It’s a beautiful, sunny day in North Kingstown, RI and the R/V Endeavor bustled with activity as we made the final preparations for our 38-hour transit to Cape Hatteras. The past two days have been a blur of science meetings, last minute purchases and preparations, and forced suppression of my excitement to be onboard another research cruise. I now stand on the observation deck above the bridge, calmed by the brisk sea breeze rushing through my hair, ready for the tasks required of me in the month to come.
|The R/V Endeavor at dock from astern. The OBSs have been loaded onto the fantail. (Photo Credit: Dylan Meyer)|
|Initial science party meeting while still at the dock. (Photo Credit: Dylan Meyer)|
|On the observation deck after getting under way. (Photo Credit: Jennifer Harding)|
- Perform a survey of the seafloor near three drop sites that are within an essential fish habitat - habitat area of particular concern (EFH-HAPC) off Cape Hatteras to assure proper placement of our equipment.
- Test the acoustic release mechanisms for the Ocean Bottom Seismometer (OBS) devices from Scripps Institution of Oceanography (SIO) and the Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution (WHOI), to assure that we can release the OBSs from the seafloor during the recovery process.
- Deploy and recover each of the 47 OBSs twice along the four multi-channel seismic (MCS) lines that will be shot by the R/V Langseth.
- Perform all the above operations in an efficient and safe manner.
The figure below shows the deployment stations for each of the OBSs and the MCS lines that will be run on the R/V Langseth after deployment.
|Bathymetric/topographic map of the region around Cape Hatteras with MCS lines drawn in blue and OBS deployment stations as pink dots|
for additional information on the broader scientific goals of the ENAM CSE as well as specifics about the other branches of the experimental plan (MCS array, terrestrial seismic, long-period OBS).
Our scientific party consists of twelve people (2 research scientists, 6 graduate students, and 4 OBS technicians) from institutions spread across the US:
Harm van Avendonk – UT Austin Institute for Geophysics Research Scientist
Brandon Dugan – Rice University Dept. of Earth Science Research Scientist
Afshin Aghayan – Oklahoma State University Graduate Student
Jennifer Harding – UT Austin Institute for Geophysics Graduate Student
Pamela Moyer – University of New Hampshire Graduate Student
Kathryn Volk – University of Michigan Graduate Student
Dylan Meyer – UT Austin Institute for Geophysics Graduate Student
Gary Linkevich – Rice University Dept. of Earth Science Graduate Student
Ernie Aaron – Scripps Institute of Oceanography OBS Technician
Peter Lemmond – Woods Hole Oceanographic Institute OBS Technician
Mark Gibaud – Scripps Institute of Oceanography OBS Technician
Dave Dubois – Woods Hole Oceanographic Institute OBS Technician
Before any science could commence, however, we all participated in a mandatory safety lecture and ship orientation. We tried out the “Gumby” Immersion Suits (pictured below), learned the essential emergency procedures, and were introduced to the myriad of safety equipment available on the R/V Endeavor. I have no doubts that the University of Rhode Island has provided us with a superbly safe working and living environment.
|Testing out the "Gumby" suits during the safety orientation after getting under way. (Photo Credit: Gary Linkevich)|
Till next time,
Dylan Meyer aboard the R/V Endeavor