Work on an anchor station began at 0500 (pronounced "O-500") this morning and continued through 1700 this evening.
We are now steaming to the next, and last, anchor station. The past few nights around midnight, just as the night watch came on duty, it has
started to rain, and it continued to rain throughout the night. Those on the day watch are considering themselves lucky, but at the same time
feel badly (not really) for their colleagues. However, despite the rain, the seas are relatively calm. Work continues rain or shine unless
the seas make deck operation unsafe. In fact, the rain isn´t too bad as it´s warm rain. The smooth seas keep the researchers happy.
Papua New Guinea experiences the "Monsoon" season from December through March. At this time, winds generally blow from the northwest
and are weaker and more variable as they are blocked by the mountains that extend along the axis of New Guinea. This mountain barrier leaves the
south side of the island, including the Gulf of Papua, protected from Monsoon winds. From May through October, the "Trade wind" season
occurs, and winds are typically stronger, more steady and from the southeast. Because the Gulf of Papua is open to the Coral Sea, the Trade winds
blow across a large expense of water, unlike the Monsoon winds which come off land. The distance over which winds can act (push) on the surface of
a body of water (like the ocean) is called the fetch. Fetch and wind speed determine the size of waves that form. For example,
small lakes have small fetches, so even with really strong winds, only small waves will result. For this reason, during the Tradewinds, the fetch
is strong which means large waves. Chuck Nittrouer, Andrea Ogston and Miguel Goni were here last fall during the trade winds in order to collect
samples of how sediments and carbon are distributed differently during this period of greater activity in the Gulf of Papua.
Today´s lecture was taught by J.P. Walsh. He reviewed seismic data collection, how the Chirp works, and they ways they use the Chirp to best
study the seafloor. It is rather complicated, so I won´t expand too much here.
Simply, the Chirp sends sound pulses between the frequencies of 1-6 KHz (for this project, but can range between 0.5-12 kHz) from a transducer down to
the sea floor where it then reflects off the sea floor, back to the transducer. A computer converts this return signal into a digital signal that can
be processed and filtered, ultimately producing an image of the strata on the sea floor. The Chirp allows these researchers to look at details of the
clinoform stratigraphy and morphology of the strata.
(Today's weather and location at 0900)
Air Temperature: 27.07°C (88.81°F)
Water Temperature: 29.43°C (96.55°F)
Barometric Pressure: 1009.2 cmbar
Precipitation: 26.2 mm (last 24 hours)
Relative Hummidity: 78.53%
Longitude: 8° 04.903541' N
Latitude: 144° 21.258' E
Breakfast: Bacon, ham, eggs, potatoes, fresh fruit
Lunch: Sea food platter, french fries
Dinner: Pepper Steak, rice, fish cake, green beans
Dessert: Chocolate birthday cake
Happy Birthday Geoff! Beers complimentary of Geoff Ravenhill, Resident Technician