Yoerger Dana R.

No Thumbnail Available
Last Name
First Name
Dana R.

Search Results

Now showing 1 - 20 of 25
  • Article
    Structure of Lo'ihi Seamount, Hawai'i and lava flow morphology from high-resolution mapping.
    (Frontiers Media, 2019-03-26) Clague, David A. ; Paduan, Jennifer B. ; Caress, David W. ; Moyer, Craig L. ; Glazer, Brian T. ; Yoerger, Dana R.
    The early development and growth of oceanic volcanoes that eventually grow to become ocean islands are poorly known. In Hawai‘i, the submarine Lō‘ihi Seamount provides the opportunity to determine the structure and growth of such a nascent oceanic island. High-resolution bathymetric data were collected using AUV Sentry at the summit and at two hydrothermal vent fields on the deep south rift of Lō‘ihi Seamount. The summit records a nested series of caldera and pit crater collapse events, uplift of one resurgent block, and eruptions that formed at least five low lava shields that shaped the summit. The earliest and largest caldera, formed ∼5900 years ago, bounds almost the entire summit plateau. The resurgent block was uplifted slightly more than 100 m and has a tilted surface with a dip of about 6.5° toward the SE. The resurgent block was then modified by collapse of a pit crater centered in the block that formed West Pit. The shallowest point on Lō‘ihi’s summit is 986 m deep and is located on the northwest edge of the resurgent block. Several collapse events culminated in formation of East Pit, and the final collapse formed Pele’s Pit in 1996. The nine mapped collapse and resurgent structures indicate the presence of a shallow crustal magma chamber, ranging from depths of ∼1 km to perhaps 2.5 km below the summit, and demonstrate that shallow sub-caldera magma reservoirs exist during the late pre-shield stage. On the deep south rift zone are young medium- to high-flux lava flows that likely erupted in 1996 and drained the shallow crustal magma chamber to trigger the collapse that formed Pele’s Pit. These low hummocky and channelized flows had molten cores and now host the FeMO hydrothermal field. The Shinkai Deep hydrothermal site is located among steep-sided hummocky flows that formed during low-flux eruptions. The Shinkai Ridge is most likely a coherent landslide block that originated on the east flank of Lō‘ihi.
  • Article
    Mid-ocean ridge exploration with an autonomous underwater vehicle
    (Oceanography Society, 2007-12) Yoerger, Dana R. ; Bradley, Albert M. ; Jakuba, Michael V. ; Tivey, Maurice A. ; German, Christopher R. ; Shank, Timothy M. ; Embley, Robert W.
    Human-occupied submersibles, towed vehicles, and tethered remotely operated vehicles (ROVs) have traditionally been used to study the deep seafloor. In recent years, however, autonomous underwater vehicles (AUVs) have begun to replace these other vehicles for mapping and survey missions. AUVs complement the capabilities of these pre-existing systems, offering superior mapping capabilities, improved logistics, and better utilization of the surface support vessel by allowing other tasks such as submersible operations, ROV work, CTD stations, or multibeam surveys to be performed while the AUV does its work. AUVs are particularly well suited to systematic preplanned surveys using sonars, in situ chemical sensors, and cameras in the rugged deep-sea terrain that has been the focus of numerous scientific expeditions (e.g., those to mid-ocean ridges and ocean margin settings). The Autonomous Benthic Explorer (ABE) is an example of an AUV that has been used for over 20 cruises sponsored by the National Science Foundation (NSF), the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) Office of Ocean Exploration (OE), and international and private sources. This paper summarizes NOAA OE-sponsored cruises made to date using ABE.
  • Preprint
    Mapping multiple gas/odor sources in an uncontrolled indoor environment using a Bayesian occupancy grid mapping based method
    ( 2011-06) Ferri, Gabriele ; Jakuba, Michael V. ; Mondini, Alessio ; Mattoli, Virgilio ; Mazzolai, Barbara ; Yoerger, Dana R. ; Dario, Paolo
    In this paper we address the problem of autonomously localizing multiple gas/odor sources in an indoor environment without a strong airflow. To do this, a robot iteratively creates an occupancy grid map. The produced map shows the probability each discrete cell contains a source. Our approach is based on a recent adaptation [15] to traditional Bayesian occupancy grid mapping for chemical source localization problems. The approach is less sensitive, in the considered scenario, to the choice of the algorithm parameters. We present experimental results with a robot in an indoor uncontrolled corridor in the presence of different ejecting sources proving the method is able to build reliable maps quickly (5.5 minutes in a 6 m x 2.1 m area) and in real time.
