Eric Olson

Eric Olson

Instrument Engineer

I have been an Oceanographer at the University of Washington for almost 27 years. I have a technical position working with Dr. Marv Lilley on a number of chemical and oceanographic instrumentation projects. One focus has been the study of dissolved gases in hydrothermal vents. We have been involved in both exploratory work to discover vent systems, and we have collected samples from high-temperature hydrothermal vent systems from all over the world. We have used specialized "gastight" titanium samplers on Alvin (HOV) and many of the currently working Remote Operated Vehicles (ROVs) to collect samples from the North and South Pacific, the Mid-Atlantic Ridge, and the Indian Ocean. We have provided the OOI-RSN program with an  instrument called the Temperature-Resistivity Probe designed to measure temperature and resistivity (as a proxy for chloride/salt content) in the fluid of a hydrothermal vent in the Axial vent field. These parameters provide some measure of the “near” boiling condition deep beneath the seafloor in the caldera. Watched over time, it’s hoped changes in this chemistry (along with the other parameters observed at Axial) could indicate the potential for an eruptive event.

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