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Support of Gulf of Mexico Hydrate Research Consortium: Activities to Support Establishment of a Sea Floor Monitoring Station Project. Progress Report: June-November 2004

Description: A Consortium, designed to assemble leaders in gas hydrates research, has been established at the University of Mississippi's Center for Marine Resources and Environmental Technology, CMRET. The primary objective of the group is to design and emplace a remote monitoring station on the sea floor in the northern Gulf of Mexico by the year 2005, in an area where gas hydrates are known to be present at, or just below, the sea floor. This mission necessitates assembling a station that will monitor physical and chemical parameters of the sea water and sea floor sediments on a more-or-less continuous basis over an extended period of time. Development of the station allows for the possibility of expanding its capabilities to include biological monitoring, as a means of assessing environmental health. Establishment of the Consortium has succeeded in fulfilling the critical need to coordinate activities, avoid redundancies and communicate effectively among researchers in this relatively new research arena. Complementary expertise, both scientific and technical, has been assembled to promote innovative research methods and construct necessary instrumentation. Noteworthy achievements one year into the extended life of this cooperative agreement include: (1) Progress on the vertical line array (VLA) of sensors: (1a) Repair attempts of the VLA cable damaged in the October >1000m water depth deployment failed; a new design has been tested successfully. (1b) The acoustic modem damaged in the October deployment was repaired successfully. (1c) Additional acoustic modems with greater depth rating and the appropriate surface communications units have been purchased. (1d) The VLA computer system is being modified for real time communications to the surface vessel using radio telemetry and fiber optic cable. (1e) Positioning sensors--including compass and tilt sensors--were completed and tested. (1f) One of the VLAs has been redesigned to collect near sea floor geochemical data. (2) Progress on the …
Date: November 1, 2005
Creator: Higley, Paul; Woolsey, J. Robert; Goodman, Ralph; Asper, Vernon; Mizaikoff, Boris & Davis, Angela
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department