  • Article
    The largest deep-ocean silicic volcanic eruption of the past century
    (American Association for the Advancement of Science, 2018-01-10) Carey, Rebecca ; Soule, Samuel A. ; Manga, Michael ; White, James D. L. ; McPhie, Jocelyn ; Wysoczanski, Richard ; Jutzeler, Martin ; Tani, Kenichiro ; Yoerger, Dana R. ; Fornari, Daniel J. ; Caratori Tontini, Fabio ; Houghton, Bruce ; Mitchell, Samuel ; Ikegami, Fumihiko ; Conway, Chris E. ; Murch, Arran ; Fauria, Kristen ; Jones, Meghan ; Cahalan, Ryan ; McKenzie, Warren
    The 2012 submarine eruption of Havre volcano in the Kermadec arc, New Zealand, is the largest deep-ocean eruption in history and one of very few recorded submarine eruptions involving rhyolite magma. It was recognized from a gigantic 400-km2 pumice raft seen in satellite imagery, but the complexity of this event was concealed beneath the sea surface. Mapping, observations, and sampling by submersibles have provided an exceptionally high fidelity record of the seafloor products, which included lava sourced from 14 vents at water depths of 900 to 1220 m, and fragmental deposits including giant pumice clasts up to 9 m in diameter. Most (>75%) of the total erupted volume was partitioned into the pumice raft and transported far from the volcano. The geological record on submarine volcanic edifices in volcanic arcs does not faithfully archive eruption size or magma production.
  • Article
    A reduced crustal magnetization zone near the first observed active hydrothermal vent field on the Southwest Indian Ridge
    (American Geophysical Union, 2010-09-21) Zhu, Jian ; Lin, Jian ; Chen, Yongshun J. ; Tao, Chunhui ; German, Christopher R. ; Yoerger, Dana R. ; Tivey, Maurice A.
    Inversion of near-bottom magnetic data reveals a well-defined low crustal magnetization zone (LMZ) near a local topographic high (37°47′S, 49°39′E) on the ultraslow-spreading Southwest Indian Ridge (SWIR). The magnetic data were collected by the autonomous underwater vehicle ABE on board R/V DaYangYiHao in February-March 2007. The first active hydrothermal vent field observed on the SWIR is located in Area A within and adjacent to the LMZ at the local topographic high, implying that this LMZ may be the result of hydrothermal alteration of magnetic minerals. The maximum reduction in crustal magnetization is 3 A/M. The spatial extent of the LMZ is estimated to be at least 6.7 × 104 m2, which is larger than that of the LMZs at the TAG vent field on the Mid-Atlantic Ridge (MAR), as well as the Relict Field, Bastille, Dante-Grotto, and New Field vent-sites on the Juan de Fuca Ridge (JdF). The calculated magnetic moment, i.e., the product of the spatial extent and amplitude of crustal magnetization reduction is at least −3 × 107 Am2 for the LMZ on the SWIR, while that for the TAG field on the MAR is −8 × 107 Am2 and that for the four individual vent fields on the JdF range from −5 × 107 to −3 × 107 Am2. Together these results indicate that crustal demagnetization is a common feature of basalt-hosted hydrothermal vent fields at mid-ocean ridges of all spreading rates. Furthermore, the crustal demagnetization of the Area A on the ultraslow-spreading SWIR is comparable in strength to that of the TAG area on the slow-spreading MAR.
  • Article
    Submeter bathymetric mapping of volcanic and hydrothermal features on the East Pacific Rise crest at 9°50′N
    (American Geophysical Union, 2007-01-19) Ferrini, Vicki L. ; Fornari, Daniel J. ; Shank, Timothy M. ; Kinsey, James C. ; Tivey, Maurice A. ; Soule, Samuel A. ; Carbotte, Suzanne M. ; Whitcomb, Louis L. ; Yoerger, Dana R. ; Howland, Jonathan C.
