The Nautilus is a scientific vessel equipped to explore the world’s oceans. The ship has left for its six-month expedition, and will be exploring and studying areas from the Gulf of Mexico to the Galapagos Islands and up to British Columbia. With two remotely operated vehicles (ROVs), the Argus and Hercules, the crew of the Nautilus is capable of exploring some of the deepest parts of the oceans. Airmar will be joining along on the expedition, with a transducer specialized for deep sea environments on board.
The first leg of the Nautilus’ journey will be to explore natural gas vents in the Gulf of Mexico. These vents pump methane gas into the ocean, and the team is studying them to find out more about their effects on the environment. Sending Hercules to a source, a methane vent called Sleeping Dragon (for its physical resemblance to the mythical creature) the science team of the Nautilus will be using high definition video and transducers to examine the characteristics of methane bubbles.
The vent is located at a depth of 2900 ft (880m) so the broadband technology transducer Airmar has provided to the Nautilus team is specially developed to stand the incredible pressure at that depth.
The science team is investigating the way methane gas moves through the water column, and is distributed through the ocean. Once methane bubbles escape the vent they move quickly up through the water column, and disperse into the water. Studying the methane at its source allows the science team to study the highest volume of gas bubbles possible, since the gas bubbles disperse as they move upward through the water. Hercules then moves up through the water column to perform the same tests to determine how quickly the methane is dispersing. This process is repeated until the bubbles from the vent are no longer detectable.
Customizable for any number of environmental situations, Airmar’s line of transducers for hydrographic survey and scientific applications are an excellent choice whether being used at the oceans surface, or far below it. You can find out more about Airmar transducers from our website.
To find out more about the Nautilus, and the science teams expedition, you can follow their progress from their website, and make sure to check out Hercules’s exciting recent encounter with a rare sperm whale.