The launch target for July 3rd was 3d 46.73' N 125d 22.18' E. Multibeam bathymetry revealed a shallow seamount with a central peak and several surrounding lower peaks. CTD casts the previous night indicated hydrothermal activity.
The ROV landed downslope of the central peak but was unable to make forward progress in the desired direction due to strong NE to SW current. ROV Operations Coordinator Dave Lovalvo informed the science party of the need to change tactics. He directed the ROV navigator to have the ship 'tow' the ROV to a new location up-current to begin the dive. Currents were greatly reduced in the new area and the ROV was able to make headway.
The soft sedimented bottom was covered with many ripples and there were often large scour marks around the many rocky outcrops we encountered. The biota of the area was similar to what we saw in our previous dive, however, this seamount contained a much greater abundance and diversity of organisms. Though the ROV found no evidence of hydrothermal activity, it did capture stunning high-resolution imagery of the various corals, sponges, shrimp, sea cucumbers, and other animals.Less «