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.

IMG_2273_2

E/V Nautilus docked in St. Georges, Grenada. Photo credit: Diva Amon.

IMG_2300_2

ROV Hercules being launched. Photo credit: Diva Amon.

Mussels and sea cucumbers at Kick'em Jenny cold seeps. Photo credit: Ocean Exploration Trust

Mussels and sea cucumbers at Kick’em Jenny cold seeps. Photo credit: Ocean Exploration Trust.

cam1_20141001082909

Octopus at the Kick’em jenny seeps. Photo credit: Ocean Exploration Trust.

DSCN1062edited

Me and the Bathymodiolus bommerang mussels. Photo credit: Diva Amon.

IMG_2330_2

Dr. Leigh Marsh dissecting the Bathymodiolus mussels. Photo credit: Diva Amon.

DSCN0766

Dr. Judith Gobin and I with ROV Hercules. Photo credit: Diva Amon.

cam1_20141006083216

Bathymodiolus cf. childressi and Alvinocaridae shrimp at the El Pilar cold seeps off Trinidad. Photo credit: Ocean Exploration Trust.

DSCN0775

Dr. Judith Gobin and I recording the lengths of the Bathymodiolus cf. childressi. Photo credit: Diva Amon.

cam1_20141007135825

Squat lobster on a deep-sea coral. Photo credit: Diva Amon.

cam1_20141006100616

Lamellibrachia tubeworms and bryozoan at El Pilar seeps. Photo credit: Ocean Exploration Trust.


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

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s