CD 166: Investigating the underwater avalanches offshore Morocco


Daily diary

Sunday November 14th 2004

Aggie writes:

"The rough weather meant that doing anything was quite difficult until today, and this is why there is no diary for Friday and Saturday - check out the video clip below for an idea of how rough it was! Looking at a computer monitor wasn’t particularly pleasant, and even eating wasn’t the easiest of things. The dining room is at the very front of the ship and therefore moves the most. Plates were flying and food was sliding off them. Christine and I decided it was easier if we ate in the main lab or even outside, which is towards the rear of the ship. But finally the waves have calmed down and the sun is shining! Today, we had a real pub lunch! Every Sunday you can have your lunch at the bar of the ship, where they put on music and spread a few nibbles on the tables to make you feel like you are really having pub lunch, which is very good raising the spirits too. Everyone’s mood has improved significantly and we started collecting cores again, never mind that the first one was probably the shortest core ever retrieved - less than half a metre! In a way it is an accomplishment on its own! Early this morning we decided to use the megacorer, which is designed to collect seafloor surface samples (approximately top 40 cm) and it even retrieves the seafloor-water interface, very useful if you want to study the animals living in the seawater at that depth (4000 m). All we wanted, however, was the surface sediment sample from the bottom of the Agadir Canyon, as this will show us if the canyon has been active recently and if underwater avalanches may present a hazard to oil and gas exploration in the region."

Riding the waves!

This clip shows how rough it was yesterday

(Note: you need Quicktime to view this video clip)

Yesterday's sunrise with the rough sea in the
foreground and the dark clouds overhead

This morning’s sunrise.
What a glorious morning it was!

Andrey watching the sunrise

Like worms after the rain….the scientists emerge on deck once the rough weather has passed

The megacorer when it was retrieved
in the early hours of this morning

Sub-sampling the megacorer. This is important if you are planning to split the tube in half as the tube originally used on the megacorer is very expensive. The way to do it is to take a smaller diameter tube and push it through the sediment as gently as possible

Left: Adriano was delighted with the latest core!

A landscape image of the working deck

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October 2004
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