16 months ago by Erin Todd and Kate Boersen
The research ship JOIDES resolution is undertaking scientific drilling research from Dec-Jan 2018 and March-May 2018 offshore of the North Island’s East Coast to learn more about the processes that drive large earthquakes and tsunami.
We are aware that some people are concerned about the drilling and coring research that is being undertaken and its purpose. The specific region being studied in this expedition is already known to have no potential as a gas hydrate resource, which is part of the reason drilling can proceed safely.
New Zealand’s participation in this expedition and in the International Ocean Discovery Programme is supported by Government scientific research funds.
We believe the more we understand about what causes these natural hazards to happen, the better we can be prepared.
04/01/18: Kia ora for the last time from Expedition 372! The JR has arrived in Lyttelton Harbor and the science party has left. Thanks for joining us on this journey with us for Expedition 372: Creeping Gas Hydrate Slides and Hikurangi LWD. If you can't get enough of Exp. 372, be sure to check out our final blog.
03/01/18: Mōrena JR Followers! Hard to believe that at this time tomorrow, we'll be pulling up dockside in Lyttelton! Everyone is busy writing the last of their shipboard reports and cleaning the ship inside and out! We may be a day or two late, but we all wanted to wish you a Happy New Year!
02/01/18: Kia ora! Well, the JR is back to making waves (rather that using the DP and letting the waves come to us). We've completed operations for Expedition 372 and are transiting to Lyttelton Harbor. Expedition 372 has been extremely successful and our scientists will be working on the data collected for years to come!
02/01/18: Mōrena JR followers! Hard to believe, but we only have 2 more sunsets aboard the JOIDES Resolution for Expedition 372. Sunrises and sunsets are how we measure time out here
01/01/18: Ngā mihi o te tau hou! Happy New Year! Happy New Year to all our JR followers! 2018 marks the 50th year of scientific ocean drilling and is off to a good start for the JR! The JR had the fortune to be in the first time zone to ring in 2018! We celebrated by arriving at our final site and started sending pipe down toward the seafloor. Additionally, we had a dance party and even a ball drop! As of 0730h, we've spudded the hole and are drilling down to take T2P measurements (natural temperature and pressure measurements in the seafloor) and collect some pressurized cores!
31/12/17: Kia ora JR followers!We've reached 31 December and 2017 isn't the only thing coming to an end! Expedition 372 is due in Lyttelton harbor (near Christchurch) in 4 days! Due to time constraints, some tough operational decisions have been made. In order to make it to our final site with enough time, it was decided to drill our current hole to 750 meters rather than the original goal of 1200 meters. We are currently pulling the pipe up (remember we're in over 3500 meters water depth!) and will be making our way to our final site as soon as possible! Meanwhile, everyone is extremely busy end-of-expedition organization, reports, and cleaning! We will have a New Years party tonight complete with a ball drop!
30/12/17: Kia ora everyone!! While we are continuing LWD operations at our current site, the science party and technicians are busy writing up reports from our previous sites and preparing for the end of the expedition. Know what that means? It's writing time!
29/12/17: ..AND WE'RE BACK!!! The weather has calmed enough to resume operations, so we are starting to log (LWD) again at our current site! Now that we're back on LWD operations, be sure to check out our blog to see what we've been up to over the last few days!!! Recent posts:
-How the JR actually drills a hole in rock
-Critters in the ocean (as seen on the survey camera)
-Christmas on the JR
-Touring the Engine Room
-Scientist Guest Blog #1 (Aggeliki Georgiopoulou)
-And more episodes of JR Profiles!
28/12/17: Kia ora! Kei te pupuhi te hau! The wind is blowing! Well, we are waiting on weather (WOWing) again. Yesterday afternoon the storm we were expecting reached us with moderate to large swells. This pattern is expected to increase through the day today. Hopefully it will pass us by quickly so we can get back to work! The New Zealand coastline is under high wind warnings as this storm passes by. Check out the wave swell forecast for 6pm this evening too!
27/12/17: Mōrena JR followers!We've spudded the hole! That's JR speak for reaching the seafloor (3538 meters down from the ship) and starting to drill down through the sediment. 27 meters down, 1173m to go!
