Searching for Life in the Mariana Back-Arc

Cruise Log

SOI/Thom Hoffman

Searching For Life – Expedition Highlights Review

The "Searching for Life in the Mariana Back-arc" cruise has wrapped, and with everyone back in port, it is a great time to look back...


Hydrothermal Hunt: From ‘Wow!’ to ‘Why?’

When a new dive starts, a huddle of scientists and engineers watch the ROV be gently lowered into the water. Once in, cameras reveal a...

Thom Hoffman

Mighty Microbes of the Deep Ocean

For more than three billion years, microorganisms have served as engines of Earth’s biosphere, driving essential biogeochemical cycles that shape planetary habitability. Exploration of the...


Searching For Life – Week Two Highlights – First Views

Jaw-dropping views and excitement abound in Week Two's highlight video. Never-before-seen geological and biological behaviours kept researchers and crew on full alert during Remotely Operated...


A Look into Chimneys – Insights from the Hydrothermal Hunt

Some of the most striking features we are seeing on ROV SuBastian’s dives are the unique hydrothermal vent chimneys. Heidi Berkenbosch, PhD Candidate, is working...


The Animal Life of the Mariana Back-arc

A major focus of our expedition is to explore the diversity of these newly discovered vents. By combining disciplines on this cruise, we have a...


Going deeper: The Mariana Back-arc

Last week the winds in the south made it impossible to safely launch the ROV at our intended dive sites in the Back-arc. We flipped...


Searching For Life Week One – The Story So Far

Great start for the Searching For Life in the Mariana Back-Arc cruise As our #HydrothermalHunt expedition transitions into its second week, we get to reflect on the...


Insights from Daikoku Seamount

The last few days have been full of dives and discoveries. The team has been piloting ROV SuBastian around Daikoku Seamount, an active submarine volcano with sulfur...

Thom Hoffman / SOI

Daikoku Dive 2: Sulfur so good

The first day on the job is nerve-wracking for anyone, but when you’re a multimillion dollar ROV venturing into one of the most inhospitable landscapes...


Return to Daikoku

After two cancelled dives in the back-arc, we transit to our northern-most destination: Daikoku seamount. The winds and seas are calmer there, and it is a...


Setting sail on the Hydrothermal Hunt

Today we set sail from Guam, bound for newly discovered hydrothermal vents -volcanic underwater ecosystems thousands of meters below the sea surface. The pressure, acidity, temperature and darkness...

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