Explore the Deep Sea

Expeditions

Lau Basin study sites

A series of five expeditions is exploring the seafloor of the Lau Basin in the South Pacific. The first two expeditions concentrated on mapping the seafloor and identifying areas containing deep-sea hot (hydrothermal) vents. Later expeditions explored some of these areas in detail, and kept an eye out for other new vent fields.

From north to south

The major vent fields that have been found so far include the following.

What's in a name?

The expedition that finds a vent site gets to name it. This is the chain of reasoning that led to the naming of the Tui Malila site (pronounced two-ee-ma-LEE-la) by the third of five expeditions to the Lau Basin:

Some of the other sites were named after some of the tools that helped scientists locate them.

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