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Daily Updates: August 2001
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 Daily Updates: September 2001
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View Today's Slideshow!

partlycloudy weather
Partly Cloudy
70°F (21.1°C)
Latitude: 00 deg 21.1'S
Longitude: 91 deg 55’W
Wind Direction: SSW
Wind Speed: 14 Knots
Sea State 3
Swell(s) Height: 2-4 Foot
Sea Temperature: 67°F (19.4°C)
Barometric Pressure: 1015.5 MB
Visibility: 15 Nautical Miles

what's to eat today?

Fresh fruits
Huevos Rancheros
Bacon, ham and sausage
(Dried cereal is always available in the pantry)
OJ in a bucket

Fresh salad
Navy bean soup
French fries and onion rings
Candy bars

Fresh salad
Szechwan beef
Fried rice
Egg rolls
Fresh bread
Apple pie and ice cream



Lights, Camera, Seafloor Action!
September 6, 2001
by Christina Reed

Most scientists want to use Alvin or an ROV such as Jason for their research -- they want to see the terrain first hand. “But in a lot of cases,” Dan Fornari says, “all we need are a few photographs to confirm or disprove our hypothesis about a piece of seafloor.”

In 1994, deep-sea cameras generally relied on 35-millimeter film, which had to be developed on board the ship. “That was a real pain,” Dan says. Working with engineers at Benthos Inc., in Falmouth, MA, Dan helped devise an easy to use deep-sea camera for seafloor imaging.

With the capability to store 2200 images on a hard drive and take pictures for about 8 hours at the bottom of the ocean, the WHOI deep-sea digital camera is simple, yet it’s the only one of it’s kind.

Last night, tethered to the Revelle by 3,000-meter of trawl wire, the WHOI deep-sea digital camera hovered less than 10 meters over the seafloor, flashing powerful strobe lights and snapping a photograph every 15 seconds. We drove the camera over the changing terrain without touching, most of the time.

A wire cage surrounds the camera, protecting it from smashing into the rocks we can’t see. A pinger attached on the camera allows us to know how far above the seafloor the camera is. But we have to be prepared to respond quickly to any changes on the bottom, because the pinger only looks straight down.

“We have an idea of the changes as we move very slowly, and can use our side-scan sonar map to give us an idea of what to expect,” Jenny Engels says. “The digital images allow us to see the seafloor lava flows at a much higher resolution.”

Each picture is four meters by six meters across. Seeing the seafloor this close, we can identify pillow lava, lobate flows, sheet flows, the collapse of a lava flow and fissures in the seafloor. Curious fish swim under the camera lens, while crabs, starfish and anemones are pictured along the way. Last night, the deep seafloor around the Galápagos Islands was photographed for the first time.


Dive and Discover
Water Word Puzzle

[Click here for a printable version of Dive and Discover Water Word #1]

Click here for the solution.


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