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16 January 2017
As participants ask questions about whether the multibeam affects marine mammals and what kind of schooling is needed to be just like Colleen, it is clear that the public is curious about and excited to be a part of what happens on board. I know we have touched young hearts and minds back on land. As each of us go back to our respective communities, we will continue to share our experiences from Falkor and promote the understanding and mindfulness the ship stands for.
Aloha readers! I’m baaack, for another oceanographic expedition on mighty R/V Falkor. I say mighty, because her previous life was as a North Sea fisheries enforcement vessel and so she was initially designed for speed and sturdiness to survive the harsh conditions. At the beginning of our journey we were bashing through the trade seas and currents north of the equator on the way to our study site near Johnston Atoll. It was a bit of a rough ride, although we felt safe and secure in the belly of mighty Falkor, and the conditions steadily improved.
12 January 2017
In this blog, the team reflect on this experience so far.
11 January 2017
The challenge lies in how satellites estimate where underwater volcanic mountains might be located. This is achieved by detecting slight changes in the distance between the satellite and the surface of the ocean, which is ever so slightly bulged up due to water piling directly above the seamount, sometimes predicting the location about 1 km from where it actually lies.
But the real answer at least for me lies in the fact that as I have bounced through six decades of life and entered my seventh, a time when so many would argue that they have “seen it all,” I increasingly realize how little I have actually seen, experienced and learned.
10 January 2017
The first week of the #MappinTheFloor transit/cruise brings the team closer to the Johnston Atoll and time for many of the team to learn new skills, as well as connecting with students across the world. Check out this video and get an inside look into the activities onboard R/V Falkor.
9 January 2017
Soon, Falkor will arrive to one of the most remote areas of Earth to conduct a four-day scan of a seafloor segment within the newly expanded area of the Johnston Atoll Unit in the Pacific Remote Islands Marine National Monument.
6 January 2017
Hi there! My name is Lucy Bellwood and I am the artist-at-sea aboard R/V Falkor’s Johnston Atoll transit-cruise. I am a professional adventure cartoonist, tasked with having unusual, exciting experiences and bringing back comics that allow my readers to learn about them.
Long gone are the days when she would come back home from mapping expeditions carrying two 100-megabyte tapes and a thick roll of maps. That is, thirty days of ocean floor mapping producing no more than 200 megabytes of information. Today 16 beams on the sonar have become 450, which translates into 92 megabytes per hour.
“When it comes to biology, we really have no idea what is down there,” explains Dr. Joyce Miller, multibeam mapping scientist. “We need to map the area first in order to know where to look in future exploration.”
4 January 2017
It has been hard containing my excitement since I first found out I would be a participant this past July. I am sure my friends and family were sick and tired of me constantly talking about being on the Falkor.
Not long after leaving port in Guam it was time for lesson one: mal de mer (sea sickness). The malady was especially harsh on three of the five adventurous storytellers, but as the sun rose the next day and the waves mellowed down, they slowly began emerging from their cabins, ready to reconnect with the excitement of their missions.
28 December 2016
This is the first series of scientific dives for ROV SuBastian. Equipped with numerous cameras, including a high-definition 4K video camera, the dives were live streamed onto YouTube and watched by millions. The multidisciplinary team will continue to analyze the data and samples collected during this expedition to advance research on how life thrives on these extreme deep-sea hydrothermal vents.
26 December 2016
It takes two and a half hours to get to the seafloor, but the view you get is worth the wait.
23 December 2016
The global ocean comprises Earth’s biggest microbiome, with at least half of the ocean’s microbial biomass occurring beneath the ocean floor.
Watch giant smokers and tiny “chimlets,” along with cannibalistic crabs and scavenger shrimps (and more!)
22 December 2016
A quick video primer on hydrothermal vent chimneys…
21 December 2016
The last few days have been full of dives and discoveries. The team has been piloting ROV SuBastian around Daikoku Seamount, an active submarine volcano with sulfur lakes, strange creatures and hydrothermal vents. Using the ROV’s High Definition cameras and R/V Falkor’s multibeam sonar, the team has been gathering data and visual information.
8 December 2016
The first day on the job is nerve-wracking for anyone, but when you’re a multimillion dollar ROV venturing into one of the most inhospitable landscapes on the planet you’d have a pretty good excuse to feel nervous. Everything yesterday with ROV SuBastian went as smoothly as we could have hoped. We all get a quick nights rest and are back ready to go at sunrise. It’s dive two for the #hydrothermalhunt and we’re making another dive at Daikoku seamount for what may be our final visit.
7 December 2016
After two cancelled dives in the back-arc, we transit to our northern-most destination: Daikoku seamount. The winds and seas are calmer there, and it is a chance to revisit a fascinating underwater volcano. We get the confirmation we have been hoping for at 6.30am – conditions are good enough and ROV SuBastian is ready for its first dive.