The Mississippi River Project
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Mississippi River Project: Day 2

We left the hotel around 7:30. Being Sunday, the hotel didn’t serve breakfast until 7 and you get real hungry working on a boat all morning. So after eating a hearty breakfast we left for the dock in Thebes, MO. The runner boat gave us passage to the Strong, arriving near 8.

We jumped right into working. All devices and cabling were connected including their power supplies. While bustling around getting ready to deploy, a large tree, possibly 18 inches in diameter, jammed itself under the barge from which we deploy the streamer and energy source. There were no branches or root system on the tree, but it was about 20-25 feet long. To un-wedge the tree the Strong revved its engines in reverse. At first it looked as though the tree wanted to hitch a ride, but eventually it pursued its own path down the river.

The Strong made its way to within ½ mile above (upstream) where we left off. Overlapping from the previous day ensures continuity in the data. By this time we were ready to deploy. The Chirp was hoisted into place by the crane, and the research team let out the streamer and energy source from the stern (back of the boat). We began to collect data. For some reason the data acquisition quality was better than the previous day. It could be due to Steffen’s modification to the Geode, the data receiver/digitizer of the energy returns by the streamer pressure sensors.

Our drift backwards proceeded from 8 AM to near 5 PM without much incident. We added an extra fan to help cool the compressor as well as another fan for those researchers on the stern of the Strong who keep constant vigilance watching the streamer and energy source. A few logs hit the tail buoy of the streamer, sending it under water. None broke it, but we did decide to replace the tail buoy with a single, much larger buoy we named Dolly.

By the way, the name of the barge is the Harvey Pete (Peterson). Harvey Pete, the person, was our driver on the first acquisition in 2007. He lost his battle with cancer the day we started loading the Strong a few days back. So the research team honors Harvey Pete, a wonderful friend, by naming the barge after him.


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Week 1 Slideshow
Week 2 Slideshow
Week 3 Slideshow

A scientific explanation of the research

Meet the researchers

Journal Entries

Look back at Phase 1

Learn about Phase 3

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Last Updated: 1/23/12