Watch ‘Old meets New’ – how we used the ‘lost art’ of rope splicing in our high-tech subseafloor observatory

Watch Patrick Fulton explain how he learnt the ‘lost art’ of rope splicing to connect the chemistry instrument (‘ososampler’) and temperature sensors to ‘weak links’.

The rope splicing allowed us to adjust the length of each instrument package to sit at exactly the right depths in the fault zone (below, within and above the fault), which we had found out from coring the borehole just days beforehand. The rope was 401 meters long, so Patrick spent many hours calculating the strength and length the rope and separate splices had to be.

Patrick is an Assistant Professor at Texas A&M University (earthquake physics, geophysics, hydrogeology) and is an Observatory specialist on Expedition 375.

Author:
Aliki Weststrate
About:
Tēnā koutou katoa – greetings. Ko Aliki Weststrate tōku ingoa. My name is Aliki and I’m the NZ based outreach officer and educator on this expedition to study the Hikurangi Subduction Margin. I am a science communicator and trained teacher. I love to connect science organisations to the education sector and general public. Lately I’ve been spending my days communicating the science of the Hikurangi Subduction Zone – NZ’s largest fault. On board Expedition #375 we’re drilling cores to study past earthquakes here and understand the fault properties. And, for the first time in NZ, we will install two sub-seafloor earthquake observatories. Follow the JR blog, FB, Instagram and Twitter to see how we’re going!
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