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Journals 2006/2007

Miriam Sutton
Newport Middle School, Newport, NC

"Study of the seafloor and shallow subseafloor off the Labrador Shelf and Slope"
Canadian Coast Guard Ship Hudson (CCGS Hudson)
August 5 - September 1, 2006
Journal Index:
August 5 - 6 - 7 - 8 - 9 - 10 - 11 - 12
         13 - 14 - 15 - 16 - 17 - 18 - 19
         20 - 21 - 22 - 23 - 24 - 25 - 26
         27 - 28 - 29 - 30 - 31
September 1

Additional Resources

August 31, 2006
E.T. Phone Home?

AM Location: The Gully (43° 58' 50.51" N, 58° 58' 59.82" W)
PM Location: South of Halifax Harbor (44° 18' 21.61" N, 61° 03' 59.05" W)
Sea Temperature: 18° C
Air Temperature: 18.6° C
Hydrospheric Conditions: Two-meter swells subsided by midday to one meter chop which continued as we headed for home.
Atmospheric Conditions: Partly cloudy skies in the morning cleared by early afternoon
Wind Speed/Direction: 20 knots/NW reduced to 15 knots/NW

I awoke at 5:30AM this morning to assist the seismic team with their last mission: Locate and retrieve three Ocean Bottom Seismometers (OBS) from the seafloor. (See OBS photo below.) The seismometers were deployed to the seafloor in July 2006 and programmed to record underwater sounds through mid-August. The data is used to track the movement of whales in a region known as The Gully, which is just south of Sable Island and Nova Scotia.

Ocean Bottom Seismometer (OBS) (Photo: Miriam Sutton)

The scientists use a radio transmitter to send a "ping" signal to the OBS receiver. Once the signal is received, the OBS sends a signal back to the receiver on board the ship. The OBS return signal also indicates to the scientists that the seismometer is heading for the surface. These OBS systems were deployed in over 1500 meters of water so their return to the surface can take about 30 minutes. Once the OBS has reached the surface, a surface transmitter is used to help the scientists and crew locate and maneuver the ship into position for retrieval. (See OBS Transmitter photo below.)

Ms. Sutton listening for OBS with Surface Transmitter (Photo: Graham Standen)

The data recorded by the OBS is downloaded into a computer for scientists at Dalhousie University in Halifax. The Dalhousie scientists transfer the digital data into a synthesizer where they can listen and identify individual whales by their sounds. This research assists scientists in learning about migratory and feeding patterns as well as population changes in the whales.

Today's Activity: Sit outside (weather permitting) for 15 to 20 minutes and write down the different sounds that you hear. Create a classification scheme for the different sounds. Possible categories might include animal, man-made, or nature sounds.

Word of the Day: Deployed or deploy

REMINDER: Record today's Sea Surface Temperature (SST) and the Air Temperature on the data table you created from the August 05 journal entry.