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Journals 2005/2006

Michelle Brand-Buchanan
Alexandria Magnet Middle School, Alexandria, LA

"Antarctic Drilling (ANDRILL) Site Survey"
October 16 - November 29
Journal Index:
October 17 - 23 - 29
November 2 - 10 - 21 - 22 - 29

November 10, 2005
The Dip Line

We have started a new seismic line, ANDRILL Thunder Sled 05-02 (the strike, 1st, line is ATS 05-01). This line crosses the strike line. The seismic data from the strike line shows virtually flat layers (strata). This was expected because it runs parallel to the shore. The dip line intersects the strike line and runs towards the shore.

The frazzle ice was very thick as we neared the shore. There were a couple of holes that were light blue in color. This is most likely due to light traveling through the ice - like fiber-optic lights. It was very cool.

One of my jobs on this line is helping lower and raise the air gun. Yes there is a wench, but the frazzle ice traps the air gun, and it must be "rocked" back and forth as it descends and ascends the drilled hole. WHAT A WORK-OUT! There are four of us on this team - 2 for each hole and we rotate. Another job we have (when we rotate) is to ride the ski-doo up and down the geophone line. There are 60 geophones, 20 meters apart for a total length almost 1 mile. The geophones not only pick up the vibrations in the sea ice, but are affected by the wind blowing in the microphone (they actually look like microphones you use for singing). Through the radio (walky-talky), I am given a geophone number; I ride the ski-doo to that geophone and literally stomp it into the sea ice - covering it with snow to block it from the wind. After all is done, I sit on the ski-doo and wait for the okay (the ski-doo causes vibrations in the ice, too). The data is "stacked" so that the geophysicists, Marve and Seth, can cancel out "noise" - repeating layers reflecting to the geophones signify a "definite" layer in the sea floor versus a random layer only appearing once or twice.

We are finally home after 20 holes, 2 km covered. Dinner Time!

Me working to bring the air gun back up through the hole.