Deep sea study takes a new approach



The rapidly evolving technology of remotely operated vehicles (ROV) is revolutionizing the exploration and study of deepwater environments. In 1991, the JASON/MEDEA ROV system exhibited its high-resolution imaging capabilities in the rugged hydrothermal environment of the Endeavour Segment, northern Juan de Fuca Ridge [Delaney et al., 1991; Sempéré et al., 1991]. In 1992, the Canadian Remotely Operated Platform for Ocean Science (ROPOS) successfully sampled hydrothermal vents along the Juan de Fuca Ridge and recovered data from an Ocean Drilling Program borehole in Middle Valley, northern Juan de Fuca Ridge [Embley and Franklin, 1993]. In 1993, a 21-day expedition to the Guaymas Basin, Gulf of California, Mexico, went a step further, combining ROV and manned-submersible assets to maximize the effectiveness of both vehicles for scientific use and ultimately demonstrating a completely new approach to deep-sea research.