Resource geologist Mark Hennington in the submersible JAGO on an expedition off EL Hierro. Photo: JAGO-Team/GEOMAR

Image of the month: October 2017

Face-to-face with underwater volcanoes

Seeing the research object with own eyes: For many scientists this dreams comes true with the research submersible JAGO.

In our image of the month JAGO is operating off the coast of the Canary Island El Hierro, where a submarine volcano erupted in 2011. Since then the volcano is examined by German and Spanish research teams to uncover regularities and patterns in the seismic and volcanic activity to localize earthquakes and to recognize possible menaces as early as possible.

JAGO, located at GEOMAR Helmholtz Centre for Ocean Research Kiel, is the only manned research submersible in Germany and is used for the investigation of marine systems and habitats. Inside the submersible is room for two persons, a pilot and an observer. Two big acrylic glass windows allow an extensive view to the seafloor and enable the scientists to take a close look at their research object on up to 400-meter depth. Moreover, accurate samples can be taken with help of a hydraulic manipulator.

Up to date the submersible JAGO has spent in 1,340 dives more than 5,000 hours under water. Thanks to the compact mass of 3 x 2 x 2.5 meters and a relatively low weight of three tones, JAGO is able to operate on nearly every research vessel worldwide.

The research teams off El Hierro had the chance to take a look into the crater of the underwater volcano for the first time and they could also take accurate samples and temperature measurements.

The researches with the submersible not only help to evaluate the menace off the coast of El Hierro in the future: JAGO allows many other scientists a spectacular view on their in-situ research objectives and enable new perspectives and stunning personal impressions.

More information:

http://www.geomar.de/en/centre/central-facilities/tlz/jago/

http://www.geomar.de/en/research/expeditionen/detail-view/exp/completed/335063/

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JAGO is being recovered. Photo: Karen Hissmann/GEOMAR

JAGO is being recovered. Photo: Karen Hissmann/GEOMAR

Pilot Jürgen Schauer is looking out of the porthole of the submersible. Photo: Maike Nicolai/GEOMAR

Pilot Jürgen Schauer is looking out of the porthole of the submersible. Photo: Maike Nicolai/GEOMAR

JAGO on an underwater use. Photo: JAGO-Team/GEOMAR

JAGO on an underwater use. Photo: JAGO-Team/GEOMAR