Ship Operations 2012-2017

Lead PI: Dr. Sean Higgins , Dr. David S. Goldberg

Unit Affiliation: Office of Marine Operations, Lamont-Doherty Earth Observatory (LDEO)

January 2012 - October 2018
Project Type: Facilities & Operations

DESCRIPTION: Lamont-Doherty Earth Observatory is awarded funding to carry out peer-reviewed NSF scientific sea-going operations on Research Vessel Marcus G. Langseth (Langseth) for CY 2012. In 2012 the R/V Langseth has six science programs planned, encompassing the 195 scheduled operating days. All six NSF science projects will require a seismic capability. One program is a combination of seismic and piston/multi-coring, which will be a first for the Langseth. This is a five-year cooperative agreement, and funding for each year of the agreement will be negotiated and is dependent on the number of days at sea in support of NSF-funded research. R/V Langseth operates as a UNOLS ship, adhering to the UNOLS safety standards and NSF inspections. 

Technical merit: The Langseth provides the U.S. academic community an improved multi-channel seismic (MCS) capability. The ship is able to deploy multiple hydrophone arrays and linear sound source air gun arrays, which improve the quality and reliability of data acquisition. This unique imaging capability enables scientists to tackle a wide range of marine earth science problems. Along with this special capability we are seeking to develop an enhanced general-purpose capacity, which can be used to conduct research in support of various marine science disciplines in locations around the world. The unique capabilities of the Langseth improve the efficiency, quality and reliability of multichannel seismic data acquisition for the US academic community, enabling the widest range of problems in marine earth sciences to be tackled with substantially improved imaging capability. Although the seismic capability of this vessel is the primary focus for scientific programs investigating the deep earths structure, general oceanographic and marine mammal investigations in little-explored parts of the earth will provide an insight into local and global environmental conditions affecting earths climate and the living resources of the sea.

Broader impacts: The Langseth, in common with the other ships in the UNOLS Fleet, is more than just an instrument for the collection of scientific data. It is a learning tool, a university educational facility that allows young earth scientists to learn the hands-on aspects of their trade. The 2012 Ship Operations program provides an opportunity to collect new, higher resolution data in unexplored areas, which will add significantly to our understanding of fundamental problems in the earth and ocean sciences, including climate change and natural hazards, such as earthquakes and tsunamis. Outreach efforts include ship tours and community outreach through LDEO sponsored activities that feature the Langseth.