    Recent advances in underwater vehicle navigation and sonar technology now permit detailed mapping of complex seafloor bathymetry found at mid-ocean ridge crests. Imagenex 881 (675 kHz) scanning sonar data collected during low-altitude (~5 m) surveys conducted with DSV Alvin were used to produce submeter resolution bathymetric maps of five hydrothermal vent areas at the East Pacific Rise (EPR) Ridge2000 Integrated Study Site (9°50′N, “bull's-eye”). Data were collected during 29 dives in 2004 and 2005 and were merged through a grid rectification technique to create high-resolution (0.5 m grid) composite maps. These are the first submeter bathymetric maps generated with a scanning sonar mounted on Alvin. The composite maps can be used to quantify the dimensions of meter-scale volcanic and hydrothermal features within the EPR axial summit trough (AST) including hydrothermal vent structures, lava pillars, collapse areas, the trough walls, and primary volcanic fissures. Existing Autonomous Benthic Explorer (ABE) bathymetry data (675 kHz scanning sonar) collected at this site provide the broader geologic context necessary to interpret the meter-scale features resolved in the composite maps. The grid rectification technique we employed can be used to optimize vehicle time by permitting the creation of high-resolution bathymetry maps from data collected during multiple, coordinated, short-duration surveys after primary dive objectives are met. This method can also be used to colocate future near-bottom sonar data sets within the high-resolution composite maps, enabling quantification of bathymetric changes associated with active volcanic, hydrothermal and tectonic processes.
  • Preprint
    Diverse styles of submarine venting on the ultraslow spreading Mid-Cayman Rise
    ( 2010-06-24) German, Christopher R. ; Bowen, Andrew D. ; Coleman, Max ; Honig, D. L. ; Huber, Julie A. ; Jakuba, Michael V. ; Kinsey, James C. ; Kurz, Mark D. ; Leroy, S. ; McDermott, Jill M. ; Mercier de Lepinay, B. ; Nakamura, Ko-ichi ; Seewald, Jeffrey S. ; Smith, J. L. ; Sylva, Sean P. ; Van Dover, Cindy L. ; Whitcomb, Louis L. ; Yoerger, Dana R.
    Thirty years after the first discovery of high-temperature submarine venting, the vast majority of the global Mid Ocean Ridge remains unexplored for hydrothermal activity. Of particular interest are the world’s ultra-slow spreading ridges which were the last to be demonstrated to host high-temperature venting, but may host systems particularly relevant to pre-biotic chemistry and the origins of life. Here we report first evidence for diverse and very deep hydrothermal vents along the ~110 km long, ultra-slow spreading Mid-Cayman Rise. Our data indicate that the Mid- Cayman Rise hosts at least three discrete hydrothermal sites, each representing a different type of water-rock interaction, including both mafic and ultra-mafic systems and, at ~5000 m, the deepest known hydrothermal vent. Although submarine hydrothermal circulation, in which seawater percolates through and reacts with host lithologies, occurs on all mid-ocean ridges, the diversity of vent-types identified here and their relative geographic isolation make the Mid-Cayman Rise unique in the oceans. These new sites offer prospects for: an expanded range of vent-fluid compositions; varieties of abiotic organic chemical synthesis and extremophile microorganisms; and unparalleled faunal biodiversity - all in close proximity.
  • Preprint
    Geologic setting of PACManus hydrothermal vent fields – High-resolution mapping and in situ observations
    ( 2014-05) Thal, Janis ; Tivey, Maurice A. ; Yoerger, Dana R. ; Jons, Niels ; Bach, Wolfgang
    This study presents a systematic analysis and interpretation of autonomous underwater vehicle-based microbathymetry combined with remotely operated vehicle (ROV) video recordings, rock analyses and temperature measurements within the PACManus hydrothermal area located on Pual Ridge in the Bismarck Sea of eastern Manus Basin. The data obtained during research cruise Magellan-06 and So-216 provides a framework for understanding the relationship between the volcanism, tectonism and hydrothermal activity. PACManus is a submarine felsic vocanically-hosted hydrothermal area that hosts multiple vent fields located within several hundred meters of one another but with different fluid chemistries, vent temperatures and morphologies. The total area of hydrothermal activity is estimated to be 20,279 m2. The microbathymetry maps combined with the ROV video observations allow for precise high-resolution mapping estimates of the areal extents of hydrothermal activity. We find the distribution of hydrothermal fields in the PACManus area is primarily controlled by volcanic features that include lava domes, thick and massive blocky lava flows, breccias and feeder dykes. Spatial variation in the permeability of local volcanic facies appears to control the distribution of venting within a field. We define a three-stage chronological sequence for the volcanic evolution of the PACManus based on lava flow morphology, sediment cover and lava SiO2 concentration. In Stage-1, sparsely to moderately porphyritic dacite lavas (68 - 69.8 wt. % SiO2) erupted to form domes or cryptodomes. In Stage-2, aphyric lava with slightly lower SiO2 concentrations (67.2 – 67.9 wt. % SiO2) formed jumbled and pillowed lava flows. In the most recent phase Stage-3, massive blocky lavas with 69 to 72.5 wt. % SiO2 were erupted through multiple vents constructing a volcanic ridge identified as the PACManus neovolcanic zone. The transition between these stages may be gradual and related to progressive heating of a silicic magma following a recharge event of hot, mantle-derived melts.
