JC007: Drilling the Mid-Atlantic Ridge


Who's who on the ship

Roger Searle

Roger Searle is Professor of Geophysics at Durham University and is the expedition leader. He is a geophysicist, and studies mid-ocean ridges using sonar instruments to map the seafloor, together with gravity and magnetic measurements to determine crustal structure and sea-floor spreading rates.

Chris MacLeod

Chris MacLeod is a marine geologist at Cardiff University. His main scientific interests are in understanding the processes of generation of ocean crust at mid-ocean ridges. He is particularly interested in the nature of the plumbing systems beneath the volcanic ridges, and how and why the Earth’s mantle may be exposed on the seafloor. He uses robotic seabed rock drills to collect orientated core samples, on which he then makes physical and chemical property measurements. He has previously combined such work with studies of on-land fragments of ocean crust (known as ophiolites) in Cyprus and Oman.

Bramley Murton

Bram Murton is a senior research scientist at the National Oceanography Centre, Southampton where he researches the formation and evolution of the ocean floor. Bram has spent many years investigating the inner workings of the ocean crust, in particular mid-ocean ridges, and has explored the Reykjanes Ridge (Iceland), western Pacific and the Mid-Atlantic Ridge during a number of research expeditions.

Jack Casey

Jack Casey is a marine geologist at the University of Houston, where he is also chair of the Department of Geosciences.  His main scientific interests include developing a better understanding of the the tectonic and magmatic processes involved in the formation of oceanic lithosphere at mid-ocean ridges. This involves the study of melt generation in the mantle and its extraction and delivery upward to form the oceanic crust.  His work has included detailed mapping and sampling of the ocean crust and exposed mantle rocks using deep diving submersibles, drill ships and geophysical techniques. He also has extensive experience of working within ophiolites in Newfoundland, Quebec, Turkey, Alaska and Pakistan.

Sam Unsworth

Sam Unsworth is a PhD student at the National Oceanography Centre, Southampton. She studies geochemistry, and is especially interested in the geochemical relationships of the rocks at the Mid-Ocean Ridge. She will use samples collected from the ridge to try to improve understanding of ridge melting processes.

Kay Achenbach

Kay Achenbach is a PhD student at the University of Wyoming specialising in structure and petrology. She examines the textural characteristics of mantle peridotites - including the size, shape, and distribution of mineral grains, and the spatial orientation of individual crystal lattices - in order to understand the complex interplay of deformation and melt percolation in the mantle as it upwells beneath mid-ocean ridges.

Chris Mallows

Chris is a PhD student at Durham University where he is studying the mechanisms behind plate separation at magma-starved areas of the Mid-Atlantic Ridge. Aboard the ship he will be processing the sidescan sonar and magnetics data - allowing him to map the seafloor geology, which will hopefully direct the drilling team to sample areas of particular interest.

Michelle Harris

Michelle Harris is a geochemistry PhD student at NOCS, studying the formation of the lower oceanic crust in particular the gabbro section. Michelle is using (or will be!) in situ samples from different locations and using analytical techniques and petrology to help understand the mechanism by which they formed. As part of this she will be investigating the rate at which the lower ocean crust cools and the role that hydrothermal circulation plays in its formation.

Davie Baxter

Davie Baxter is a marine engineer with the British Geological Survey. Davie came to BGS with geological background, having worked previously in the coal mining and offshore oil industry. This experience gave him a greater appreciation of travelling and seeing the world. He has previous sailed on the RRS Charles Darwin and RRS Discovery, and is very much looking forward to his trip on the RRS James Cook.

David Wallis

David Wallis is an Electrical Engineer with the British Geological Survey. He has worked for BGS since 1986 and this will be his third trip to the Mid-Atlantic Ridge with a sea bed sampling drill. He spent November 2006 on the FS Merian (German research vessel) at the Logatchev field. He has sailed on the RRS Charles Darwin, the RRS Discovery and RRS James Clark Ross and is hoping for similar success on the RRS James Cook.

Iain Pheasant

Iain Pheasant is a marine design engineer with the British Geological Survey working on many different types of subsea equipment. Iain first went to sea in the commercial world, working ROV's and subsea tractors for an oil and gas company and then the subsea cable market before starting work for BGS. His last trip was on the RRS Charles Darwin carrying out geophysical surveys near St Kilda.

Michael Wilson

Michael Wilson has worked for the British Geological Survey since graduating in 2002 as an Electronics Engineer. In that time he has participated in many geophysics and sampling cruises, including the last cruise of the RRS Charles Darwin, and spent November 2006 on the FS Merian (German research vessel) at the Logatchev field, using the newly developed RD2 remote drill rig.

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February 2007