Day 2: Surveying shipwrecks

By May 17th, 2018

By: Callum Hollingsworth

Today’s focus has been on locating and surveying shipwrecks off the NSW coast; using the RV Investigator’s Multibeam. The vessel spent hours over the sites with a team of scientists monitoring the sea floor to locate the ships. The team were able to locate two of ships; The Pioneer and an unidentified wreck sitting at 141m depth. The Multibeam is a state-of-the-art piece of sonar mapping equipment, emitting different frequencies allowing it to map smaller depths right up to larger depths of 12000m. Not only does this device give scientists a fantastic view of the ocean floor, it can also measure the entire water column from surface to seabed. The Multibeam can pick up things such as biomasses as well as gas seams in the water columns.

The best part about this technology is that it is constantly running, and contributing to a world wide database; helping to develop a greater understanding of the seafloor.

Oceanographers searching for the ship wreck.

As well as the Multibeam operations, up on level 7 (the observation deck) Erick Woehler continued with his study into sea birds. Where he is studying the spatial and temporal variability in the distribution and abundance of seabirds. Over the past three days Eric and his team have sighted 23 different species of bird; and managed in one day today to sight four different species of Albatross.

I am really looking forward to spending more time up in the observation deck throughout the journey, looking out for more bird life and marine mammals!