  • Article
    Development and evolution of detachment faulting along 50 km of the Mid-Atlantic Ridge near 16.5°N
    (John Wiley & Sons, 2014-12-05) Smith, Deborah K. ; Schouten, Hans A. ; Dick, Henry J. B. ; Cann, Johnson R. ; Salters, Vincent J. M. ; Marschall, Horst R. ; Ji, Fuwu ; Yoerger, Dana R. ; Sanfilippo, Alessio ; Parnell-Turner, Ross ; Palmiotto, Camilla ; Zheleznov, Alexei ; Bai, Hailong ; Junkin, Will ; Urann, Ben ; Dick, Spencer ; Sulanowska, Margaret ; Lemmond, Peter ; Curry, Scott
    A multifaceted study of the slow spreading Mid-Atlantic Ridge (MAR) at 16.5°N provides new insights into detachment faulting and its evolution through time. The survey included regional multibeam bathymetry mapping, high-resolution mapping using AUV Sentry, seafloor imaging using the TowCam system, and an extensive rock-dredging program. At different times, detachment faulting was active along ∼50 km of the western flank of the study area, and may have dominated spreading on that flank for the last 5 Ma. Detachment morphologies vary and include a classic corrugated massif, noncorrugated massifs, and back-tilted ridges marking detachment breakaways. High-resolution Sentry data reveal a new detachment morphology; a low-angle, irregular surface in the regional bathymetry is shown to be a finely corrugated detachment surface (corrugation wavelength of only tens of meters and relief of just a few meters). Multiscale corrugations are observed 2–3 km from the detachment breakaway suggesting that they formed in the brittle layer, perhaps by anastomosing faults. The thin wedge of hanging wall lavas that covers a low-angle (6°) detachment footwall near its termination are intensely faulted and fissured; this deformation may be enhanced by the low angle of the emerging footwall. Active detachment faulting currently is limited to the western side of the rift valley. Nonetheless, detachment fault morphologies also are present over a large portion of the eastern flank on crust >2 Ma, indicating that within the last 5 Ma parts of the ridge axis have experienced periods of two-sided detachment faulting.
