Blog Posts Tagged "Juan de Fuca CORKS"
Today the chief scientist Andy Fisher, from the University of California at Santa Cruz, came and talked to our group about the transport of hydrothermal fluids beneath the crust. A few years ago a scientific device called a CORK was placed in an old borehole on the Juan de Fuca plate just west of the state of Washington.
Everyone is excited because we're getting close to the first site we want to visit. At around midnight, we'll arrive at the site and the ship will start using its dynamic positioning system, dropping down more thrusters to hold the ship still while the pipes will begin to be dropped down into the ocean, linked and dropped one at a time.
As I said in my last post we have reached our site and cemented in the first of two CORKs. Right now we have moved over to the second site and the positioning officer is now trying to stab the drill string into the opening. Every time I stop and really look at what we are trying to do I am amazed. We are attempting to put the end of a 5-½ inch pipe into a 9-inch hole.
At midnight last evening we arrived at our destination out over the Juan de Fuca plate. My cabin mate and I went out at 1:00 a.m. to watch the piping operation get under way. The crew worked like a piece of machinery as they hoisted strings of pipe high up into the derrick and then lowered them down toward the sea floor. The machinery that they work with is huge, heavy, and amazing.
In between quick trips to the TV to watch the dynamic positioning folks try to get the drill pipe inserted, we had a great lesson from Leslie S. on foraminifera. These little guys (well, I guess some could be gals...) are tiny one-celled protists that create calcium carbonate tests (aka shells) that have one or more chambers.
The purpose for the trip was accomplished today! With amazing tenacity and skill, 2,660 m of pipe was lowered into a "cork" on the seafloor - through which 40 barrels of concrete was sent down to repair a leak! We all watched the action on a tv screen from the camera that had been lowered down. Wow! They're on hole 2 now and it looks like another successful fix.
We entered both holes today!! I am pretty sure it had to do with the fact that there was prime rib for dinner, because with in 5 minutes of entering the second hole, the driller was in the mess hall. It is so amazing how well they can do that job 2660 meters below the sea floor with a pipe acting as a wet noodle hanging below the ship. The cheer both times was awesome, be
It is 10 h 30 p.m, I was awake this morning at 5 h 00 a.m. It was a great day !
following in french.
J'ai assiste aujourd'hui a une operation tellement fascinante, je n'imaginais pas que cela soit possible, et avec tant de dexterite.
Chatter on the ship suggests that operations have gone pretty well today. Some of my colleagues have summarized this process quite well, so I will not repeat it here. Words cannot express how impressed we are by the skills of all persons involved in this operation. Read the other blogs and you will know what I mean.