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Seaching for the Lost 8th Wonder of the World

Two Oceanographic Systems Laboratory, WHOI, REMUS-100 AUVs were used in February 2011 to search, map and classify the lake-floor of Lake Rotomahana (New Zealand) in hopes of locating the lost eighth wonder of the world, the Pink and White Terraces.  The two vehicles known as Darter and Gudgeon (named after WW II submarines) were modified and outfitted with a unique suite of sensors to most efficiently and effectively characterize the lake's water properties as well as physical features.

Primary objectives for the WHOI-supplied instrumentation were to collect high-resolution bathymetric and side-scan sonar data of the lake bed with correlative water properties information including pH, Eh, temperature and turbidity, and 3-axis fluxgate magnetometer data.  For the lake surveys, the REMUS 100 AUVs were fitted with mounting brackets to accept NOAA-PMEL ORP-MAPR sensors, to aid in characterizing the water properties and localizing any sources of hydrothermal activity.  In addition, the REMUS AUVs were modified to accept SBE pH sensors.


Painting of the Pink Terraces prior to 1886. (Painting courtesy Alexander Turnbull Library)
Lake Rotomahana Pre and Post eruption extent in New Zealand. Two REMUS-100s were used to survey and find remnants of the Pink and White Terraces known at the time to be the 8th Wonder of the World. (NZ)
Launching a REMUS-100 from a small boat in Lake Rotomahana, New Zealand. Two vehicles were searching for the lost 8th wonder of the world. (NZ, GNS

Related Links and File

pink terrace» Scientists Find Part of New Zealand's Submerged "Pink Terraces"
WHOI News Release