  • Article
    Improved biodiversity detection using a large-volume environmental DNA sampler with in situ filtration and implications for marine eDNA sampling strategies
    (Elsevier, 2022-09-22) Govindarajan, Annette F. ; McCartin, Luke ; Adams, Allan ; Allan, Elizabeth ; Belani, Abhimanyu ; Francolini, Rene ; Fujii, Justin ; Gomez-Ibañez, Daniel ; Kukulya, Amy ; Marin, Fredrick ; Tradd, Kaitlyn ; Yoerger, Dana R. ; McDermott, Jill M. ; Herrera, Santiago
    Metabarcoding analysis of environmental DNA samples is a promising new tool for marine biodiversity and conservation. Typically, seawater samples are obtained using Niskin bottles and filtered to collect eDNA. However, standard sample volumes are small relative to the scale of the environment, conventional collection strategies are limited, and the filtration process is time consuming. To overcome these limitations, we developed a new large – volume eDNA sampler with in situ filtration, capable of taking up to 12 samples per deployment. We conducted three deployments of our sampler on the robotic vehicle Mesobot in the Flower Garden Banks National Marine Sanctuary in the northwestern Gulf of Mexico and collected samples from 20 to 400 m depth. We compared the large volume (∼40–60 L) samples collected by Mesobot with small volume (∼2 L) samples collected using the conventional CTD rosette – mounted Niskin bottle approach. We sequenced the V9 region of 18S rRNA, which detects a broad range of invertebrate taxa, and found that while both methods detected biodiversity changes associated with depth, our large volume samples detected approximately 66% more taxa than the CTD small volume samples. We found that the fraction of the eDNA signal originating from metazoans relative to the total eDNA signal decreased with sampling depth, indicating that larger volume samples may be especially important for detecting metazoans in mesopelagic and deep ocean environments. We also noted substantial variability in biological replicates from both the large volume Mesobot and small volume CTD sample sets. Both of the sample sets also identified taxa that the other did not – although the number of unique taxa associated with the Mesobot samples was almost four times larger than those from the CTD samples. Large volume eDNA sampling with in situ filtration, particularly when coupled with robotic platforms, has great potential for marine biodiversity surveys, and we discuss practical methodological and sampling considerations for future applications.•A large-volume eDNA sampler was developed and deployed on the midwater robot Mesobot.•Compared to conventional small-volume samples, the sampler detected more metazoan taxa.•Both sampling approaches detected community changes with depth on the scale of 10's of meters.•The metazoan eDNA signal declined with depth.•Large volume sampling may be especially important in the mesopelagic and deep sea.
  • Article
    Geophysical modeling of collapse-prone zones at Rumble III seamount, southern Pacific Ocean, New Zealand
    (John Wiley & Sons, 2013-10-18) Tontini, F. Caratori ; de Ronde, Cornel E. J. ; Kinsey, James C. ; Soule, Samuel A. ; Yoerger, Dana R. ; Cocchi, L.
    Catastrophic collapses of submarine volcanoes have the potential to generate major tsunami, threatening many coastal populations. Recognizing the difficulties surrounding anticipations of these events, quantitative assessment of collapse-prone regions based on detailed morphological, geological, and geophysical mapping can still provide important information about the hazards associated with these collapses. Rumble III is one of the shallowest, and largest, submarine volcanoes found along the Kermadec arc, and is both volcanically and hydrothermally active. Previous surveys have delineated major collapse features at Rumble III; based on time-lapse bathymetry, dramatic changes in the volcano morphology have been shown to have occurred over the interval 2007–2009. Furthermore, this volcano is located just ∼300 km from the east coast of the North Island of New Zealand. Here, we present a geophysical model for Rumble III that provides the locations and sizes of potential weak regions of this volcano. Shipborne and near-seafloor geological and geophysical data collected by the AUV Sentry are used to determine the subsurface distribution of weak and unstable volcanic rocks. The resulting model provides evidence for potentially unstable areas located in the Southeastern flank of this volcano which should be included in future hazard predictions.
  • Article
    Technological developments since the Deepwater Horizon oil spill
    (Oceanography Society, 2021-06-30) Dannreuther, Nilde Maggie ; Halpern, David ; Rullkötter, Jürgen ; Yoerger, Dana R.
    The Gulf of Mexico Research Initiative (GoMRI) funded research for 10 years following the Deepwater Horizon incident to address five themes, one of which was technology developments for improved response, mitigation, detection, characterization, and remediation associated with oil spills and gas releases. This paper features a sampling of such developments or advancements, most of which cite studies funded by GoMRI but also include several developments that occurred outside this program. We provide descriptions of technological developments, including new techniques or the novel application or enhancement of existing techniques, related to studies of the subsurface oil plume, the collection of data on ocean currents, and oil spill modeling. Also featured are developments related to interactions of oil with particulate matter and microbial organisms, analysis of biogeochemical processes affecting oil fate, human health risks from inhalation of oil spill chemicals, impacts on marine life, and alternative dispersant technologies to Corexit®. Many of the technological developments featured here have contributed to complementary or subsequent research and have applications beyond oil spill research that can contribute to a wide range of scientific endeavors.
  • Article
    Detachment shear zone of the Atlantis Massif core complex, Mid-Atlantic Ridge, 30°N
    (American Geophysical Union, 2006-06-21) Karson, Jeffrey A. ; Fruh-Green, Gretchen L. ; Kelley, Deborah S. ; Williams, E. A. ; Yoerger, Dana R. ; Jakuba, Michael V.
