Recalling a milestone in deep-sea research

 

25.04.2019

Recalling a milestone in deep-sea research

Met25 years after expedition ODP158: (from left to right) Dr. Sven Petersen (GEOMAR), Prof. Dr. Peter Herzig (Co-Chief ODP158), Dr. Susan Humphris (Co-Chief ODP158), Dr. Bruce Gemmell (University of Tasmania) and Mark Hannington (GEOMAR). Photo: Jan Steffen/GEOMAR

25 April 2019/Kiel. In 1979, human beings for the first time saw hot vents on the seafloor of the deep sea, from which seeped hot, dark-coloured water. Since then, science has been fascinated by these "hydrothermal systems”. In 1994, the International Ocean Drilling Program (ODP, today: International Ocean Discovery Program IODP) carried out with the scientific drilling vessel JOIDES RESOLUTION one of the very first and most successful attempts to drill into an active hydrothermal high-temperature system on a mid-ocean ridge. The target of the expedition ODP 158 was the TAG hydrothermal field at a water depth of 3,640 m at 26°N on the Mid-Atlantic Ridge. The Co-Chiefscientists were Prof. Dr. Peter Herzig (today Director of the GEOMAR Helmholtz Centre for Ocean Research Kiel) and Prof. Susan Humphris from the Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution (Massachusetts, USA).

As part of the Marie-Tharpe Lecture Series organized by the Women's Executive Board of GEOMAR, Prof. Humphris gave a lecture at GEOMAR on April 25. On this occasion, members of the scientific team of ODP158 met to recall the 25th jubilee of the historic TAG drilling. "It is always nice to see the colleagues of that time again. The drillings during ODP158 were a milestone in the research of hydrothermal systems. At the same time, it is exciting to see how knowledge has expanded since then," says Prof. Dr. Mark Hannington (GEOMAR), also a participant in the ODP158 expedition.