The advanced instrumented GeoMICROBE sleds (Cowen et al., 2012) facilitate the collection of hydrothermal fluids and suspended particles in the subseafloor (basaltic) basement through Circulation Obviation Retrofit Kits (CORKs) installed within boreholes of the Integrated Ocean Drilling Program. The main components of the GeoMICROBE can be converted into a mobile pumping system (MPS) that is installed on the front basket of a submersible or remotely-operated-vehicle (ROV). Here, we provide details of a hydrothermal fluid-trap used on the MPS, through which a gastight sampler can withdraw fluids. We also applied the MPS to demonstrate the value of fixing samples at the seafloor in order to determine redox-sensitive dissolved iron concentrations and speciation measurements. To make the best use of the GeoMICROBE sleds, we describe a miniature and mobile version of the GeoMICROBE sled, which permits rapid turn-over and is relatively easy for preparation and operation. Similar to GeoMICROBE sleds, the Mobile GeoMICROBE (MGM) is capable of collecting fluid samples, filtration of suspended particles, and extraction of organics. We validate this approach by demonstrating the seafloor extraction of hydrophobic organics from a large volume (247L) of hydrothermal fluids.

  • We describe the design of a hydrothermal fluid-trap for use with a gastight sampler, as well as the use of seafloor fixation, through ROV- or submersible assisted mobile pumping systems.
  • We describe the design of a Mobile GeoMICROBE (MGM) that enhances large volume hydrothermal fluid sampling, suspended particle filtration, and organic matter extraction on the seafloor.
  • We provide an example of organic matter extracted and characterized from hydrothermal fluids via a MGM.