When we started planning this expedition, we looked for previous measurements of the oceanography of the Cayman Trough. But we were surprised to find that there have been very few measurements of ocean temperature, salinity and currents ever taken here. The most recent published survey we could find was from the 1960s, using much older types of equipment to those we have on board. The data we collect will therefore fill in that gap in our oceanographic knowledge of this part of the world.

We are making measurements using instruments from the ship, and using Autosub6000, to answer those questions. The data we collect will also help us to track down the deep-sea vents on the seafloor, by understanding how their chemical plumes are dispersing in the deep currents of the area.

We will also be leaving behind two moorings on the ocean floor - chains of instruments rising above the seabed to measure the physical properties of the ocean at different depths. These moorings will monitor the currents in the Cayman Trough for a year, so we can see how they vary over a longer timespan than our expedition.

Page 1: Motion of the ocean
Page 2: Darkness upon the face of the deep

Want to dive deeper?

Find out more about ocean circulation


Find out more about the Cayman Trough, undersea volcanoes, deep-sea vents,
and the inhabitants of the abyss.
What are we investigating?