Adventures of a micropaleontologist- that's right if you can see 'em with the naked eye, I'm not interested
Monday, September 6, 2010
I think I have found my favorite thing on the boat. I only wish the previous days would have had weather like today's. Even though the seas are still pretty active (4-6 foot swells) the sun is shining brightly. I finally got to bed last night at 3:00 AM. Part of our goals yesterday was to relocate a previously documented 'seep' and do a clover leaf pattern around the seep to pinpoint the direction the plume was flowing. So at 12:00 we located the anomaly on the echo sounder and we proceeded to do this pattern across the seep until daylight. All these sweeps across the area provide us with an image at different angles which ultimately can be used to put together a 3-d idea of the plumes shape and location on the seafloor.
Morning coffee and morning view
When I woke up at around 8:30 AM this morning they had complted their cast over the seep and were heading to the next locality. The CTD and fluorometers did not read any PAH (polyaromatic hydrocarbons) at the seafloor and currently the methane sensor is not attached so we have not details on methane. We can try to deduce that the seep may be primarilty emitting methane gas by the readings from teh echo sounder, but there is no absolute certainty. Even the water samples collected will not be able to confirm this. So the 'seep' is still a little bit of a mystery. After I did my morning rounds and e-mail check I brewed a cup of coffee. I then headed to the bow with a cup of coffee and sat there for about 30 minutes just looking out into the distance. Hence, my new favorite thing to do on the boat. The ship noise is pretty much alleviated and all I hear is the wind and the waves crashing against the boat as we move forward.