Sunday, June 6, 2010

June 6th, 2010

¡Hola amigos!

The excitement of our Galapagos adventures has died down and it’s hard to believe we’ve only got ten or so days left before we begin our transit back to Costa Rica. We’ve been hard at work getting through the remaining dredges and tow cam surveys before then.

An additional aspect of our data collection includes the installation of a GPS unit on Wolf Island, which is part of the Wolf-Darwin lineament.

After breakfast today Karen, and Denny went to place the GPS unit on Wolf island, which will be collected either tomorrow or the day after and will tell us whether the island has moved in the last few years. These data will help test some theories we have about how these seamount lineaments form. In particular, displacement of the island could indicate rifting, which would support the theories that say the lineaments are formed as a result of fracturing in the Earth’s crust, which could be driven by excess magmatism or stresses originating from the nearby transform fault. The GPS unit is accurate to within about 5 – 10 millimeters. It’s pretty incredible that such accurate data can be collected remotely and from such remote locations.

Denny and Karen on their way to the island

Collecting data from the island

Some of the many birds and views from Wolf Island (pictures taken by Denny and Karen)...

Karen and Denny watching the tour boats cruising around the from on the island

While the elders were off putting in the GPS station, the crew and remaining scientists managed to score a scenic tour of the waters near the island. The island itself was definitely spectacular and it was absolutely covered with birds, visible from offshore, including boobies (no blue-footed ones though) and a few frigate birds, which sometimes puff up their red, balloon-like chests as a mating display..

Deploying the boat we used to take our tours around the island

The view from our tour boat

Students and crew members alike enjoyed the fresh air.

Tour 1 heading back

Captain Murray and Jeff supervising people getting on and off the boat
Will climbing down the ladder from the ship onto the boat (tour 2)

In our off-time, we also designed some styrofoam cups to send down with next tow cam survey. The cups will be placed in a mesh bag and attached to the tow cam. As the tow cam descends to depths of about 2500 m, the air in the styrofoam cups will be forced out by the intense water pressure, causing the cups to shrink...and ta-da! mini-cups. Arts and crafts, geology style.

Some of the cup designs...

That’s all for to keep working on those dredges.

And don't forget to check out today's interview with Matt Serio!

1 comment:

  1. Hey!!
    Great pics!!
    You remind me so much when I when I did the Galapagos incentives tours... the place was amazing!
    The ocean was so clear
    Looking those pictures makes me feel jealous of you!