CD 166: Investigating the underwater avalanches offshore Morocco


Daily diary

Thursday November 4th 2004

Aggie and Marga write:

"Today and tomorrow we’re carrying out a geophysical survey, which involves mapping the shape of the seafloor so we can then plan the best position to place our core sites. The survey was very well timed as it started raining today and I don’t think anyone would be very happy working on the deck collecting cores. Geophysical surveys are more challenging for the Captain and Officers on the bridge, because they have to steer the ship on track lines that we have chosen. These lines are closely spaced together and require very frequent turns. I guess if anyone was watching the ship's track we'd look like headless chickens in slow motion!

We also had a small crisis. The method that Sünje and Christine use for making x-rays of cores doesn’t work with the equipment we have, so other solutions have to be found. Several ideas were thrown on the table and fortunately we have some new ideas for them to get the data they need. X-rays are important as they provide detail of the layers hidden beneath the surface of the core, such as sediment layers and fossil worm burrows. During the night, flying fish and squid were spotted as they are attracted to the ship lights, and three more Leach’s Storm Petrels landed on the deck and spent the night with us in The Shoebox. They were then released in the morning apparently none the worse for their adventure...see the video clip below!"


Sunrise, one of the most beautiful experiences while being on a research ship

Sunset… isn’t it pretty?

Neil demonstrating his fitness

Andrey taking a picture of a Leach’s Storm-petrel before it was released

Close-up of the head of a Leach’s Storm-petrel showing the characteristic ‘tubenose’. These give the birds an excellent sense of smell, and they can detect food such as small fish from several miles away. When in the hand they smell oily, due to the waterproof coating on their feathers

Video clip of Leach's Storm Petrel being released

To view the video, click on the play icon on the control bar, left.

IMPORTANT: To view the video clips you will need QuickTime Player software installed on your computer. You can download this free of charge from the Apple website.

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October 2004
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