Saturday, July 31, 2010

Some observations on some of the data collected thus far

Before we get to the science, a brief introduction of myself. My name is Dan'l Lewis and I am a new Master's student at Texas A&M University in the Department of Oceanography. My areas of interest are marine geology, geophysics, and plate tectonics and my fields of interest in particular is seismic interpretation of marine geology. I am on this cruise courtesy of my advisor, Will Sager, and two more of his students, Sam and Chris. A big thank you for the invite to come along.
That being said I will now move to the science. As we have traveled from Hawaii to the rise we have taken numerous measurements at regularly spaced intervals. As we are still shooting, the refraction lines it will still be several days before we can begin processing any seismic reflection lines. In the meantime, I have compiled a few charts of data as we progress westward across the Pacific towards Shatsky Rise and these data will continue to be collected throughout the process. The data I will talk briefly of today in particular is temperature versus latitude and temperature versus longitude. Unfortunately I could not grab the plots before this post was made and I will try to add them at a later date. It is noticed that there is an increasing trend as one moves from east to west across the western Pacific. The temperature also fluctuated but I assumed some of that was daily heating and cooling. However, as we have progressed westward at several points we hit areas of far colder water than the surrounding waters. Our time through these cold eddies is brief maybe an hour at most but it is of interest that there is almost a degree of difference in water temperature. It may not seem like much but if you compare it to the human body temperature, raising or lowering a few degrees can have quite an impact. I'm not sure what exactly these cold spots are and what there relation to currents throughout the Pacific are, but hopefully as my studies in Oceanography progress, I can shed some light on them. Or perhaps someone can enlighten me with why there are these cold upwellings in seemingly random places. Once again, I apologize for not posting the chart, but I will try to post it as soon as possible.

*edit* They are up now. The data is organized such that it matches the track i.e. the right side of the chart is Hawaii and the left side is Shatsky Rise. I believe the negative spike in the data on the right was us coming off of the Hawaiian Swell. Also to note is the longitude values are based around 0. Excel was not smart enough to allow 180 to be a center value and my GMT skills are lacking, but the image produced still gets the point across. Again apologies for the delay.

1 comment:

  1. Dan'l have you also collected Surface Salinity measurements along the way? -Stuart Pearce A&M Physical section

    PS I don't know why it is giving me the name Eschewy. That is not me.