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May 26, 2011

CIET Conference Calls


  1. Status of Bathymetry
  2. Readiness of OBSs for 2011 Field Season
  3. Review action items from previous call: April 20, 2011


Participants : Richard Allen, Emilie Hooft, Dean Livelybrooks, Jeff McGuire, Susan Schwartz, Doug Toomey, Maya Tolstoy, Anne Trehu, William Wilcock, Richard Carlson

Status of Bathymetry

William Wilcock reviewed the status of existing and to-be-collected bathymetry data. William, Chris Goldfinger, and Chris Romsos have been working/communicating with Vicki Ferrini (LDEO) regarding existing bathymetry data. There were a number of past cruises at the NGDC that were not readily available via GeoMapApp. With Vicki's help and hard work these data sets are quickly getting included in GeoMapApp and geo-referenced tiff images are being provided to Goldfinger/Romsos so that they can plan their upcoming mapping cruise. The official release of these data in GeoMapApp will be late May. Noteworthy developments:

  • With the addition of these NGDC datasets in GeoMapApp, it looks as though bathymetric coverage away from the slope and shelf is adequate for siting OBS drop points. Some deployments may need to be move a small amount (a few kilometers), but this is not problematic.
  • The mapping cruise May 28 - Jun 24, 2011, R/V Thomas G. Thompson, Multibeam departs on Saturday and the PIs are in good shape for laying out a cruise plan to map the margin. This NSF-supported cruise is funded through the RAPID program. The CIET thanks NSF/Carlson for their quick response and support of this effort. The data resulting from the cruise will be of broad use to the community and will help the CIET plan future deployments for the CI.
  • The Thompson will make a port call midway through the mapping cruise, possibly to take on more students.

✔✔Action Item 1: CIET recommends sending a letter of thanks to Vicki Ferrini with a copy to NSF.

Overall, the review and assessment of bathymetric data has gone remarkably well and this is due to the hard work of William Wilcock, Vicki Ferrini, Chris Goldfinger and Chris Romsos.

Readiness of OBSs for 2011 Field Season

On May 23, 2011 the CIET was informed that LDEO would not be able to complete the construction of 20 TRM OBSs for the July deployment cruise. Following is the email from Andrew Barclay (LDEO, OBSIP IIC) to Bill Ball (OOI) and the CIET:

Hello Bill,
We've run into a backlog on the construction of the trawl-resistent OBS's. Several critical parts have been slow in arriving, and we are concerned that by the time they do, working on such a tight timeline might result in critical errors. We have been giving this a great deal of thought, and after discussions with Maya (in her role as deployment co-PI), we feel that the interests of the community would best be served by us focusing on building and deploying 10 trawl-resistant OBSs, with the hope of increasing this number if things go well. As always, it is possible that we may deploy fewer than 10 if we do run into significant problems.
All of the remaining components are arriving in mid-June, giving us 2-3 weeks before everything needs to be shipped to Newport, Oregon. We could probably get all 20 trawl-resistant OBSs together in that time, but we are very concerned that the bulk effort of committing to and striving for 20 OBSs leaves no time for testing, getting it right, or dealing with any unforeseen issues. Although an extra month would solve everything, there is no flexibility in the Wecoma's schedule, and the next deployment opportunity is 2012. Even with this new plan, there is a risk that some critical components will be delayed, although we believe that this risk is small.
While it's not a desirable situation, I think that an experiment using fewer instruments that have a higher probability of working will still be useful. We have little understanding of the noise levels either of these instruments or of the shelf environment and with this plan we can better inform Year 2 deployments. Because we have outfitted some OBSs with popup buoys, we intend to recover, then redeploy, one or more instruments after a few days of recording. We are actively exploring with the Wecoma the possibility of finding additional opportunities during August/September to recover/redeploy or deploy additional instruments, and we are building flexibility for this into our planning. We still intend to have a short test cruise in Long Island Sound within the next 2-3 weeks; this was held up by the delivery of some components.
Both co-chief scientists (Maya and Anne Trehu) have been aware of the situation in general terms. It's only now that lead times etc have clarified sufficiently that we've been able to come up with a realistic, distributable plan.

The CIET discussion focussed on the impacts of this development on the July cruise, including the possibility of deploying additional instruments later in 2011, and the procedure for adjusting the deployment plan. These two issues are discussed further below.

Impact on Leg 1, Jul 23 - Aug 2, 2011, R/V Wecoma (W1107A) :

Planning for the July cruise will proceed under the assumption that 10 TRM OBSs will be available for deployment. CIET discussed whether or not the Wecoma or other vessels could be used later in the season to deploy an additional 10 TRM OBSs in the event that they become available. A summary follows:

  • The R/V Wecoma schedule is very rigid since other cruises also face readiness issues. If another 4 days were available in September, this would be ideal.
  • Bob Dziak mentioned in an email that the OSU ship Pacific Storm might be available. However, this ship does not have an A-frame.
  • The R/V Thompson may be a possibility.
  • Deploying TRMs during the Oct/Nov CI cruises is not desirable due to expected weather conditions and the weight/size of a TRM.
  • Future discussions will revisit whether or not another ship is available.

✔✔Action Item 2 Tolstoy will ask UW about time on Thompson

Action Item 3 CIET to prioritize order of instrument deployment


  • Doug Toomey and Jeff McGuire will propose a 10 station reduction in the TRM deployment plan and submit to CIET and community experts for comment.

Procedure for modifying the deployment plan: CIET proposes the following procedure for making changes to the workshop-defined deployment plan:

  1. When circumstances, eg instrument availability, demand a change to the CI deployment plan, the CIET develops a new plan that remains as close to the original community plan as possible but accommodates the new circumstances.
  2. This plan is made available to community members with specific knowledge or interest relevant to the change for comment and suggestions.
  3. The CIET revises the plan accordingly and presents it to AASC (Amphibious Array Steering Committee).
  4. The AASC reviews the plan, makes suggestions/changes, and approves the modified plan.
  5. The modified plan is posted on the CIET website

This procedure was discussed on by AASC on May 26, 2011 and approved.

Review of Previous Action Items

Action Item (Remains Active): Initiate a discussion on issues related to Wecoma scheduling and possible recovery of a subset of LDEO instruments in 2011 (Tolstoy, moderator)


  • Maya will moderate a wiki page that lays out the possible options. The general questions is whether the 10 days of Wecoma time can be split and some of the days used later in the summer for recovering and checking a couple of instruments.

✔✔Action Item: Draft recommendations related to moving sites


  • A procedure has been proposed by CIET and approved by AASC. This is described above and on the CI Deployment Plan page.

Action Item (Remains Active): Poll CIET on time for face-to-face meeting to discuss overall project in June/July/August time frame (Toomey)

  • General consensus to hold meeting in Portland, OR sometime during first 3 weeks of September, 2011. Specific dates will be solicited.

We discussed whether or not Langseth/Thompson/Atlantis transits could be used to collect data on the Pacific plate in regions of rough topography.

Action Item (Remains Active): Follow up on ships of opportunity (Wilcock/Tolstoy)

Action Item (Remains Active: Determine OBSIP space needs in Newport (Collins)