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Preliminary scientific assessment

The data collected from the recovered SmartPlug proved to be complete time series data over >15 months and validates the concept of cheap, durable, replaceable CORK-like observatories. The upgraded version, the GeniusPlug, also adds another dimension: expandable. Data are still being evaluated from the SmartPlug, and it is anticipated that the geochemical and biological supplementary sampling systems will be as successful when the GeniusPlug is recovered.

The LTBMS CORK is one of the most ambitious CORK deployments ever. With the wide array of sensors successfully deployed and tested, we feel fairly confident that the Hole C0002G LTBMS will provide a wealth of valuable data and observations once it is tied into the DONET undersea network. The stringent and repetitive testing regime before, during, and after deployment went a long way to establishing the feasibility of deploying complex and sensitive permanent observatory systems in the NanTroSEIZE study area and give the entire project greater confidence that the future planned 7000 mbsf observatory can be successfully deployed.

These operations marked great strides forward in the NanTroSEIZE project and have provided the tools to ensure the future success of the complex drilling project.