The past few days saw us reach 2 huge milestones on our scientific journey. First, on Wednesday we crossed the Mid-Atlantic Ridge! This marks where the South American and African plates are spreading apart. I decided that was the perfect day to distribute UTIG (University of Texas Institute for Geophysics) t-shirts to the science party.
The second milestone was that we finished our 1500-km seismic transect from the edge of the Rio Grande Rise across to the eastern flank of the Mid-Atlantic Ridge! It has taken us about 2 weeks, as we have also detoured periodically to acquire 5 crossing profiles.
Along the way we noticed a cool volcanic field – lots of small volcanoes in a small region. These are imaged best in our side scan sonar data, which measures the amplitude of the energy that bounces off the seafloor. We have a few more days of seismic acquisition, and then on Sunday will bring in our gear and start the long transit back to Cape Verde. – Gail