|30 January 2012||Share this article|
MBARI researchers sail the Sargasso Sea
|The Schmidt Ocean Institute ship Lone Ranger at the dock in Bermuda. Image: Debbie Nail Meyer
On January 30, 2012, the Schmidt Ocean Institute ship Lone Ranger left Bermuda and sailed south into the Sargasso Sea with a group of researchers onboard led by MBARI marine biologist Ken Smith and engineer Alana Sherman. This is Smith's third Sargasso Sea research expedition supported through a collaboration of MBARI, the Marine Science and Technology Foundation, and the Schmidt Ocean Institute.
As in Smith's previous expeditions supported through this collaboration in February 2011 and July-August 2011, the researchers will stop at several mid-ocean locations to study drifting clumps of Sargassum weed and the animals that live within them. They will also send cameras and instruments down thousands of meters below the surface to study animals on the deep seafloor, most of which survive on organic debris that sinks down from the sea surface. The researchers' main goal is to better understand how both the surface and deep-sea communities in this little-studied region are changing over time.
|Biologist Susan von Thun collects Sargassum from a small boat in the middle of the Atlantic Ocean. Image: Debbie Nail Meyer|
The public can learn more about the science and technology behind this cruise, as well as follow the expedition's progress through daily cruise logs posted from the ship.
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