Success!

Tags: Carol Cotterill, Dave Smith


Photo by Nathan Gallagher

Success! We started the day with a sail up to the Jakobshavn Isbrae ice field, created by the grounding of icebergs from the glacier against a recessional moraine.

The glacier itself “flows” approximately 38m per day. However it only calves every 2 – 3 weeks according to local knowledge. This combination – fast flow rates and long periods between calving events results in very large bergs being discharged – see some of the attached photos!


Photo by Carol Cotterill.

Everyone except the scientists then boarded zodiacs and went off for a walk onshore. This freed the vessel up for us to take her into ice free waters, and tackle the engine noise issue. We deployed the hydrophone streamer and worked for about an hour with the captain and engineers, finally finding the optimum settings for running the vessel – speed, rpm and pitch of the propeller – with the least disturbance to our acoustics. We then started a trail line and ran for 43 minutes. Amazingly we picked a really interesting area and got some incredible results – multiple infilled channels, 250m of sediment deposition, sediment slumping and buried moraines.


Photo by Carol Cotterill.

After returning to pick up the rest of the voyagers, we started a second line, running for two hours parallel to the terminal moraine and ice field front. Again with spectacular results considering the engine noise issues we continue to battle. Interest had been raised having seen my roughly interpreted first profile, and the container had a constant stream of people wanting to see what we were doing and listen to the seismic returns from the hydrophone. Both the film crew and Quentin Cooper interview us and ask for detailed explanations about the equipment and principles behind what we are doing. I’m not sure what they said on their return to the nice warm bar but we then get numerous other people tentatively knocking at the container door and asking us to explain the profile.


View into the science container. Photo by Carol Cotterill.

This has been a good day. Not only have Dave and I managed to get two interesting profiles under our belt, but we have begun to raise interest amongst the artists onboard as to how they could take our work and incorporate it into theirs.


Photo by Carol Cotterill.

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    One Comment

    1. Birdie

      Posted Monday 6 Oct at 20:39 | Permalink

      Good to see that working out – lovely print outs! The science container gave me an idea for a projection/35mm/Imax camera container. Love how it’s chained to the deck, dry and has power :-) hmmm. Safe travels back!