Top Ten Lessons of the Expedition:
- You don’t have to be super bright to be a scientist, just enthusiastic and hardworking.
- The scientific process: Aim, Hypothesis, Method, Data Collection, Analysis, Conclusions and then the cycle of yet more questions generating the cycle again, takes time to complete. Conclusions are rarely hard and fast facts but ideas and theories based on the evidence collected so far.
- The planning into a research expedition such as the JC132 is immense. Where will the OBS deployed? What path will the streamer follow? What track will Autosub take? Where on the deck will all the equipment be placed? (It has to be situated so that it can be accessed and deployed when necessary.) The logistics are planned down to the last detail but are also flexible. What happens if the sea is too rough to deploy Autosub….OBS are deployed instead – so there is a change in running order. The scientists do this with aplomb. Experienced scientists who have been doing this for years are training up their successors. You need to know the pitfalls, and the consequences so that your actions are proactive rather than reactive. The lead scientists on this expedition are impressive.
- Ocean Core Complexes make up 25% of the North Atlantic Ocean. They are not uncommon. We definitely need to know more about them.
- Scientific equipment for ocean research has to be very robust. High pressure, high salinity, descending and ascending 3000m through water. The equipment is very robust indeed.
- Scientists are just like everyone else. They are not socially inept nor are they narcissistic villians from a Marvel comic.
- The workings of the Mid Atlantic Ridge is really not known. The typical diagram of symmetrical spreading is only applicable to part of the Ridge.
- The possible role of minerals such as serpentine in asymmetric spreading is very interesting.
- The bathymetric maps are beautiful. The smooth striated dome of the Ocean Core Complex contrasts strikingly with the surrounding seafloor.
- Before the data can be analysed (from: Autosub, Streamer and OBS) it has to have a great deal of interference taken out. The Autosub has its own magnetism that needs removing. OBS and Streamer data need water waves, trace waves (from previous acoustic signals) and multiples identifying.
The clever technicians made a BBQ frame and we were set for a traditional expedition BBQ. Do note the beers are non alcoholic – the real stuff is rationed….hey ho my liver is delighted!!
A lovely evening.