As part of National Science Foundation’s (NSF) Ocean Observatories Initiative (OOI) Regional Cable Array, customized Remote Access Samplers (RAS) and Phytoplankton Samplers (PPS) are installed at the largest volcano off the Washington-Oregon coast (Axial Seamount) to sample hydrothermal vent fluids. The RAS and PPS were modified by Dr. David Butterfield (Univ. of Washington) and engineers at NOAA-PMEL and UW Applied Physics Lab for specific project objectives.
The RAS collects time-series hydrothermal vent water samples with real-time temperature measurement and in-situ filtration. The PPS is filtering and preserving microbial DNA from the vent. Two-way communication via the OOI fiber optic cable to shore allows investigators to trigger sampling in response to volcanic and tectonic events. The Axial Seamount observatory monitors the temperature and chemistry of hydrothermal fluids associated with fluid-rock interactions in the subsurface where heating produces fluids with temperatures near 350˚ C. For more information about this project, see the OOI website: http://oceanobservatories.org/tag/cabled-array/.
The RAS collects 48 individual 100mL or 500mL water samples in clear or opaque sample bags. Samples are suited for conducting biological, dissolved major and minor nutrient studies and dissolved trace metal analyses.
The PPS collects 24 individual filtered individual in situ particulate water samples onto 47mm filters. A fixative value option can treat samples with reagents for preservation.