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)


RV Tangaroa continues to deploy instruments around the Hunga Tonga - Hunga Ha’apai volcano to study the impacts of the violent volcanic eruption that took place on January 15th, 2022. (NIWA-Nippon Foundation TESMaP / Rebekah Parsons-King)


Marine Geologist, Marine Data Manager