East Pacific Rise: LADDER 3

FWF research project No. P16774- BO3

In cooperation with James Ledwell, Lauren Mullineaux and Andreas Thurnherr


Kitchen sponges - recovery of sponges deployed during LADDER 2 and deployment of new ones

Natural basalt - collection for control

TASCs - recovery of TASCs deployed during LADDER 2 and deployment of new ones

13/11/2006 - 03/12/2007

Chief scientist: Lauren Mullineaux (Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution, USA)

Austrian participants:

Sabine Gollner, Ingrid Kolar

Research Vessel Atlantis

Deep Submerged Vehicle Alvin

Due to the invitation of Lauren Mullineaux, James Ledwell, and Andreas Thurnherr we were able to participate in the LADDER 3 cruise. And again (we were already invited on LADDER 2!), they were very generous so we could carry out many deployments and recoveries of our collection devices. Thanks! Thanks!

Kitchen sponges - device for quantitative meiofauna collections

After a volcanic eruption in this region earlier 2006, we initiated a project to investigate the succession of meiofauna. The objective of this study is to characterize the succession in meiobenthic chemosynthetic communities and to discover the dispersal mechanisms of meiofauna at vents. For this we used standard plastic kitchen sponges, known to be colonized by meiofauna. The aim of the LADDER 3 cruise was to recover the one year deployments from the LADDER 2 cruise and to redeploy new sets of kitchen sponges that will remain on the chosen sites for two years.

Natural basalt collection for control where also sampled.

TASCs - the more the better

We have been using TASCs (tubeworm artificial settlement cubes) for collecting tiny tubeworm babies for several years now. We recovered the TASCs deployed during LADDER2 and deployed new sets of TASCs.

Some jobs of scientists…

…working on board of the ship with kitchen sponges to recover animals…


    Creating homes for animals: assembling settlement devices                      A self-build biobox for the transport and recovery of devices


       Bioboxes on the basket of the submersible Alvin                   After a long day, Ingrid and Sabine enjoy a different view – on top of Alvin!

The next morning – the submersible is ready for diving

Another world: view on a vent field in the deep-sea with tubeworms and deployed settlement devices 

A sponge after recovery – animals love them!

Sieving of samples to extract the animals