Sea Technology

DEC 2012

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New species. The MIRs also discovered new species of marine hydrothermal animals, including Mirocaris keldyshi and Lorania concordia in the Atlantic, Vestimentifera arcovestiidae in the Manus Basin in the Pacifc and Caliptogenia Ectenagena extenta in Monterey Bay, California. Government Work The MIRs conducted investigations of the nuclear submarine wrecks Komsomolets, which sunk in the Norwegian Sea at 1,700 meters in April 1989, and Kursk, which sunk in the Barents Sea at 108 meters in August 2000. Komsomolets. The MIRs arrived at the Komsomolets site one month after the accident. After three dives, the reason for the accident was established and radiation levels On the basis of these data, were measured around the it was concluded that the pressubmarine and inside the ent hydrothermal area is lobow (torpedo) compartcated within serpentinized ulment. trabasic rocks that outcrop on The dives established the seafoor, which confrmed that the wreck did not pose that the fuids originate from an environmental threat, the upper layers of the mantle. but there was concern Similar processes were discovthat seawater corrosion ered at the Rainbow and Lost could destroy the nuclear City hydrothermal felds in the torpedo heads and radiaAtlantic, where the formation (Top Left) The MIR submersible surfaces after a dive. tion leakage could occur. of fuids is also based on deep (Above) This preliminary schematic depicts the MIRs' journey as A project was undertaken hydrothermal circulation. from 1994 to 1995 to enUnderwater Volcanoes. part of an around-the-world project. capsulate the bow of KomOn the Piipa volcano in the somolets. The torpedo tubes that were opened during the Bering Sea, the MIRs discovered wide felds with methane accident were closed with titanium caps, 19 3-cubic-meter seeps on the bottom and white chimneys created by ocean plastic bags were each were placed inside the bow, and the crust with deep layers of fuid containing 81 percent methbow was covered with armored fat blankets. The effectiveane. Large areas of the bottom, up to 100 square meters, are ness of this new method of encapsulation was confrmed by covered by bacteria. The presence of methane explains the the measurements of the currents and radiation inside and large community of the Caliptogenia clams observed by the outside of the closed volume. MIRs on the Piipa volcano, which is the northern-most locaKursk. At the Kursk site, the MIRs made fve double dives tion of these species yet known. using the two MIRs simultaneously over fve days. Each "The New Glider on the Block" • • • • Operates in high coastal currents Handles large variations in water densities Operates up to 60 days with a lithium battery Easily integrates additional sensors 46 st / DECEMBER 2012 Exocetus Development LLC 1444 East 9th Avenue Anchorage, AK 99501 USA tel. 907-227-8073 | |

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