    Near-bottom investigations of the cross section of the Atlantis Massif exposed in a major tectonic escarpment provide an unprecedented view of the internal structure of the footwall domain of this oceanic core complex. Integrated direct observations, sampling, photogeology, and imaging define a mylonitic, low-angle detachment shear zone (DSZ) along the crest of the massif. The shear zone may project beneath the nearby, corrugated upper surface of the massif. The DSZ and related structures are inferred to be responsible for the unroofing of upper mantle peridotites and lower crustal gabbroic rocks by extreme, localized tectonic extension during seafloor spreading over the past 2 m.y. The DSZ is characterized by strongly foliated to mylonitic serpentinites and talc-amphibole schists. It is about 100 m thick and can be traced continuously for at least 3 km in the tectonic transport direction. The DSZ foliation arches over the top of the massif in a convex-upward trajectory mimicking the morphology of the top of the massif. Kinematic indicators show consistent top-to-east (toward the MAR axis) tectonic transport directions. Foliated DSZ rocks grade structurally downward into more massive basement rocks that lack a pervasive outcrop-scale foliation. The DSZ and underlying basement rocks are cut by discrete, anastomosing, normal-slip, shear zones. Widely spaced, steeply dipping, normal faults cut all the older structures and localize serpentinization-driven hydrothermal outflow at the Lost City Hydrothermal Field. A thin (few meters) sequence of sedimentary breccias grading upward into pelagic limestones directly overlies the DSZ and may record a history of progressive rotation of the shear zone from a moderately dipping attitude into its present, gently dipping orientation during lateral spreading and uplift.
  • Preprint
    Subaqueous cryptodome eruption, hydrothermal activity and related seafloor morphologies on the andesitic North Su volcano
    ( 2016-04-28) Thal, Janis ; Tivey, Maurice A. ; Yoerger, Dana R. ; Bach, Wolfgang
    North Su is a double-peaked active andesite submarine volcano located in the eastern Manus Basin of the Bismarck Sea that reaches a depth of 1154 m. It hosts a vigorous and varied hydrothermal system with black and white smoker vents along with several areas of diffuse venting and deposits of native sulfur. Geologic mapping based on ROV observations from 2006 and 2011 combined with morphologic features identified from repeated bathymetric surveys in 2002 and 2011 document the emplacement of a volcanic cryptodome between 2006 and 2011. We use our observations and rock analyses to interpret an eruption scenario where highly viscous, crystal-rich andesitic magma erupted slowly into the water-saturated, gravel-dominated slope of North Su. An intense fragmentation process produced abundant blocky clasts of a heterogeneous magma (olivine crystals within a rhyolitic groundmass) that only rarely breached through the clastic cover onto the seafloor. Phreatic and phreatomagmatic explosions beneath the seafloor cause mixing of juvenile and pre-existing lithic clasts and produce a volcaniclastic deposit. This volcaniclastic deposit consists of blocky, non-altered clasts next, variably (1-100 %) altered clasts, hydrothermal precipitates and crystal fragments. The usually applied parameters to identify juvenile subaqueous lava fragments, i.e. fluidal shape or chilled margin, were not applicable to distinguish between pre-existing non-altered clasts and juvenile clasts. This deposit is updomed during further injection of magma and mechanical disruption. Gas-propelled turbulent clast-recycling causes clasts to develop variably rounded shapes. An abundance of blocky clasts and the lack of clasts typical for the contact of liquid lava with water is interpreted to be the result of a cooled, high-viscosity, crystal-rich magma that failed as a brittle solid upon stress. The high viscosity allows the lava to form blocky and short lobes. The pervasive volcaniclastic cover on North Su is partly cemented by hydrothermal precipitates. These hydrothermally-cemented breccias, crusts and single pillars show that hydrothermal circulation through a thick layer of volcaniclastic deposits can temporarily increase slope stability through precipitation and cementation.
  • Preprint
    Rapid dispersal of a hydrothermal plume by turbulent mixing
    ( 2010-08-23) Walter, Maren ; Mertens, Christian ; Stober, Uwe ; German, Christopher R. ; Yoerger, Dana R. ; Sultenfuß, Jurgen ; Rhein, Monika ; Melchert, Bernd ; Baker, Edward T.
