Galápagos Rift Expedition 2011

Mission Logs

Follow along as participants in the cruise provide updates and reflections on their experiences, the science, the technology, and other elements of the expedition.

  • Mission Summary

    By Timothy M. Shank, Edward T. Baker, Robert W. Embley, Stephen Hammond, James F. Holden, Scott White, Sharon L. Walker, Miguel Calderón, Santiago Herrera, T. Jennifer Lin, Catriona Munro, Taylor Heyl, Lucy C. Stewart, Mashkoor Malik, Meme Lobecker, and Jeremy Potter

    In June and July 2011, the GALREX 2011 expedition explored the diverse habitats and geologic settings of the deep Galápagos region, including axial volcanic ridges, hydrothermal vents, off-axis sulfide mounds, and seamounts. The discovery of deep-sea hydrothermal vents and associated organisms on the Galápagos Rift (GR) in 1977 profoundly changed our view of the deep-sea and revolutionized the biological and Earth sciences.

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  • Discovery of the “Tempus Fugit” Vent Field

    July 24, 2011  |  By Taylor Heyl, Santiago Herrera, Catriona Munro, and Tim Shank

    Typical when exploring unknown areas of the deep-ocean, feelings of great anticipation that we would discover something that could fundamentally change the way we think about deep-ocean geology and biology flooded our thoughts.

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  • Exploring from Afar

    July 22, 2011  |  By Coquille Rex

    This experience at the Hatfield Marine Science Center has truly opened up a whole new world to me; it has been interactive, fast-paced, hands-on learning.

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  • Ghostly Relics

    July 20, 2011  |  By Jim Holden

    During our third ROV dive on the Galápagos Rift, while searching for active hydrothermal vents, we experienced a strong signal in Seirios’ sonar.

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  • Using Multibeam to Explore

    July 19, 2011  |  By Elaine Stuart and Mashkoor Malik

    The data the Multibeam EM302 system on board the NOAA Ship Okeanos Explorer collects consists of bathymetry and backscatter; both are valuable in understanding the seafloor structure.

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  • Points of Light

    July 18, 2011  |  By Bob Embley

    We know when and where most of the volcanic eruptions have been on the Earth’s land surface for the past several decades.

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  • The Elusive Vent

    July 17, 2011  |  By James Connors

    As children, we all heard the adage “where there’s smoke, there’s fire”, whether in the context of actual fire, or used metaphorically to describe some event that seems to always be causally connected to another.

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  • Water Column Exploration: Sniffing the Seafloor with Sensors

    July 16, 2011  |  By Colleen Peters

    NOAA Ship Okeanos Explorer departed Rodman, Panama on August 2nd, beginning her transit to the Mid-Cayman Rise, where a team of scientists will use advanced technologies to explore the region from August 5 - 15th.

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  • Exploring the Paramount Seamount

    July 14, 2011  |  By Catriona Munro, Santiago Herrera, and Taylor Heyl Muric

    This expedition’s inaugural dive was on the Paramount Seamount, an underwater mountain with a summit less than 300m below the sea surface.

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  • The Longest Day

    July 13, 2011  |  By James Connors

    Despite the great advice given from many in the office about what to expect as web coordinator, no one could have prepared me for the marathon first day of ROV operations.

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  • Hurry up and wait!

    July 11, 2011  |  By Jeremy Potter

    I have a nasty habit of incessantly checking my BlackBerry when I’m preoccupied with something at work.

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  • Where in the World?

    July 8, 2011  |  By Jeremy Potter

    Where is the ship going to be in 2011?

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  • Leg 1 Overview

    By Ed Baker and Meme Lobecker

    Scientists were stunned by the discovery of hydrothermal venting and strange biology on the Galápagos Rift in 1977.

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