Down looking mosaic of the ~ 4 m tall black smoker chimneys 'Inferno' and 'Mushroom' in the ASHES vent field. A network of fractures with variable intensity of diffuse flow host white bacterial mats and tube worms. Also shown is a corresponding vertical mosaic of Inferno hosting dense colonies of tube worms and limpets.
PLEASE NOTE: This image is not available for usage.
Einstein's Grotto, located at the summit of Southern Hydrate Ridge, is a main target site for installation of cabled chemical and biological sensors in 2014. The area hosts extensive white bacterial mats and was a site of vigorous venting of large methane bubbles. This image was taken in 2011, showing water sampling bottles on the arm of the Canadian robotic vehicle ROPOS.
'Osmo' samplers draw hydrothermal fluids into small capillary-like tubing and allow long-term sampling of diffuse and black smoker hydrothermal fluids, as well as fluids from methane seeps. Osmo samplers in this image (white canisters) are attached in an in situ 'microbial' incubator deployed inside the walls of a black smoker chimney called Gremlin. The osmo samplers allowed collection of vent fluids for 1 year, while the microbial incubator collected hundreds of temperature measurements inside the wall of the black smoker. Novel microbes colonized mineral wafers and new sulfide precipitates inside 4 discrete chambers within the incubator. This experiment, led by D. Kelley, University of Washington, was designed to look at the upper temperature limit of life.
Osmo samplers are scheduled for 2014 deployments at the base of the chimney called Mushroom in the ASHES hydrothermal field (MJ03B) and at the summit of Southern Hydrate Ridge