In May, I returned from a very successful (and enjoyable!) research cruise in the central Pacific Ocean, aboard the University of Hawaii research vessel Kilo Moana. Along with co-chief scientist Jim Gaherty (LDEO Columbia University) and a diverse science team from 11 institutions (spanning 3 continents), I was deploying 30 broadband ocean bottom seismic instruments in a large array spanning 500x500 km of Pacific seafloor. These instruments will now sit at the bottom of the ocean until July 2019, recording earthquakes around the world; the goal is to use the seismic data to make 3-D images of the Earth’s interior beneath the Pacific tectonic plate. The location was very remote; the ship was out of sight of land for all but a few hours of its 31 day voyage. As a result, the data we collected represent completely new observations of this part of our planet! At the same time as deploying the seismic instruments, our research team conducted high resolution bathymetry surveys, discovering previously unknown seamount chains and wholesale changes in sea floor tectonic fabric.
If you are interested in participating in future cruises, we have opportunities for graduate students and post-docs to sail on the upcoming recovery and array #2 deploy/recovery legs.
The scientific results from this experiment will not be known until the instruments are recovered next year so for now enjoy some field photos (below), and stay tuned!
Learn more and see more photos at the official cruise website/blog.
Note: I am actively recruiting graduate student researchers to work on the data from this project (first data expected July 2019). See here if you are considering applying to join my research group.