Voyage update - 20 April
RV Tangaroa voyage update
20 April 2022
Today was a busy day on board RV Tangaroa, as we finished sampling at the site where the Tongan domestic communications cable broke over a distance of many kilometres during the Jan 15th 2022 Hunga Tonga - Hunga Ha’apai volcano (HT-HH) eruption.
The Deep Towed Imaging System finished its survey across the site, collecting images showing a generally flat and smooth seafloor made up of fine sands with only very occasional signs of life. Next, a beam trawl was deployed, to sample biological organisms close to or on the seafloor. This tow also retrieved mainly old pumice stones, which are not likely to be from the recent HT-HH eruption.The multi-corer was then used to take samples to enable the analysis of the area’s biogeochemistry, geology and biology. At the same time, the opportunity was taken to use a net to get samples of plankton from the surface waters. This completed sampling at the cable break site.
Overnight, the crew continued mapping the surrounding seafloor using the multibeam echo sounder and we also successfully used a dredge to retrieve rock samples from the slopes of the volcano.
The crew of RV Tangaroa continued to map the volcano's surrounding seafloor using the multibeam echo sounder. (NIWA-Nippon Foundation TESMaP / Rebekah Parsons-King)