UCC & National Geographic explore Mid-Atlantic Ridge
Tue, 21 Dec 2010
UCC, National Geographic Television, National Oceanography Centre –Southampton (NOC), NUIG and the Marine Institute are about to launch a deep-water survey of underwater volcanism (black smokers) on the Mid-Atlantic Ridge.
The Marine Institute have just awarded 25 days shiptime and access to Ireland’s deep-water ROV (Remotely Operated Vehicle) as part of the VENTuRE project (Deep-sea ecosystem study of the 45˚ north Mid-Atlantic Ridge hydrothermal vent field and the cold-water coral Moira Mound reefs, Porcupine Seabight). National Geographic Television will accompany the scientists shooting footage for the Oceanus NGTV programme planned for airing in 2012.
Dr. Andy Wheeler (chief scientist) says “we are delighted to be able to undertake this groundbreaking survey, no-one has ever seen these vents before which are very deep at 3000 m water depth. This is an exciting collaboration, not only are UCC linking up with top scientists at NOC and National Geographic but this is also a tangible sign of the fruits of integration between geologists and biologists in the newly integrated School of Biological, Earth & Environmental Sciences (BEES)”.
The BEES team will consist of Dr. Andy Wheeler, Prof. John Gamble, Prof. Tom Cross, Dr. Jens Carlssen, Dr. Boris Dorschel and Prof. John Benzie from the Environmental Research Institute.
(Photo courtesy of NNOAA)