Saturday 25th March : Shrimps and Co.

Since the arrival on the area, operations are scheduled day and night and all the scientific team is busy.

Marie-Anne dived on the Snake Pit active site to collect numerous samples of shrimps, larvaes and fluids with the Nautile mounted sampling tools Pepito and Chemini. A sulphide chimney fell unvoluntarly in the Nautile rock sample basket during the operation. This sample delighted the geologists. Biologists are now busy to condition Rimicaris exoculata shrimps in bottles and alcohol for further analyses on land.

A rock dredge followed the dive and collected a wide variety of low temperature mineralisations made of iron and manganese oxides, and silica impregnated by iron sulphides identified with the binocular.

Two hydrocasts followed to the South of the Exploration licence. The second hydrocast detected, few hundred meters above the seafloor, an area of high concentration in methane, manganese and particles, indicating the presence of an undiscovered active hydrothermal field in a radius of few tens of kilometers.

Between sampling operations, multibeam echosounder mapping profiles complete the bathymetry not yet covered by the preceding cruises.