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Journals

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Follow the adventures of the science party day to day through Dallas Murphy's journals.

1: Underway, Again
In a couple of hours, we’ll be underway again heading back to those same waters where we were so harshly treated three years ago.
2: The Identity of Water
To apprehend the true wonder of the ocean-current system, we need to imagine the ocean alive with motion, currents flowing on the surface and through the deep darks, never ceasing, transporting heat and water from the tropics to the Arctic and returning cold water at depth.
3: How to Measure an Ocean, Part One
The basic structure of a mooring consists of the anchor, a powerfully buoyant ball near the surface, and a wire in between onto which instruments measuring, in this case, temperature, salinity, and velocity are attached.
4: Imagining Oceans
To appreciate the elegant beauty of nature’s great ocean/atmosphere systems, we need to cast our minds out over vast distances and into opaque depths.
5: Play Day
The deck crew, with the sure-handed seamanship typical to this vessel, craned the small boat (a rigid-hull inflatable, or “RHIB”) off the 0-2 deck, lowered it to main deck and secured it to the starboard rail for ease of boarding.
6: Teamwork
Watching the mooring operations, I was thinking about the unique combination of heavy industry, advanced science, and sophisticated electronics that characterizes at-sea oceanography.
7: Greenland
While I hate to admit it, some landscapes are so spectacular that they’re revealed more evocatively by photography than by language.
8: Iceland, if Briefly
The high, serrated north coast of Iceland hoved into sight before breakfast. The wind was slack, seas glassy, about eight shades of gray in the clouds.
9: How to Measure an Ocean, Part Two
CTD stands for Conductivity-Temperature-Depth. By measuring conductivity and applying an algorithm or two, you can determine salinity.
10: Dogs Before the Master
The Danish Meteorological Institute (DMI) predicts the gale to last through today and Saturday, so the seas will likely build, since duration is one of the factors responsible for wave formation.
11: Saved by Anton
Anton Zafereo, one of the two Shipboard Science Support Group (SSSG), worked through the night (with Catie Garver, the other SSSG, right beside him every step of the way) to repair the flooded pressure sensor, which records the CTD depth.
12: Exploring Oceans
In the days to come, I’ll try with their help to explain the physical details of the oceanographic logic that led to their hypothesis in the first place—and the process by which they seek to verify it.
13: The North Icelandic Jet
In 1999, the Icelandic oceanographers, Steingrimur Jonsson and Hedinn Valdmarsson, monitoring with ADCPs the slope waters close to the north coast of their home island, noticed a margin of enhanced flow in 600 meters of water. It looked very like a current.
14: Errands (Wet)
We were pounding back to Knorr aboard the little RHIB (they call it the work boat to distinguish it from the slightly smaller rescue boat) in something between 35 and 40 knots of cold, ironclad wind.
The Hypothesis15: The Hypothesis
Scientists seek to understand how the natural world works. Therefore, that we live in the world seems reason enough to look over their shoulders as they seek to understand its ways and means.
R/V Knorr16: R/V KNORR, an Introduction
I was listening to sea stories after lunch—well, literally they were land stories—about port-stops told by Pete the Chief Engineer, Kyle the bosun, Second Mate Jen, and the Skip.
Life's Routine17: Life's Routine
The time draws short. We’ll end the trip at Isafjordour in the northeast of Iceland in eight days from this writing.
18: Life's Routine, Continued
Now let’s go down one deck, via the “ladder,” as stairs are called in nautical lingo, and work our way deck by deck to, finally, the engine room.
19: The Faroe Islands
And here was another of those pure, exquisite moments so valuable in experience yet so quickly passing into memory, precious and unforgettable.
20: New Winch Driver, Aii-ee!
A firsthand account of what it takes to get a CTD in the water, from the crew's perspective.
21: Hypothesis: Affirmed
Bob and Kjetil are prepared now to claim unequivocally that they have affirmed their hypothesis.
22: An Ending
Thirty days after leaving Reykjavik, after covering 3,812 nautical miles, collecting real-time data from 335 CTD casts and reams of velocity data from the ADCPs, Bob and Kjetil found, without question or ambiguity, the origin of the NIJ.

Last updated: December 27, 2011
 


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