April 5, 2015

Thanks Jenny! Happy Easter everyone! Chief Steward Jan Hoppe made sure we had a nice dinner (served midday) and some of the crew are painting eggs on the foredeck. The captain and crew of the Meteor are THE most important people on board, because not only do they keep us safe and comfortable, but also insure the logistical operation of the science plan (http://cdiac.ornl.gov/oceans/met.html).

This is the R/V Meteor, the research vessel carrying the CaySEIS project scientists. (Photo by Nick Hayman, UTIG).
This is the R/V Meteor, the research vessel carrying the CaySEIS project scientists.

We have three pools of OBS from the UK, Germany, and UTIG. It’s been really interesting comparing them as well as comparing notes on our deployment and recovery strategies. Of the three pools, UTIG’s are the smallest OBS, but they can reach some of the deep waters of the Cayman Trough, and be prepared, deployed, and hopefully recovered very quickly. We are also hopeful about their data quality. Right now I am knocking wood right and left, for superstition runs high at sea, and I’ve been undoubtedly jinxing us by writing such words… and what about that great weather! (Oh boy, now we’re really in trouble).

We are currently shooting airguns along our first long profile, a line that goes along the entire length of the spreading center and onto the southern margin of continental crust. In the late evening of April 3, we dropped our first UTIG OBS in the water, only to find that it was a little slow in descending into the water column. Though we had some thoughts as to why this might be, the immediate need was to add more weight! Christine Peirce offered us some extra ballast, so we set to work cutting them down to size. Sparks flew! It seemed to do the trick though, and every subsequent drop had more authority.

I shifted my sleep schedule for tonight’s night shift, as we will start recovering OBS after dinner, and preparing them for our next cross-axis profiles. Let’s hope the Easter Bunny of the seas gives us some golden eggs…

– Nick Hayman

Bathymetric map of the Cayman Trough region (Source: http://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/10.1029/2010GC003240/full)
Bathymetric map of the Cayman Trough region (Source: http://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/10.1029/2010GC003240/full)
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