Research Scientist Sr. Principal
JISAO University of Washington and NOAA/PMEL
My research interests over the past 30 years have centered on two primary issues: the creation and thermal evolution of vent fields created by seafloor eruptions and the global pattern of vent field distribution along ridges and island arcs. This work is part of NOAA’s Earth-Ocean Interactions (formally VENTS) program. Data comes primarily from measurements of physical (hydrography and optical) and chemical (oxidation-reduction potential to detect reduced chemical species) tracers that can be used to track hydrothermal discharge through the water column. To address the first issue I have monitored the changes in hydrothermal heat output over several years following the creation or rejuvenation of vent fields following seafloor eruptions.
To address the second issue I depend on exploration cruises primarily funded by NOAA, NSF, or foreign colleagues. For the last decade work has been focused along volcanic arcs and the adjacent backarcs in the western Pacific (Kermadec-Tonga and Mariana). To expand the global discovery of seafloor vent sites, I developed a simple Miniature Autonomous Plume Sensor (MAPR) that allows any researcher using any wire lowered to the sea floor—for rock cores, dredges, sidescan sonar—to explore for hydrothermal activity at no cost to the primary cruise objectives. MAPRs have been used on over 70 cruises in every ocean.