    The water column imprint of the hydrothermal plume observed at the Nibelungen field (8°18' S 13°30' W) is highly variable in space and time. The off-axis location of the site, along the southern boundary of a non-transform ridge offset at the joint between two segments of the southern Mid-Atlantic Ridge, is characterized by complex, rugged topography, and thus favorable for the generation of internal tides, subsequent internal wave breaking, and associated vertical mixing in the water column. We have used towed transects and vertical profiles of stratification, turbidity, and direct current measurements to investigate the strength of turbulent mixing in the vicinity of the vent site and the adjacent rift valley, and its temporal and spatial variability in relation to the plume dispersal. Turbulent diffusivities Kp were calculated from temperature inversions via Thorpe scales. Heightened mixing (compared to open ocean values) was observed in the whole rift valley within an order of Kp around 10-3 m2 s-1. The mixing close to the vent site was even more elevated, with an average of Kp = 4 x 10-2 m2 s-1. The mixing, as well as the flow field, exhibited a strong tidal cycle, with strong currents and mixing at the non-buoyant plume level during ebb flow. Periods of strong mixing were associated with increased internal wave activity and frequent occurrence of turbulent overturns. Additional effects of mixing on plume dispersal include bifurcation of the particle plume, likely as a result of the interplay between the modulated mixing strength and current speed, as well as high frequency internal waves in the effluent plume layer, possibly triggered by the buoyant plume via nonlinear interaction with the elevated background turbulence or penetrative convection.
  • Article
    Autonomous and remotely operated vehicle technology for hydrothermal vent discovery, exploration, and sampling
    (Oceanography Society, 2007-03) Yoerger, Dana R. ; Bradley, Albert M. ; Jakuba, Michael V. ; German, Christopher R. ; Shank, Timothy M. ; Tivey, Maurice A.
    Autonomous and remotely operated underwater vehicles play complementary roles in the discovery, exploration, and detailed study of hydrothermal vents. Beginning with clues provided by towed or lowered instruments, autonomous underwater vehicles (AUVs) can localize and make preliminary photographic surveys of vent fields. In addition to finding and photographing such sites, AUVs excel at providing regional context through fine-scale bathymetric and magnetic field mapping. Remotely operated vehicles (ROVs) enable close-up inspection, photomosaicking, and tasks involving manipulation of samples and instruments. Increasingly, ROVs are used to conduct in situ seafloor experiments. ROVs can also be used for fine-scale bathymetric mapping with excellent results, although AUVs are usually more efficient in such tasks.
  • Article
    Eruption of a deep-sea mud volcano triggers rapid sediment movement
    (Nature Publishing Group, 2014-11-11) Feseker, Tomas ; Boetius, Antje ; Wenzhofer, Frank ; Blandin, Jerome ; Olu, Karine ; Yoerger, Dana R. ; Camilli, Richard ; German, Christopher R. ; de Beer, Dirk
    Submarine mud volcanoes are important sources of methane to the water column. However, the temporal variability of their mud and methane emissions is unknown. Methane emissions were previously proposed to result from a dynamic equilibrium between upward migration and consumption at the seabed by methane-consuming microbes. Here we show non-steady-state situations of vigorous mud movement that are revealed through variations in fluid flow, seabed temperature and seafloor bathymetry. Time series data for pressure, temperature, pH and seafloor photography were collected over 431 days using a benthic observatory at the active Håkon Mosby Mud Volcano. We documented 25 pulses of hot subsurface fluids, accompanied by eruptions that changed the landscape of the mud volcano. Four major events triggered rapid sediment uplift of more than a metre in height, substantial lateral flow of muds at average velocities of 0.4 m per day, and significant emissions of methane and CO2 from the seafloor.
  • Preprint
    A novel trigger-based method for hydrothermal vents prospecting using an autonomous underwater robot
    ( 2010-04) Ferri, Gabriele ; Jakuba, Michael V. ; Yoerger, Dana R.
