Thursday, September 4, 2014

Day 6

Friday 5th September, 2014

We are now heading back to Porto di Catania after an extremely successful day out at sea, surveying and coring the Malta Escarpment. 

During this research cruise we surveyed an area of over 5,000 square km and we have obtained cores at  8 different locations. The total length of cores obtained is over 11 meters. These cores will be transported to Ireland where they will be analysed and archived. From our preliminary observations we could note that different location yielded different types of sediment. A very clear example can be seen in picture 1, where this atypical core produced some unexpected coarse material.  

The cores collected from this research cruise
Below we can see some examples of state-of-the-art, high resolution bathymetry maps. The different colours seen on these maps represent different depths with blue and red corresponding to the deeper and shallower bathymetry respectively. These maps are the result of processed multibeam echo sounder data. 

Stunning 3D imagery of two canyons along the Malta Escarpment.

Multibeam data has also been used to generate this backscatter map of the canyons. Back scatter maps are very good indicators of the nature of the seabed. Lighter areas are areas of high backscatter indicating hard rock or sand. On the other hand, darker areas are zones of low backscatter and represent finer materials such as clay

A backscatter map of one of the surveyed canyons 

We are grateful to the +5,000 readers who visited this blog and our Facebook page. This was very encouraging for us especially because we often had no other means of communication on board.  Our most popular post was that of "The OGS Explora making its way through rough sea", we wonder why that is. Is it because people truly liked our footage or is it because they felt sorry for us? ;)

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