Expedition SO 292/2 focuses on geodynamic processes and geochemical cycles at the Mariana Trench, the deepest point on Earth - and possible origin of life on Earth. For the first time, samples were collected here using a gravity corer on the deepest mud volcano ever discovered though, at about 6.000 meter below sea level. The expedition team also installed observatories.
Walter Menapace works at the Institute of Geology at the University of Innsbruck and is closely associated with MARUM and in particular with the Cluster of Excellence Ocean Floor (REACTOR, Enabler TECHNOLOGY). He studies subduction zones fluid and solid fluxes. He and his colleagues use in situ instruments designed and developed at MARUM. Among other things, the goal is to understand how mud volcanoes develop and what role they play in the dynamics of subduction zones.