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group of engineers pose with NOBEL system of seafloor explosive charges

A High-Impact Career

Don Koelsch (far left) and other WHOI engineers and seismologists with the Near Ocean Bottom Explosives Launcher (NOBEL) system on the fantail of R/V Atlantis II in 1991. Koelsch helped develop the NOBEL system, which was the first system to successfully detonate multiple high-explosive charges at full ocean depths. The energy generated by these precisely-detonated explosions can be detected by seismometers, allowing geologists to “see” below the seafloor to Earth’s crustal structure. Koelsch passed away in January. Also pictured (left to right): MIT graduate student John Olson, WHOI research assistant Rob Handy, University of Hawaii scientist Gerard Fryer, and WHOI research associates Jim Broda and Beecher Wooding.

(Photo by Dave DuBois, Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution)


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