And Sometimes You Luck Out

From Science Online…


In April 2006, Maya Tolstoy, a geophysicist at Columbia University, received some good news and some bad news during a research expedition at sea. The submarine volcano that she and her colleague Felix Waldhauser had been monitoring for years had recently erupted. This was exciting, because only a handful of other deep-sea eruptions have been detected (1), and it was the first time ocean-bottom seismometers were in place during such an event. However, two-thirds of the instruments were stuck in the new lava on the sea floor (see the figure). Would the remaining third yield the data needed to gain new insights into this fundamental but poorly understood geological process? In the end, the good news outweighed the bad. The instruments that were recovered provided some remarkable results, as Tolstoy et al. report on page 1920 of this issue (2). Also, this may only be the first installment in this story, because there is hope that more instruments can be rescued from the sea floor.

Dr. M (1720 Posts)

Craig McClain is the Assistant Director of Science for the National Evolutionary Synthesis Center, created to facilitate research to address fundamental questions in evolutionary science. He has conducted deep-sea research for 11 years and published over 40 papers in the area. He has participated in dozens of expeditions taking him to the Antarctic and the most remote regions of the Pacific and Atlantic. Craig’s research focuses mainly on marine systems and particularly the biology of body size, biodiversity, and energy flow. He focuses often on deep-sea systems as a natural test of the consequences of energy limitation on biological systems. He is the author and chief editor of Deep-Sea News, a popular deep-sea themed blog, rated the number one ocean blog on the web and winner of numerous awards. Craig’s popular writing has been featured in Cosmos, Science Illustrated, American Scientist, Wired, Mental Floss, and the Open Lab: The Best Science Writing on the Web.

2 comments on “And Sometimes You Luck Out
  1. We need to put together an urgent top priority mission to recover those imstruments – quick, call Bruce Willis!

  2. Perhaps, but Bruce Willis blew up the comet in Armageddon. So he probably wouldn’t be as delicate as would be required. We need Tommy Lee Jones from Volcano!

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