March 13, 2001 to June 2, 2001
Monterey to Hawaii and back
May 29, 2001: Leg 5; Day 8
Ken Johnson writes: Hello world. Thanks for the news updates. Six hundred and eighty miles, and three stations, to go. We’re making nearly 10 knots with a large and small generator running and it looks like there’s enough fuel to keep that up. Could we be in early? The smart money is going with an early arrival. Only Mother Nature (and Murphy) can mess up that schedule.
We had a fine barbecue yesterday, a good nights sleep - except Steve, who worked all night - and then we did Station 6 at 6:30 this morning. We seem to be out of the Asian dust influence and iron and aluminum concentrations are lower, if anything, than on the transit out to Hawaii. I’ve attached a plot of the results obtained for iron, so far, that clearly shows the impact of dust falling from above on iron chemistry. Very cool. We’ve tuned up the RAGING BULL model to simulate these results quite nicely.
Ok - Josh won the Holiday poetry contest yesterday with his Ode to Iron. But, hey, I’m the winner in the Limerick category:
There once was a young oceanographer
The ship he couldn’t wait to get off of her
They sailed into town
He left with a bound
And decided to become a geographer
Meanwhile, work keeps going on. We’re getting close enough that pretty soon we should start to see the continental influence on iron concentrations. Our measurements should start going up. Aluminum stays low because is sorbs to particles falling through the water column. As we near the continent, the rate of plant growth climbs dramatically and many more particles fall through the water column to the sediment, rapidly removing the aluminum. So why do iron concentrations stay high - our RAGING BULL model implies that iron is removed much faster than aluminum, not more slowly. Good question for all you budding marine chemists to ponder.
Time for lunch. So long for now.