After we finished the final ROV operations at the South Canyon in Lofoten around Monday midnight, the scientists were busy organizing the new samples in the early Tuesday morning.
Text and photos: Tobias Himmler, researcher Geological Survey of Norway (NGU).
We retrieved new rock samples from the ROV, briefly describing them before we photographed, cleaned, and wrapped the rocks in bubble wrap. The samples are now labeled and safely stored away. After the cruise, the rocks will be studied in more detail on their textural and mineralogical composition. We expect to recover microfossils from the samples which will help us date the sampled rocks. Push cores for porewater samples have been prepared in the ship’s cold room and set up for sampling in the late evening on Monday. After successfully recovering the pore water, the samples were prepared for further analyses onshore and stored in the cold room and freezer.
After a busy late-nighter on board, we enjoyed a quiet day of steaming, heading South, South-west at ~11 knots. While the ROV-crew uses the time for technical maintenance the scientists write down the first preliminary results for the cruise report.
The Norwegian sea is smooth, the weather is fine. A brief stop in Kristiansund is planned for the early morning on Wednesday. Research Vessel G.O.Sars is expected to resume operations at a potential new seep site around noon, starting with a multibeam survey using the ship’s sonar system. After the survey it is planned to continue with the ROV work, starting with an ROV-based high-resolution multibeam survey at the seafloor and hopefully more rock- and pore water sampling. It will be interesting to deploy the gas sampler in case of successfully tracing down gas bubbles escaping from the seafloor.