Technology Development

In-situ Sensors and Autonomous Samplers

In-situ sensors and autonomous samplers are critical components of geochemical monitoring studies of seafloor hydrothermal vents. The lab has developed in-situ sensors for H2, H2S and pH that have been tested under laboratory conditions at temperatures up to 400⁰C and pressures up to 500 bars. Laboratory experiments and sea trials demonstrate the sensor systems display excellent stability and good agreement with theoretical predictions.


Cabled Array Deployments

Recently developed seafloor cabled arrays enable remote operation of seafloor-deployed equipment and continuous monitoring of hydrothermal phenomena. Through collaborations with scientists and engineers in Canada (ONC) and the United States (OOI), the lab has developed seafloor-deployed autonomous samplers and demonstrated their effectiveness for use at the seafloor. From the comfort of our offices in Minnesota, we have successfully sampled seafloor hydrothermal fluids ~1700 miles away on the Juan de Fuca Ridge.

In the area of education, our research has allowed us to demonstrate to students⁠—in both field and lab settings⁠—recent technological advances and how these developments can be used to enhance our understanding the dynamics and spatial variability of seafloor hydrothermal and biological systems.