Since one week, the R/V Pourquoi pas ? is heading to the North of the licence and the TAG active mound area, mapping the seafloor still not covered by the multibeam echosounders of the previous cruises, and sampling the water column with hydrocasts in each licence part.
Several hydrothermal plumes have been discovered. In the licence part 3, just North of the Kane fracture zone that split the licence in two halves, Aurélien explored with the Nautile a fault transverse to the ridge and Arnaud focused his dive on the eastern flank of the volcanic ridge in its largest part.
In this area, Russians scientists already signaled the presence of massive sulfides about 30 years ago. Lavas are as fresh at the summit as at the bottom of the ridge, but the Russian area could not be found probably due to the lack of precision of positioning at that time, without the GPS.
We are following our route to the TAG active site to the North of the licence part 1, where we scheduled to dive with the Nautile every day during daytime, and dredges and hydrothermal plume study (yo-yo and GEOTRACES) during nighttime, if the weather is nice, up to the end of the cruise.