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Photography.94

Night Shots

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{Photography.94.508}: Martin Booda {booda} Fri, 11 Sep 2015 14:18:50 CDT (21 lines)

I'm not in this picture but it's essentially what I did tonight.
Billy, a geophysical scientist (on the left) and a couple of ship's
crewmen have the seismic sparker up on deck and are trimming the
electrodes before putting it back in the water. They're about as far
back on the ship's fantail as you can get; there's nothing behind
them but ocean.  The seismic sparker is a powerful but very simple-to-
understand device. It's trailed behind the ship by a cable which
supplies it with a massive jolt of electricity every few seconds. The
jolt makes a big spark, "loud" enough to travel all the way down to
and through the bottom of the ocean, reflecting off the subbottom
layers, and returning to the sea surface where the signal is received
by hydrophones which are also trailed behind the ship. Based on the
delay of the received signal, we can measure where the subbottom
layers are.

Billy had a bad night yesterday. The sparker cable parted
explosively, and while they were fixing it, the hydrophone array (one
of only two we have) was sheared off accidentally and lost.

This and other pictures of us at work can be found at the Naval
Oceanographic Office Facebook page.

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