The Mississippi River Project
Mississippi River Project: Day 9 river

Our day began offshore from Norfolk Starr landing.  We had deployed Huck and Jim.  Steffen sent a few tests to the seismic energy source, but nothing happened.  When things do work, the device bellows a fast burst of air (20 cubic inches), resulting in a bubble of Mississippi River water and a bong sound throughout the Strong.  It seemed to want the day off.

Tony, captain of the M/V Strong, held the Strong in position while we reeled the device back on onto the stern deck.  With the air turned off, we sent a signal to the seismic device that should make a click sound.  Sounded more like an electrical arc.

Over the next hour, we dismantled the device piece by piece until we were down to the electrical housing unit.  Going into the electric housing unit would be a last resort.  It seemed like the mechanical components of the device were just sticking.  We cleaned all of the connectors and lubed the O-rings, sealers and drive shaft, put it back together and tested our work with another test signal, listening for that hopeful click.  And that’s what we got, a click.  We were back in business.  How many scientists does it take to fix…..

The remainder of the day was like any other.  Our 60Hz noise was still gone and the data were rolling in.  The end of our 14-mile journey placed us at Tunica landing.  Before heading to dinner, we retired to the poolside at our hotel to unwind from a long, but successful day.

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Last Updated: 1/23/12