ALIA Expedition
News Archive

Ancient beliefs, Contemporary Facts & Amalgamation
This discussion embodies the realms of knowledge and understanding between the old and new worlds of Samoa. It emphasizes the genesis of the Samoan islands as inferred by ancient and modern scientists respectively, specifically in the context of human-environment relationships. Please read on to follow this report by International Observer Shaun Williams on the existent similarities between these two cultures.

Mapping the Sea Floor
Mapping the Ocean Floor is a complex process, but thanks to modern sonar arrays it has been made relatively easy, and incredibly accurate. Learn how scientists chart the 75% of the earth that is relatively unknown.

Mechanics of the CTD
A CTD is device which is lowered into the water and relays back information about the water it is passing through.  They are lowered through a depth range and the data collected is used to create a water profile of that range.  Most CTD痴 are also equipped with Niskin bottles that can be triggered to collect water samples at different depths.

Interview with the Captain of the R/V Kilo Moana
The captain of the ship, Bryon Wilson, is in charge of all aspects of the ship, an responsible for the operation of the vessel. Learn more about this critical person and how/why he came to be captain of a research vessel, and a twin-hulled one at that.

Interview with Gabe Foreman of the Kilo Moana
Gabe Foreman is a Marine Technician onboard the R/V Kilo Moana. His responsibilities include maintaining all the electronic equipment onboard, directing operations on the back deck (such as dredging), and making sure all the scientific instruments operate as they should and interface smoothly with the ships computers.  His favorite related quote is:
"Duck tape is the backbone of oceanography." To learn more about the man, or the perks of being a marine technician, read this interview.

Interview with Stan Hart, Co-Chief Scientist
Co-Chief Scientist Stan Hart is from Woods Hole Institute of Oceanography. Find out what it is like to be a professor and chief scientists aboard a research cruise.

PISCES 5 Dive 609: Vailulu置 Seamount NW breach and Nafanua Volcano
The goal of this dive was to explore the NW breach of Vailulu置 and the recently discovered Nafanua cone in the western portion of the crater. Several instruments and exposure experiments were to be deployed in the crater, and in the spillway of water from the NW breach to a channel north of Nafanua volcano. Read a quick report here and view some exiting underwater video coverage.

PISCES 5 Dive 610: Vailulu置 Seamount NW and W breaches and Nafanua Volcano
The goal of this dive was to explore the western summit, the SW basin and Nafanua shield volcano. We were to deploy a current meter, exposure experiments, temperature loggers and MAPRs on the western-most summit. Also we took samples on sites including Lefaleleilagi, the SW upper terrace, on the recently discovered Nafanua shield volcano in the western portion of the crater, and below and at the NW breach. Read a quick report here.

PISCES 5 Dive 611: Vailulu置 Seamount Western Rift and Slope
The two main objectives of this dive were to establish two microbiological sampling stations on the outer flank of Vailulu置 Volcano and to conduct a preliminary survey of the megabenthic fauna on the western rift of the seamount. One data logger was deployed directly in a crevice with hydrothermal venting yet it slipped into the crack and could not be readily recovered. Read a quick report here and view some exiting underwater video coverage.

Taū through the Hourglass: An alternative look ...
If you look closely at the morphology or shape of Taū Island, one may notice a pronounced variation from how it looks in the present day and how it appears on the maps published by the Scottish Geographical Magazine in 1889. From a more circular volcanic cone, this island appears to have changed to a horseshoe shape with its opening facing south. Read here an account on the fascinating explanations on this morphological observation. Report by Shaun Williams.

Nafanua -- A New Volcanic Cone in the Vailulu'u Crater
At 8 inches per day a new volcanic hyaloclastite cone has been growing inside the crater of Vailulu'u. During our last DeepFreeze expedition onboard the US Coastguard vessel the Polar Star in May 2001 the crater floor was consistently about 1,000 meters deep, yet over the last 4 years, a 290 m high volcanic cone, named Nafanua, has sprung up filling in the west portion of the crater.

Fanuasā o Tagaloaolagi: In Retrospect
Shaun Williams is our Samoan international observer joining the ALIA expedition. Read his take on the importance of this cruise to the Samoan people, the integration of science in their culture and the importance of teaching about volcanic hazards.

On Dredging Techniques
Dredging is our mainstay during the ALIA expedition. Read more about the techniques and difficulties involved in dredging rocks from seamounts at kilometers of water depth. Report by Daniel Staudigel.

Report on Samoan Culture
Before sailing, we致e had the opportunity to spend some time in Samoa, which has been an eye-opening experience.  It is a unique place in that it has not been overrun by tourists, yet.  To find more about this island of vertical jungle, fish packing plants, and spam,
read this article by Daniel Staudigel.

Report on the KOK's submersibles
The KOK has two submersibles onboard. They were most recently used to explore the new cone found in the crater of the seamount Vailulu'u and collect data and samples. To find out more about their design and operation read this report by Ryan Delaney.

Accommodations aboard the Kilo Moana
Space onboard any ship is limited. The cabins onboard the Kilo Moana are no exception. To find out more about the space saving measures taken during the construction of the ship and the minimal spacing between bunks, read this article by Blake English.

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