2016 ROV Jason NOAA R/V Sikuliaq Cruise

Andrew Bowen, Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution  


WHOI operates the NDSF, which includes the human-occupied Deep Submergence Vehicle (HOV) Alvin, Remotely Operated Vehicle (ROV) Jason and the Autonomous Underwater Vehicle (AUV) Sentry.

These facilities are funded by federal agencies such as the National Science Foundation (NSF), the Office of Naval Research (ONR) and National Oceanic & Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) on a daily rate basis, to provide deep sea capabilities for funded science programs sponsored by these agencies. R/V Atlantis served as the support vehicle for HOV Alvin.

The ROV and AUV can be installed on other vessels suitable for their deployment. This fly-away capability provides scheduling flexibility to meet a much wider range of requirements for the scientific community.

The ROV Jason will be used to;

  1. Recover a time-series water sampler and temperature recorder from a hydrothermal vent site on the North Rift Zone of Axial Seamount, where lava erupted in April of 2015. This instrument is monitoring change at a newly created hydrothermal vent. Requires ROV for pull-pin release.

  1. Document the time-series site with video/still photography and ROV temperature measurements. Collect hydrothermal fluid samples from the vent where the hydrothermal fluid sampler is deployed, using titanium gas-tight samplers and titanium major samplers, to provide end-point calibration of the time-series.

  1. Conduct a vertical CTD cast over the instrument deployment site to characterize the water column plume at the time of recovery.

  1. If time and operational capabilities permit, use the ship to recover a nearby water-column MAPR mooring (250-m length of 5/16” jacketed wire rope with acoustic release).

  1. Collect opportunistic gas-tight samples from any high-temperature vents at Axial Seamount for time-series chemistry. The primary scientific goals/tasks include maintenance of long-term time-series measurements and observations at the NeMO active underwater volcano site.