Dive Highlights R1596

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During the beginning of ROPOS dive 1596 at the summit of Axial Seamount, we drove south towards the hydrothermal field 'International District'. East of the field, we first encountered lobate flows and a few collapse basins, but closer to the field the lava flows transitioned into rough, jumbled hackley flows. As ROPOS entered the field, we encountered a small, partially extinct chimney with weak diffuse venting at its top, which hosted small tube worms. ROPOS transited to the largest black smoker chimney 'El Guapo', which rises > 50 feet above the surrounding seafloor. We started at the base of the massive edifice and slowly transited to the top of the structure, which hosts numerous small orifices venting jets of hot hydrothermal fluid. In 2011, the fluids were boiling at 349°C, and at a water depth of 5000 m. Dive Highlights R-1596 (Credit: NSF-OOI/UW/CSSF)


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