East Pacfic Rise: LADDER 2

in cooperation with James Ledwell, Lauren Mullineaux and Andreas Thurnherr


Kitchen sponges - recovery of sponges deployed during LADDER 1 and deployment of new ones

TASCs - recovery of TASCs deployed during LADDER 1 and deployment of new ones

CTD work

Christmas and New Year´s Eve on the Pacific

12/11/2006 - 01/05/2007

Chief scientist: James Ledwell (Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution, USA)

Austrian participants:

Sabine Gollner, Sigrid Katz

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 2 cruise. Again, they were very generous so we could carry out many deployments and recoveries of our collection devices. We would like to thank them very much for their support.

Kitchen sponges - new 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 mechanims of meiofauna at vents. For this we used standard plastic kitchen sponges, known to be colonized by meiofauna. The aim of the LADDER 2 cruise was to recover the one month deployments from the LADDER 1 cruise and to redeploy new sets of kitchen sponges that will remain on the chosen sites for one year. Aditionally Nadine Le Bris could take chemical measurments from our deployment sites.


                                     chemical measurments                                                                                 sponge deployment

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 LADDER1 and deployed new sets of TASCs. After the one month deployment we already found some tubeworm babies!

TASCs & kitchen sponges

CTD work

James Ledwell startet a tracer release experiment to help estimate probabilty distributions of larval dispersal. They released sulfurhexafluoride in the axial trough during LADDER 1 and our goal was to find the tracer after this one month in ocean again so that they could make predictions about possible currents. CTD casts were carried out to take watersamples at different depths and locations. During an intense ten day period with no Alvin dives but a lot of CTD casts we were able to help James Ledwell and to learn how to do a CTD cast. This included the recovery and deployment of the CTD rosette, taking watersamples from the niskin bottles and watching the winch during the CTD was on its way down or up. It was a great experience to get a little insight into oceanographer´s work!


                                                    recovering the CTD                                                             driving the CTD winch

Christmas and New Year´s Eve on the Pacific

To bring a little holiday feeling on board, the ship got decorated and we even had a little christmas tree in our lab. The greatest surprise was the arrival of Santa Claus and his elve. And guess - during sitting on santa´s lap he promised us that all our wishes will become true! At New Year´s Eve we had very special „fireworks“: due to safety reasons old illumination rockets had to get fired off and were beautifully lightening the ocean.



                                           Sigrid, Santa, Sabine, Santa's elve                                                            Christmas Tree


                                                        shooting fireworks                                                                      fireworks