Caribbean Cold Seeps

 

NA054

Location: Kick’em Jenny submarine volcano, Grenada, and Barbados Accretionary Prism, Trinidad and Tobago

Date: October 2014

Ship: E/V Nautilus

This 14-day exploratory and research cruise utilised ROV Hercules and ROV Argus to survey the cold seeps (1900-2100m) and hydrothermal vents (150-300m) at the submarine volcano, Kick’em Jenny. The cruise also visited the El Pilar cold seeps and mud volcanoes in the Barbados Accretionary Prism off Trinidad and Tobago (1300m). This cruise focused on the exploration of these sites, telepresence and public engagement.

This cruise was one of my favourite expeditions for many reasons. Being part of an Ocean Exploration Trust expedition on the E/V Nautilus was thrilling (thank you for having me OET!), and for it to be in my own ‘backyard’ was even better! Since sitting in Professor Paul Tyler’s ‘deep-sea biology’ lectures in 2009, I have wondered what the deep sea around Trinidad and Tobago is like, especially as we have large reserves of oil and natural gas. This cruise gave me the opportunity to finally visualise a small portion of the seafloor off to the east of the Trinidad, and what a spectacular piece of the seafloor it was!! Bathymodiolus mussels as far as the eye could see, methane hydrates, beautiful coral…! I had similar sentiments about Kick’em Jenny having sailed past it and it’s exclusion zone several times during my early life. Being able to see the shallow-water venting at the top of the volcano and then the cold seeps over 2km below the sea surface was very special.


Additional information:

The E/V Nautilus website has highlight photo albums and video clips from this expedition:

Kick’em Jenny, Grenada videos:

Why did we go on this expedition; A squid eating a fish; Sampling the cold seeps; Some big groupers; A Caribbean Reef shark investigating the ROV; Red shrimp at the shallow vents

El Pilar mud volcanoes, Trinidad videos:

Cold seeps and an octopus; A stunning siphonophore; A huge mussel bed discovery

Kick’em Jenny, Grenada photo albums:

Sampling the shallow water vents of Kick’em Jenny; Creatures of Kick’em Jenny; Operations on board

El Pilar mud volcanoes, photo albums:

Exploring the mud volcanoes and cold seeps

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