This component gives teachers and students the opportunity to see and hear a New Zealand scientist talk about his work with some of New Zealand’s submarine volcanoes.
Cornel de Ronde is a Principal Scientist at GNS Science. He leads the Offshore Minerals part of a research programme that investigates the types of minerals that are found in and around New Zealand (within our Exclusive Economic Zone). These offshore minerals are found on the hydrothermal vents (sea floor geysers) associated with submarine volcanoes of the Kermadec arc, north-east of the North Island. Cornel and other New Zealand scientists participate in international expeditions that use specialised submarines to collect and record the information.
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Main sections in the Cornel de Ronde interview
Cornel, what do you do? (1:07)
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Are there volcanoes in New Zealand? (1:24)
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How are these volcanoes formed? (0:50)
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Are there different types of volcanoes? (1:17)
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What was your latest expedition? (1:00)
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Is there more to discover? (0:50)
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On display in NatureSpace, Level 2, at Te Papa is the half-section of a ‘black smoker’, a chimney that forms on top of some hydrothermal vents. There are currently less than ten examples above water in the world. This black smoker was acquired by Cornel de Ronde on an expedition to the spreading ridges of the eastern Pacific ocean floor.
This is a great site! It gives details of the April - May 2005 undersea expedition to the underwater volcanoes of New Zealand (Cornel’s latest expedition) using the Pisces IV and V submersibles.
You can explore these submarine volcanoes by viewing videos of computer-generated fly-throughs. Video footage and images show the submersibles, the team, and what these volcanoes and hydrothermal vents look like. There are also detailed mission logs of the various expeditions.
This is part of the GNS site but deals specifically with New Zealand’s submarine hotspots. It looks at the scientists involved, the equipment they use, and show how these undersea volcanoes actually work. There are great diagrams and images, along with video footage of expeditions.
This is a site from the United States - it doesn’t look specifically at the western sea floor of the Pacific Ocean, but gives good basic information on hydrothermal vents and black smokers.