6 weeks 5 days from now
Submitted by Carol Larson on Wed, 06/05/2013 - 09:57
Scientists on the JR come from many countries around the world: Australia, Brazil, Canada, Germany, Japan, India, New Zealand, Norway, Spain, UK, and USA. With so many cultures and languages on board the common language used is English and some of the scientists speak several languages. If English doesn’t work well with an explanation perhaps German will be used instead.
Four days of transit have passed with meetings and informative talks from the scientists and staff to get everyone oriented. With so much information coming from all different realms, understanding everything can be tricky.
The terminology used in the various sciences like geology, sedimentology, paleontology, and microbiology and in the technologies like drilling and ship operations all have their own vocabulary too. Acronyms and shortened terminology or phrases for equipment are used extensively and it can get quite confusing.
When the drill string is being dropped into the moon-pool, a seven-meter in diameter opening on the drill floor, this is called “tripping in”.
On the drilling floor you can hear terms like APC (advanced piston core) and find RCB (rotary core barrel) and XCB (extended core barrel) drill bits or LFV (lockable float valves). All are important parts of the drilling process.
In the petro-physics lab there is a “fast track” that measures magnetic susceptibility and gamma ray attenuation for rapid analyses of core samples. Yesterday members of the science party were also trained to use the scanning electron microscope (SEM).
Logging while drilling (LWD) operations begin once a hole has been cored. Geophysical and geochemical measurements are taken directly from the borehole wall, which provides complementary information to the core itself.
On our ship tour of the bridge we learned what a DP is for instance. It stands for Dynamic Positioning system, which helps to keep the ship in the correct position. The DP relies on multiple types of information input; two GPS units provide positioning data to the DP as well as a submerged ship’s acoustic beacon.
There are two of these in the photo. They are about six feet long and have an orange float, an anchor that weighs about 50-60 pounds and a tether so it doesn’t go into the mud of the seafloor.
There are acronyms and phrases for the staff even! Tool pushers, roustabouts, yeop (traditionally yeoman but more politically correct is now yeo-person) ALO (Assistant Lab Officers, and LO (Lab Officers).
POB stands for Personnel On Board. On the ship there are 22 Siem (company name) crew, 27 SOS (Supply Oilfield Services), 59 USIO (United States Implementing Organization) staff and 15 catering staff totaling 123 people. That’s a lot of people!
It may take some time to understand what’s going on, but the people and variety of activity on board make this one exciting expedition!