26/12/17: This is the big one everyone!! We've reached site 4, engaged our Dynamic Positioning thrusters to keep us on site (see pics), and are beginning to assemble the LWD instruments for their trip to the seafloor. Thing is, the seafloor is a LONG WAY DOWN! We're in ~3500 meters water depth (2.2 miles) and our target depth for this hole is 1200m (0.75 miles). We'll be here for the next few days just to get our LWD instruments 4700m down!
26/12/17: The last of the pipe is being pulled out of the water and we will soon be off to site 4! The weather is expected to get a little rougher over the next couple days, so we are hoping to get side 4 done before it gets too bad! Take a look at the wave swell forecast - late tomorrow is shown. This trend continues until the middle of Friday. Hard to believe that we'll be pulling in to Lyttelton in 9 days!
25/12/17: Ngā mihi o te Kirihimete ki a koutou! Greetings of the Christmas season to you! We are continuing our LWD operations at site 3 today (350m of 650m completed so far! Everyone on the JR is getting ready for the Christmas Program and BBQ later today. The JR choir has been caroling around the ship.
24/12/17: Ata mārie, mōrena!We have completed LWD operations at site 2 and transited to site 3 during the night. Presently, the LWD tools are being assembled and lowered to the seafloor. We hope to reach a depth of 650m below the seafloor at this site. The LWD data collected on expedition 372 will help inform the placement of subduction zone observatories on expedition 375.
23/12/17: Kia ora!We are nearing our target depth for LWD operations on site 2 and will soon be pulling the instruments out of the hole and off to site 3! Our scientists are eagerly looking at the LWD data coming back in real-time and are excited about reaching our target depth of 600m below the seafloor!!
20/12/17: Rough Seas and Gales! The frontal system that has moved up New Zealand from the south has reached us today! The ship is designed to handle these conditions during operations and we are continuing to collect LWD data at our second site. One of those days where you realize there are 1000 shades of blue and it's hard to keep the horizon straight in pictures! Waiting On Weather -- WOW!
19/12/17: And we're off! We have finished operations at site 1 and are off to site 2! A sun halo appeared above us as we started moving! Circular halos, also called 22° halos, occur when light interacts with ice crystals suspended high in the atmosphere. Light passes through the ice crystals and separates into the various colors (wavelengths) through a process called dispersion.
19/12/17: Ata mārie mōrena! Kei te whiti te rā, he rā tino ātaahua tenei! Good morning! The sun is shining and it's a lovely day! The JOIDES Resolution is not the only scientific research vessel in this region! New Zealand's largest scientific research vessel, the NIWA New Zealand R/V Tangaroa, left Gisborne a few days ago to deploy ~100 seismometers on the ocean floor. Seismometers record vibrations of the Earth and this deployment will be used in a 3D seismic survey that seeks to understand the structure of the seafloor (among other things). We've been busy on the JOIDES Resolution blog. Keep checking it out to get a more detailed look at what happens on board!
18/12/17: Kia ora! We have finished LWD (logging while drilling) operations at our first site and have started coring! Everyone is busy at work with attending to the cores to look for gas hydrate and make the appropriate measurements. More details on coring are coming soon. For now, check out this video that details the procedure for LWD!
17/12/17: Mōrena JR followers! We got to our first site yesterday and things have been so busy! This site is a LWD (logging while drilling) site where we sent long instrument "string" made of interconnected pipes and geophysical instruments that will collect data about the properties of the rocks we drill in to. The first steps were to assemble the instrument string - all 85 meters (278 feet) of it!! - and lower it into the water. The drill bit is at the end of this instrument and once the string is assembled, we can start drilling and letting the instruments take their measurements! A video of the instrument string assembly is coming soon!
15/12/17: As we get closer to our first site (only 10 hours to go!!!), the level of excitement on the ship has noticeably increased. Projects that have been worked on during the transit are being finished and the science party is finishing the last of their training. It'll be all hands on deck when we get on site! For a more in-depth look at things going on around the JR, don't forget to keep up with our blog!
