Monterey Bay Aquarium Research Institute

Keck Expedition 2004

There are a number of different legs on this expedition.

July 30, 2004 - August 11, 2004
August 16, 2004 - August 26, 2004
August 30, 2004 - September 8, 2004

  LOCATION: Juan de Fuca plate tectonic margins

Cruise Description

Click on the links above to find out more about this exciting cruise! The logbook will take you to daily updates posted from the ship along with photographs. People will let you see who is out there doing this great research while the equipment page will help you understand what they are using to get the job done. There is a lot more background information about the expedition from the purpose page.

The five-year collaborative Keck Research Program  is a proto-type NEPTUNE Experiment in that achievement of the overarching objectives will require the full capabilities of a regional cabled observatory and many years to reach fruition.  The ultimate principal objective is to test the hypothesis that plate tectonically modulated microbial productivity at the bottom of the ocean may be a significant fraction of the photosynthetically generated productivity near the top of the ocean. At present there is no data on the seafloor sources.  Our near-term approach is to develop and deploy sensors that allow simultaneous detection of deformation, fluid/chemical fluxes, and microbial output associated with three types of plate boundaries adjacent to one another. The northern boundaries of the Juan de Fuca plate are the focus of the effort for three reasons: 1) they are spatially condensed, well-defined examples of a ridge, a transform fault, and a subduction complex, 2) they are close to major ports, and, 3) the entire experiment will be central to the Phase I installation by Canada of NEPTUNE.
In close collaboration, scientists and engineers from MBARI and the UW will have placed on all three plate margin types a suite of short period and broad band seismometers. In addition, UW and Scripps scientists will expand deployment of a variety of fluid flow sensors and chemical monitors in co-located coordination with the seismometer arrays by the end of 2004 field season. It is intended that these networks will continue to operate in an autonomous, annual servicing mode until they can be connected to the regional cabled observatory in 2007-8.  
As the final, and key element in the program, Keck funds are also supporting development of the “Deep Environmental Sampling Processor” (D-ESP), an adaptation of Chris Scholin’s original instrument (link to esp pages).  The D-ESP will be 4000m-rated ESP that will be crucial to allow real-time microbial investigations of microbial populations in real, or near-real-time when connected to the cabled network. Testing and deployment of this system is scheduled for late 2005 or mid summer 2006.  With completion of the D-ESP deployments in the NE Pacific, all components of the entire experiment will be ready for use on the submarine network, and several years of experience with the experimental approaches will have been digested by the time NEPTUNE is operational.

There are three related portions (or Legs) of this Expedition. More detailed information about each Leg can be found at the Purpose Link above. The purpose of Leg 2 of this Expedition is to install and/or service seismometers for the Keck Experiment. Leg 3 is a multidisciplinary effort to examine the biogeochemical linkages at hydrothermal vent systems along the Endeavour and Middle Valley segments of the Juan de Fuca Ridge. The purpose of the first two dives of Leg 4 of the expedition are to complete sampling basalts from off-axis sites on the south Cleft region of the Juan de Fuca Ridge. The last five dives of Leg 4 are a NURP-funded project to Jim Gill that focuses on the Endeavor Segment.


Last updated: Jan. 07, 2011