Explore the Deep Sea


Expedition 3: From Rocks to Life

The third of five expeditions to the Lau Basin (in April 2005) focused on sites identified by the previous expedition.

A three-dimensional piece of seafloor. Image courtesy of M.Tivey / WHOI

The researchers studied the rocks and the hot fluids they emit, as well as the distribution of microbes and animals around the underwater geysers, or vents, from which hot fluids issue. The expedition had several aims:

Detailed seafloor studies

This expedition is the first in the series to conduct in-depth studies of the seafloor in this area using remotely-operated submarine vehicles, such as Jason II. In particular, the sides of some 3D structures on the seafloor, such as sulfide chimneys, are being examined in detail, thanks to the photos taken by Jason.

Next: Expedition 4 of 5: Deep-sea creatures