19. July, 2014
With the new functional GPS module in place, yesterday afternoon, we set sail to our first destination – Kolbeinsey ridge, North of Island – two days from here. The transit time is often a painful experience, testing your patience to the absolute maximum. However, during this transit the time has not been used entirely in vein. Last night we stopped a couple of hours at the Storegga slide to retrieve a sediment core for some of our colleagues back in Bergen. The operation gave us a perfect opportunity to test the equipment used for sediment coring, including the temperature loggers that we will deploy in order to measure heat flux in the sediments. As a rule of thumb, the temperature increase with one degree Celsius per 10 meter you go down into the sediments and this was exactly what we observed in this core. However, in other places the heat flux can be significantly higher, especially along the spreading ridges, and this year we are excited (at least I) that we will be able to measure it. The work with the core finished just before the sun, after a short dip beneath the horizon, once again felt the urge to rise.
Otherwise there is not much to report; some people are in the final stages of preparing their labs making sure that everything will run smoothly (is that possible) once the samples are on deck.
Others are engaged in killing time digesting the long list of videos that are onboard the ship.
Written by: Steffen Leth Jørgensen
18. July, 2014
Slowly we have started making our way up north, but not without an unexpected journey along the beautiful Norwegian coastline and a short stop in Kristiansund (about 400 km north of Bergen) to get new parts for the GPS (navigational system) of the ship. This is one of the reasons why test runs are done before heading out to sea – if something turns out to not function as it should, it is still relatively easy to get it fixed without losing lots of time going back to the mainland or requiring an expensive helicopter to drop the stuff. Still, the piece of equipment (vital for basically all of the mapping, AUV and ROV operations) had to come from Trondheim so some patience was required, and we were happy to continue our scientific discussions and meetings on sampling strategies in a bar overlooking the Kristiansund harbor.
Just before dinner, the AUV crew started testing their equipment and launched the instrument into the fjord outside Kristiansund. Watch a video of the launch here.
AUV Hugin on the deck of the G.O. Sars
Preparing for launch
The AUV in the water. We all wondered what the fisherman in the background – just in front of the yellow house – was thinking when this bright orange torpedo look-a-like approached him…
17. July, 2014
With so many people and different research groups joining this expedition, the logistics of bringing all equipment from the university to the ship involve quite some effort. After carefully placing all the boxes and instruments onto pellets and wrapping these in plastic foil in the last couple of days – well-prepared for the Bergen weather, we started loading everything into a truck at 8:00 on Wednesday morning. It was not until lunch-time that everything had arrived on the ship and was ready to be installed in the laboratories, but where to start with that many boxes…?
Anne in between an endless stack of boxes…
Tamara checking the CTD equipment
Alden and Joakim helping out with the lab tables
In the meantime, other gear was checked and the ship moved to another port to get the AUV on board, and rumors started to spread that we would not leave Bergen until tomorrow. Not bad for those who had forgotten to pack some essential personal gear, such as their warm sweaters or toothpaste. Although everybody is keen to leave, the delayed departure was welcomed as perfect opportunity for that last beer (no alcohol is served on board) and kebab out in town.
11. July, 2014
Boxes are starting to pile up in the laboratories at the Centre for Geobiology.
They are filled with all sorts of lab equipment and hundreds of tubes, flasks, filters and tubing for the collection of geological and biological samples from the Arctic mid-ocean ridges. It is all part of our extensive preparation for the cruise, which usually starts in the spring and continues until the very last day before departure with discussions on where to go, what to sample and if we packed everything that we need. Of course, this preparation is key to a successful cruise – in the middle of the Atlantic ocean, you don’t want to find out that you forgot to pack something essential!
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