A joint effort between Dr. Hamdan and Dr. Monty Graham, Director of the School of Ocean Science and Technology at USM, yielded a new slogan during our recent cruise on USM’s R/V Point Sur: “Southern Miss to the Deep!”, clever spin on the university’s slogan, “Southern Miss to the Top!”.
The scientific objective of this cruise was to use the Remotely Operated Vehicle (ROV) Odysseus to install two corrosion monitoring platforms (CMPs) (pictured above) on the seafloor. These will incubate for approximately a year, after which they will be recovered to study biotic and abiotic marine corrosion of metal aloys, and the recruitment of microbial biofilms.
By using the multiple cameras on the ROV, we were able to watch the ROV travel deep into the ocean, touch bottom, and began its task of deploying our experiments. While launch and recovery of an ROV is exciting, the true value of it is to facilitate science. The concept and design of the experiment takes creativity and time, and their placement takes careful effort and team work, both of which were in supply during our cruise.
The ROV set both CMPs on the bottom of the Gulf at a depth of about 1,100 meters. This was my first ROV cruise (hopefully more to come) and it was exciting to see our experiments in place, the ROV Odysseus in action, and the deep sea with my own eyes.
Thanks for reading! Oh, and #SMTTDeep