December 3: Wrapping up the research
December 3, 2006
On board the RV Yuzhmorgeologiya
Port Foster, Deception Island
The weather hasn’t improved. It’s difficult to estimate the actual temperature, but because the wind chill factor I’m wearing three layers of clothing. Today, we returned to Port Foster, the sunken caldera of Deception Island, but it is too rough and the wind velocity is too high for the Zodiac to come from shore. Once again we cast the Niskin bottle rosette off the stern of the Yuzhmorgeologiya, hoping to capture water samples bearing telltale elements of helium and metals. This location is much deeper. We took eight samples down to 160 meters.
Our final research objective was to obtain a high-resolution map of the bathymetry of Port Foster. The RV Yuzhmorgeologiya is equipped with single beam SONAR capacity. Moving in increasing diameter spirals, the Yuzhmorgeologiya obtained accurate maps of the changing depths of Port Foster. We then reluctantly departed Deception Island amid rough seas and high winds.
After eight hours of steaming at ~ 10 knots, we arrived at King George Island, just off of the Antarctic Peninsula.