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MBARI ROV Ventana completes 1,500 dives

October 23, 1998

The Monterey Bay Aquarium Research Institute's remotely operated vehicle (ROV) Ventana completed dive number 1,500 on Saturday, October 10, 1998 off Santa Barbara, California. This accomplishment represents more than 7,300 hours that Ventana has explored the deep sea. "Ventana has completed more research dives than any other science ROV" says T. Craig Dawe, chief pilot of Ventana.

Living up to its name as a window to the deep ocean, Ventana first dove in Monterey Bay on August 25, 1988 and has explored the sea to depths of 1,600 meters during its 10-year operation by MBARI. Ventana and its support ship, the R/V Point Lobos, operate nearly every weekday on research missions in Monterey Bay, where waters 2,000 meters deep in the Monterey submarine canyon are within 30 kilometers of shore. Ventana is equipped with lights, a broadcast-quality video camera, sensors, sampling tools, and specialized equipment for various types of deep-sea research.

When it reached this latest milestone, Ventana and the R/V Point Lobos were on an extended mission to the Santa Barbara Basin. There, MBARI scientists were using Ventana to explore a variety of sites identified by a recent MBARI mapping effort. Areas of interest included cold seeps, sites of methane gas release, and submarine landslide features such as scarps and slumps. The research involved MBARI scientists and several collaborators with research interests in biology, geology, and geochemistry of the seafloor. On its 1,500th dive, Ventana carried a methane sensor for calibration and collected a sediment core from a small gas seep on the seafloor.

More information about Ventana, including vehicle specifications and history of explorations, can be found on the MBARI web site.

The Monterey Bay Aquarium Research Institute is a private oceanographic center. It was established in 1987 by David Packard with the goal of developing advanced equipment, instrumentation, and methods of scientific research in the deep waters of the ocean. MBARI employs about 180 people.

ventanacake.jpg (13697 bytes)
Ventana's camera was used to take an image of the celebratory cake.
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Ventana's manipulator collecting a rock in the area of its 1,500th dive.

Contact: Debbie Meyer, Communications Coordinator