Sunday, May 23, 2010

Saturday May 22nd, 2010

Today was a relatively calm day as we continued to collect gravity, magnetic, and bathymetric data in the southwest corner of the region. For most of today we were traveling in a northwest direction and consequently were going with the current. This meant that we had pretty smooth sailing!

Will Cushman analyzing sonar data

One of the computer screens we monitor 24/7 includes sonar data from the MR1 we are towing behind the ship. The MR1 sends a sound wave to the sea floor, and depending on how hard the surface is, the sound waves are received back at different times. Highly reflective hard surfaces show up black whereas more sedimented areas (less reflective) show up lighter in color. We will use these data to determine where the best places to dredge will be. An example of these images is included below. The black areas are hard fresh edges of lava flows, whereas the lighter areas indicate flat sedimented features.

Sonar Data

The map below shows the course we have been following. As we "mow the lawn" and travel back and forth along these lines we collect bathymetric and sonar data of the sea floor, creating much more detailed maps than have ever been made for this area. We have been finding many new and interesting features along the way. The especially interesting ones we mark on a plastic overlay.

Course map

In the science meeting we finally decided on a name for the cruise. After listening to over a dozen ideas, the team settled on the name FLAMINGO which stands for Formation of Lineaments and Anomalous Magmatism In the Northern Galapagos Ocean.

The science meeting

After the meeting, Angela gave a talk on the research she is doing with the Charles Darwin Research Station in the Galapagos. She introduced us to how the El Nino and La Nina weather patterns are having a substantial effect on the biodiversity of the region.

Angela giving her talk

In our off hours...

In our free time, some of the undergrads enjoyed our first dip in the ship's hot tub. Using water that helps to keep the engines cool, the hot tub provides a comfortable spot to catch some sun and enjoy the fresh air. We also enjoy playing cards on deck, playing ring toss, and catching some sun.

Some scientists and crew enjoying the hot tub

Scientists and crew playing Uno

Hanging out

Some crew members playing ring toss

aerial view of the game

Features of the day include the TowCam and hot tub.


  1. hmmmmm, I was the 3rd mate when the tow cam was lost off Galapagos in 2001

  2. I havent gotten on Because my computers been messed up