We have been in the area of the Aurora seamount for 3 days and the different teams have started working and getting samples. Working under ice is very different from working in open water. We are at the mercy of the ice drift and our “guesstimations” of where the drift will take us during the several hours that each equipment deployment takes, not really knowing if the drift will change direction and/or speed while we are sampling are sometimes exciting and sometimes frustrating. We are lucky to have an excellent Captain, Officers and Crew as well as scientists with previous experience of sampling under the ice….and we are also learning to be patient and accept that the ice will not always let us get where we want, when we want.
We have been studying and sampling the water column and the vent plume with the CTD, with a multidisciplinary team working on physical oceanography, microbiology and geochemistry, under Benedicte’s coordination.
We have taken sediment samples with the multicore, that takes 6 tubes of sediment of about 40-50 cm length, under Giuliana and Sofia’s guidance. These cores are being analysed for meiofauna (very small animals that live in the sediment), microbes, micropaleontology, biogeochemistry and environmental characteristics. We have also taken gravity cores, that take sediment cores of about 3 m and will be used for micropaleontology, microbiology and environmental parameters. And we also took one boxcore that, when on board, was surrounded by a dozen of eager scientists wanting to take subsamples!
Other activities have been happening as well….but we will tell you more about them soon!!