August 8, 2007
Now that coring is done, the seismic portion of the data collection will begin. This entails a lower frequency soundwave than the sonar equipment penetrating deeper into the sea floor for a "picture" of the layers below. A compressor (air gun) is lowered into the water that is attached to the control room. A streamer (cord with hydrophones contained in oil) is also put into the water that will receive the reflection of the soundwaves. Ben explained that they will be able to use the seismics in coordination with the sonar information to actually create a 3-dimensional model of the area. That will be incredible to see! I am constantly amazed at how computer savvy these guys are. Being able to compile/manipulate all this information and make it usable for others is the name of the game. They had some trouble with the tests they tried during the day, but at 21:00 they had a successful test run and will start the sampling in the morning tomorrow. It was very interesting to see them deploy the equipment and see the bubble of air that returns to the surface under the buoy of the air gun.
Meanwhile, we continue to fill in the gaps of the 2-dimensional survey. In the morning, our location was 75°02.8"N and 13°53.43°E with a heading of 288 and speed of 9 knots. The air temp is 8°C and depth is 1,705 m. While logging information, Jaume started to entertain everyone with a game of "aluminum foil ball". In the lab, he set up an empty Pringles can and began to make it a basketball net for aluminum foil balls from the sandwiches we have. It was hilarious! He is always keeping everyone from being bored with his antics and music selections in the lab!
Monica also gave a presentation today on her research. She is working with the University of Tromso, Norway and is from England. Her specialty area is glacial ice flows. They have been working on research of these in Antarctica for a while, but are now focusing on ones in the Arctic from previous glacial periods. By studying the past movement and activity of these ice streams, they will be able to better understand the future of these formations. It was a great presentation that helped me to put another puzzle piece together. The types of scientists and their specialties are really impressive on this research. There are so many different discoveries to be made still about the planet that we live on!
Catalina was fortunate enough today to see 5 dolphins today while standing on deck. By the time she got back out with her camera to capture a picture, they were gone. This is now the 5th log of whales/dolphins that we have been able to record on the log.