MBARI ROV Ventana completes 1,500
October 23, 1998
The Monterey Bay Aquarium Research Institute's remotely operated vehicle
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.