The abyssal ocean, which includes the water column and seafloor between 3000-6000 meters depth constitutes 54% of Earth’s surface and a huge volume of the planet’s living space. It is geologically, geochemically, and biologically diverse, and largely unexplored. The US research submersible Alvin has recently undergone a major upgrade to extend the sub’s reach from 4500 m (14800 feet) to 6500 m (21325 feet or 4 miles). The submersible is currently at sea on a science verification expedition on the ship Atlantis.
In this talk, microbiologist Anna-Louise Reysenbach, geologist Adam Soule, and ocean engineer Anna Michel will explore the major milestones of the submersible’s history and scientific discoveries, and offer insights into questions that can now be addressed about the connectivity between the deep ocean and the surface of the planet. The team will also discuss the engineering aspects of the overhaul for enabling the submersible to go deeper, and zoom to the ship to have a first-hand account of the first ever dives the submersible took to the abyss." (Promo Copy)