting sites, often associated with large carbonate structures.
Before returning to Limassol we celebrated our successful cruise with nice BBQ party on deck.
Fig 1. Hugh carbonate structures covering the seafloor (Source: Marum, University Bremen)
Fig 2. Gas sampling at 1700m water depth. Gas bubbles are collected with the funnel and transferred into the gastight cylinder (Source: Marum, University Bremen)
We steamed back to Limassol but entered port only with some delay – a large cruise vessel was in our way. But then everything went very fast, the next leg’s ROV team leader waited for the handover, as well as two containers for unloading onto the ship. Three members of the AUV team have arrived to set up the AUV Explorer5000 for some bathymetry dives during the coming leg. Both the old and new ROV team used the port time for maintenance of QUEST. In Limassol the ROV team was exchanged, plus most scientists. The seven scientists who continue on leg MSM13-4 used the time in harbour for relaxation and spend the time on the beach and for sightseeing.
Fig. 3 Two ROV pilots working on the cable (Source: F. Wenzhöfer)
Leg MSM 13-4 started in the morning of 21 November with two deep-sea platforms on board – ROV Quest and AUV B-Seal. But our first task was to pick up the Turkish observer, which happened during a rendezvous with a Turkish coast guard boat. Afterwards we continued our journey to the new working area, the Anaximander region, where we will proceed with our ROV work on mud volcanoes.
Fig 4 Taking the Turkish observer onboard our research vessel (Source: J. Felden)
Directly after we arrived at the working area we started our research activities with a ROV dive. Dive 252 was used to revisit sites previously investigated during earlier cruises and to get a first impression of the mud volcano. The excellent underwater navigation, similar to GPS on land, helped us to orientate at the seafloor. After 8 hours bottom time our first dive on leg MSM 13-4 ended with a safe recover of the ROV. Thus we are all looking forward to continue with the ROV dives during the coming days but also to deploy the AUV for its first mission tomorrow.

Frank Wenzhöfer
Fig 5 We found the old Marker 5, which was placed during a previous cruise (Source: Marum, University Bremen)
Back to Top