14/12/17: We've reached Aotearoa!! The JR was treated to another stunning sunset - this time over the ridges of Marlborough Sounds! Up next: Pass by Te Whanga-nui-a-Tara (Wellington) through Raukawa Moana (Cook Strait), and head up the east coast to our sites near Tūranga-nui-a-Kiwa (Gisborne)
14/12/17: Ata mārie mōrena! He ahūa makariri, kei te pupuhi te hau! Good morning! It's a bit cold and the wind is blowing! After days of generally calm and clear weather, the last 24 hours have been exciting! We had a few rain storms come through, had a beautiful sunset, clear skies for the Geminid Meteor Shower with dozens of meteors per hour and the Milky Way on full display, and woke up to a view of the top of Te Wai Pounamu, the South Island of Aotearoa!! Today we will go through Raukawa Moana, Cook Strait, between Te Ika-a-Māui me Te Wai Pounamu, the North Island and South Island, before going north around the east coast to our coring and logging-while-drilling (LWD) sites!
13/12/17: Mōrena! Kei te whiti te rā, ka wera nga rā. Good morning! The sun is shining and the days are hot. We are over 75% of the way through our transit and expect to be at our first site in a couple days! First we will sail through Cook Strait (between the North and South Islands of Aotearoa). The weather has been calm as we've passed through the Tasman Sea, but the swells have given the JR some decent rolls! Follow the bubble in the video to see how far the JR is rolling (a side to side motion). As always, check out our blog! We've got new episodes of JR Profiles and a discussion on navigation!
12/12/17: Kia ora JR followers! We have left Australian waters and are headed across the Tasman Sea to New Zealand. So far, the winds and swells have been light and small and the weather has been beautiful! We hope the weather holds as we head toward Cook Strait (the water way between the North and South Islands). Keep an eye on our blog and sign up for a live broadcast if you want to know more!!!
11/12/17: Last night our science party had the opportunity to have a live chat with the science party of IODP Expedition 381 from their drilling vessel Fugro Synergy in the Gulf of Corinth, Greece. We got to learn about the preliminary results of their expedition and tell them about the objectives of our expedition. Technology is pretty amazing!
09/12/17: Ata mārie mōrena! He rā tino ātaahua tenei. Good morning! It's a lovely day. We are just approaching the Bass Strait between Tasmania and the state of Victoria on the Australian Mainland. These shallow waters should offer some respite from the swells and southerly winds of the Southern Ocean. Once we are through the strait, we'll enter the Tasman Sea for our journey between Australia and New Zealand
08/12/17: Mōrena JR followers! The winds have stopped and the swells are considerably smaller today! If you can't get enough of what's happening on the JR, be sure to check out our expedition blog.
Recent topics covered include:
-Changing time zones during transit
-Nautical flags and ship-to-ship communication
-Episode 1 of JR Profiles where we sit down and chat with JR technical crew and science party members
07/12/17: While the JR is pitching and rolling through the Southern Ocean, the scientists are hard at work preparing for when we arrive at our first drill site! Watch how the JR is moving here.
06/12/17: In just a few hours since the sun came up, the winds have shifted and are now coming from the south. The temperature has dropped and the seas are choppy! Our lucky streak of calm seas is over and we are beginning to feel the wildness of the Southern Ocean! Check out the wind along our transit here.
05/12/17: We are now off the continental shelf and in the deep water of the Southern Ocean. The sunrise was beautiful and so far the seas and winds are very calm! Above the bridge is an area known as "Steel Beach." The weather is perfect for catching some rays!
03/12/17: In addition to some scientific research discussion, the science party got to learn a bit about te reo Māori, Māori language in New Zealand.
Pūtaiao ā-nuku me te reo Māori, Earth science and Māori language. Here are a few te reo vocabulary words and phrases that may be useful for our expedition!
Aotearoa (New Zealand, long white cloud)
taiwhanga pūtaiao (science laboratory)
pahī (large ocean-going canoe or ship)
tai (coast, tide)
whanga (harbour, bay)
mahi (work or activity)
hui (gathering, meeting)
whare kai (dining hall)
Kei te whiti te rā (The sun is shining)
He rā tino ātaahua tenei (This is a lovely day)
Kei te pupuhi te hau (The wind is blowing)
Kia ora (greetings, hello)
02/12/17: Here is what we've been up to since leaving Fremantle. Next Stop: New Zealand!!