Project Type

URC Presentation


Mechanical Engineering - Research

College or School


Class Year

Sophomore, Senior


Mechanical Engineering

Faculty Research Advisor

Elizabeth Reed-Weidner


Hydrothermal vents are the dominant conduits for the transfer of heat and chemicals to the deep ocean from fluids emitted by the seafloor. Hydrothermal fluids impact ocean biogeochemical cycles and fuel unique chemosynthetic food webs. Despite their importance, the extent, intensity, and even existence of deep-sea hydrothermal systems is still poorly characterized, due to the limitations of existing techniques and sensor capabilities. This work is part of a larger project that aims to characterize hydrothermal fluid discharge using an autonomous underwater vehicle (AUV) equipped with imaging and multibeam sonars. Here, development of a controlled-source line array to replicate hydrothermal flow in the Chase Engineering tank. One of the preliminary steps is to evaluate flow behavior along our array, which we’ve done here with combined theoretical and empirical methods. From both methods we were able to confirm that our system will behave the way we expect it to, requiring no further alterations to the current array design.