Name: Emilie Hooft

I am a marine seismologist at the University of Oregon and on this cruise I am interested in what earthquakes can tell us about how fluids move through the crust at hydrothermal vents. Small earthquakes beneath the hydrothermal vents are related to water that is moving through the crust, heating up near the magma chamber, and coming up. The temporal variation of these earthquakes tells us about changes in the conditions within the crust. We also want to know if seismic waves from larger, more distant earthquakes affect fluid movement as they pass by.

It is the first time that I am working on the seafloor with an ROV; this makes our cruise particularly exciting. Firstly because I will see the seafloor and hydrothermal vents and secondly because the seismometers that we are using in this project are novel. The ROV installs them into the seafloor and as a result they are well-coupled to the rocks and precisely located; this is not the case in traditional seafloor seismology where the instrument is thrown off the back of the ship and sinks to any rough spot on the ocean floor.

This array produces great data; we have found 13,000 earthquakes in the region, with 3,000 from the hydrothermal vents, during the period summer 2003 to 2004. On this cruise we are retrieving the next year of data, summer 2004 to now. My role will be to help the engineers and technicians download data from the instruments, archive it, and check the quality of the data. When decisions about the overall plan for the seismology operations have to be made, my role is to focus on the scientific goals of our work.

While I am away my husband is starting our five-year-old daughter off in Kindergarten. We also have three-year-old twins, a boy and a girl. I am from the Netherlands, I went to high school and university in Canada, and did my PhD in marine geophysics at the Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution and MIT.