Bringing to a close

Our last dive at Lost City with ROV Jason was yesterday because we have been chased away from the area by another hurricane. Even though our days at Lost City were cut down from an originally funded 12 days to 6 days, we were still successful in achieving our core scientific goals. We were able to investigate and sample the key features of Lost City that are most important to our research questions, and we can’t wait to get home and analyze our samples.

This is the first time we have been to Lost City since 2005, and we waited three years for both the R/V Atlantis and ROV Jason to be available after the project was funded. So everyone, including the ROV Jason team and the ship’s crew, worked around the clock to maximize the scientific value of our few days at Lost City. It goes without saying, but we couldn’t have done it without them. For example, yesterday the Jason team recovered, prepped, and launched Jason again in under two hours so that we could get in one last dive before the hurricane arrived. Every single one of the 21 scientists on board worked themselves to their physical limits in order to cram 12 days of work into 6. It’s a great feeling to know everyone around you is completely committed to doing whatever they possibly can to contribute to the scientific mission. We’ll report more on our scientific activities for the past week, but for now, here is a quick summary of how we spent our time.

Some numbers:
6 days at Lost City
6 ROV Jason dives
99 hours of Jason on the seafloor
90 hours of high definition video from the seafloor
188 samples of water and chimney material from Lost City
>2000 analytical subsamples to be shipped home for laboratory analyses, including:

  • organic chemistry
  • aqueous chemistry
  • gas chemistry
  • mineralogy
  • microscopy
  • microbial DNA/RNA sequencing and counts
  • viral DNA sequencing and counts
  • microbiology experiments

When ROV Jason was not in the water, we conducted 12 CTD casts, including:
150 Niskin bottles analyzed for:

  • gas chemistry
  • aqueous chemistry
  • organic chemistry
  • microbial DNA sequencing and counts
  • viral DNA sequencing and counts

Our Expedition Gallery has new photos and videos from Lost City. Below is a shot of Poseidon by ROV Jason, our name of the top of the main chimney structure at the center of Lost City. All photos and videos are the work of the Scientific Party of the Return to Lost City 2018 Expedition, led by Chief Scientist Susan Lang. Copyright held by Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution, and re-use with attribution is granted under a Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 4.0 International License.