Harvey Peterson, our driver from the Corps who transports us to and from the river,
met us early in the morning at our hotel. We would have two day-passengers today:
Greg Gray with GT Media Group to film our effort, and Ryan Pickett, a U of M Civil
Engineering graduate student looking at ground-water/surface water interaction.
Once on the M/V Strong, we slipped into our normal routine: set up the computers,
turn on the generator (three-phase power), start charging the air tanks from the compressor,
plug in the data log cables and GPS equipment, let out the streamer (Huck) and the
seismic energy source (Jim), and start up the Chirp. Our journey would take us 16
river miles from Shelby Forest landing in Shelby County, TN, south to Memphis at Mud
The wind was finally cooperating…not enough to blow the M/V Strong off kilter but
enough to cool things down. It was exciting to see the Memphis skyline come into
view as we slowly made our way south (~2 mph as measured over land). As we started
to pass Harbor Town on Mud Island, the Chirp began to detect a strong signal in the
subsurface. We suspect it might be the top of the confining clay (Upper Claiborne)
that protects the Memphis aquifer, the primary source of drinking water in the region.
Later processing will confirm this.
Our survey for the day ended at the southern tip of Mud Island. We took the chaser
speedboat to the north Mud Island boat ramp where Harvey was waiting patiently. Tonight
we would stay in Memphis. Time to wash clothes and cut the yard.