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Seafloor Fault Expedition 2018 – Log 1

The last piece of the mooring was deployed as the sun peaks over the horizon.

Seafloor Fault Expedition 2018 – Log 1

Yesterday, we set sail for the Southern California expedition. At the start of every cruise a safety meeting is held for all the participating scientists to learn how the Western Flyer is run and to go over all the ship rules and safety protocols.

During our long transit south, we made a short stop offshore Morro Bay. Crew and scientists woke before dawn to deploy a mooring carrying a sediment trap and current meter at a potential offshore wind farm site. The current meter will measure a profile of bottom currents twice per minute from the seafloor up to 65 meters at the resolution of one-meter intervals. We will be back here in six months to collect the mooring and study the seafloor here in greater detail using the ROV Doc Ricketts.

As we were getting prepared to launch the mooring this morning, we witnessed the final launch of Delta 2 rocket carrying ICESAT-2 satellite off of Vandenberg Air Force Base. The satellite will measure the thickness of the Earth’s polar ice sheets within the accuracy of four millimeters. Watching the launch was an exciting start to the day!