    In this paper we address the problem of localizing active hydrothermal vents on the seafloor using an Autonomous Underwater Vehicle (AUV). The plumes emitted by hydrothermal vents are the result of thermal and chemical inputs from submarine hot spring systems into the overlying ocean. The Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution's Autonomous Benthic Explorer (ABE) AUV has successfully localized previously undiscovered hydrothermal vent fields in several recent vent prospecting expeditions. These expeditions utilized the AUV for a three-stage, nested survey strategy approach (German et al., 2008). Each stage consists of a survey flown at successively deeper depths through easier to detect but spatially more constrained vent fluids. Ideally this sequence of surveys culminates in photographic evidence of the vent fields themselves. In this work we introduce a new adaptive strategy for an AUV's movement during the first, highest-altitude survey: the AUV initially moves along pre-designed tracklines but certain conditions can trigger an adaptive movement that is likely to acquire additional high value data for vent localization. The trigger threshold is changed during the mission, adapting the method to the different survey profiles the robot may find. The proposed algorithm is vetted on data from previous ABE missions and measures of efficiency presented.
  • Article
    Twilight zone observation network: a distributed observation network for sustained, real-time interrogation of the ocean’s twilight zone
    (Marine Technology Society, 2021-05-01) Thorrold, Simon R. ; Adams, Allan ; Bucklin, Ann ; Buesseler, Ken O. ; Fischer, Godi ; Govindarajan, Annette F. ; Hoagland, Porter ; Di, Jin ; Lavery, Andone C. ; Llopez, Joel ; Madin, Laurence P. ; Omand, Melissa M. ; Renaud, Philip ; Sosik, Heidi M. ; Wiebe, Peter ; Yoerger, Dana R. ; Zhang, Weifeng G.
    The ocean's twilight zone (TZ) is a vast, globe-spanning region of the ocean. Home to myriad fishes and invertebrates, mid-water fishes alone may constitute 10 times more biomass than all current ocean wild-caught fisheries combined. Life in the TZ supports ocean food webs and plays a critical role in carbon capture and sequestration. Yet the ecological roles that mesopelagic animals play in the ocean remain enigmatic. This knowledge gap has stymied efforts to determine the effects that extraction of mesopelagic biomass by industrial fisheries, or alterations due to climate shifts, may have on ecosystem services provided by the open ocean. We propose to develop a scalable, distributed observation network to provide sustained interrogation of the TZ in the northwest Atlantic. The network will leverage a “tool-chest” of emerging and enabling technologies including autonomous, unmanned surface and underwater vehicles and swarms of low-cost “smart” floats. Connectivity among in-water assets will allow rapid assimilation of data streams to inform adaptive sampling efforts. The TZ observation network will demonstrate a bold new step towards the goal of continuously observing vast regions of the deep ocean, significantly improving TZ biomass estimates and understanding of the TZ's role in supporting ocean food webs and sequestering carbon.
  • Article
    Ocean Dumping of Containerized DDT Waste Was a Sloppy Process
    (American Chemical Society, 2019-03-04) Kivenson, Veronika ; Lemkau, Karin L. ; Pizarro, Oscar ; Yoerger, Dana R. ; Kaiser, Carl ; Nelson, Robert K. ; Carmichael, Catherine A. ; Paul, Blair G. ; Reddy, Christopher M. ; Valentine, David L.
    Industrial-scale dumping of organic waste to the deep ocean was once common practice, leaving a legacy of chemical pollution for which a paucity of information exists. Using a nested approach with autonomous and remotely operated underwater vehicles, a dumpsite offshore California was surveyed and sampled. Discarded waste containers littered the site and structured the suboxic benthic environment. Dichlorodiphenyltrichloroethane (DDT) was reportedly dumped in the area, and sediment analysis revealed substantial variability in concentrations of p,p-DDT and its analogs, with a peak concentration of 257 μg g–1, ∼40 times greater than the highest level of surface sediment contamination at the nearby DDT Superfund site. The occurrence of a conspicuous hydrocarbon mixture suggests that multiple petroleum distillates, potentially used in DDT manufacture, contributed to the waste stream. Application of a two end-member mixing model with DDTs and polychlorinated biphenyls enabled source differentiation between shelf discharge versus containerized waste. Ocean dumping was found to be the major source of DDT to more than 3000 km2 of the region’s deep seafloor. These results reveal that ocean dumping of containerized DDT waste was inherently sloppy, with the contents readily breaching containment and leading to regional scale contamination of the deep benthos.