First we continued where we left off on the last dive: exploring the southern detachment termination. We made another southwards zig-zag traverse across the contact between the corrugated surface and the area to the east of it.
In the relatively flat terrain of the corrugated surface, we utilize slope maps to identify probable outcrops before diving. These maps we generate from the AUV bathymetry, often in a rush between the recovery of the AUV and the ROV dive hours after.
Since steeper slopes are less prone to sediment accumulation, they are often the most likely to have exposures of rock (in theory). These maps enable us to be very efficient in the way we use our cruise time – with clearly identified targets at the seafloor beforehand.
We then proceeded west, away from the termination of the corrugated surface. Here we searched for outcrops along the ridges with the most prominent slopes, and we also tried to identify the source for some other microstructures in the bathymetry. Then we turned north and made a profile perpendicular to the E-W trending ridges.
In addition to the ROV dives, three dredges has also been done on the southern part of the 13°20’N detachment. For the most part these dredges have been close to full.
Tonight we dive on the northern tip of the detachment.