Today was our last day for collecting seismic data. The streamer
stayed in the water until 18:00, the Knudsen is still "chirping", and the
multibeam will stay on until we reach the Economic Exclusion Zone of the
Falkland Islands. We are now heading home with an estimated return date
to Punta Arenas on the night of October 21st.

I approach this entry with some trepidation as the scientific adventure
is changing course, we are moving from collecting data to interpreting
data. Many individuals are writing the research cruise report and in six
days new friends will say goodbye and return to their individual worlds
off the vessel.

MT Rich on the back deck
Snow on the equipment as we travel through a little storm.

Yesterday produced a mini snow storm, as if the Scotia Sea is sorry to
see us leave. Even through the snow, work continued, but now all gear is
stowed and we are cruising at 10 knots, heading for port.

But until we dock, there is still knowledge to learn, and today I
learned a bit more about physical geology and plate reconstruction
modeling. Once again, the teacher was being schooled by the students.
Both Bud and Kory took turns in drawing me pictures, and using computer
modeling to remind me of some basic geological features of the earth and
her crusty plates.

UTIG students
Bud and Kory, students from the University of Texas Institute for Geophysics.

Go back, way back how about 190 million years to Gondwana, and think
about how the earth has changed, how the plates have moved, and how they
are still moving. That was my lesson today, and it was fascinating.
Kory drew me a great picture to explain spreading zones subduction, and
magnetic reversals. Bud then jumped in and used an amazing partial freeware program called GPlates. We talked about the oldest minerals on the
planet: zircons from the Jack Hills in Australia at approximately 4.3
billion years old, to the oldest rocks, acastia gneiss, from the
Northwest Territories in Canada.

I was also reminded that I still have questions, and one in particular:
Why does the earth's polarity switch? There is recorded data of 40
million years and no switching, then switching in intervals of three
million years, so what causes this phenomena?

I am pondering these thoughts as the sun peaks through and I see a
glimpse of blue.

Looking for a sun bow
Looking for a sun bow. During the worm a little sun will shine, you only need to look.

I have also been reminded that many of the facts I refer to in my
journals come from the amazing minds on this scientific cruise, but that
the dates might not be exact. For me, the knowledge base in this vessel
is astounding even if some of my numbers might be off by a few million
years.

Comments

Jadyn Behmer

Hi Ms. Worssam, its nice to hear from you again. I have a couple questions I would like to ask you. What was it like to experience this kind of trip? What did you learn from it?

Jaimee Berg

Hi Ms. Worrsam
I am so glad to see you had an amazing time. We are all so happy to see you come back. How much data did you collect per day? Also, how much data did you collect in all?
Please have safe travels back.
Thank you!

Jillian Worssam

Hi Jadyn, Thanks for writing. It was amazing to experience this trip, a life time experience. I learned so much about geology, plate
tectonics and the importance of science on a global scale. I am hoping
to teach you all much of the science that I learned. Be prepared to put
brain caps back on when I return. Thanks for writing. Ms. Worssam

On 2014-10-20 07:59, webmaster@polartrec.com wrote:

Elliott Ness

Hi Mrs.Mrs. Worssam I hope your having a great last couple of days,I have a few questions for you.Did your seismic data reveal anything that could affect Any land or any of the Earths plates. And also what is the Exclusion Zone of the Falkland Islands.Hope you have a great time.

Marie Russell

During your lesson what were you using? With how the plates are moving isn't it the magma under the crust that's causing the plates to move? also what does the GPlates do? I hope you have a safe trip back.

Brandon Hill

Hello Ms Worssam I have a few questions that I hope you can answer. My first question is what are magnetic reversals? Also did you and your team get the all the data you wanted? Thanks, and I can't wait to see you!

Jillian Worssam

Hi Jaimee, Great questions. We have just spent two days starting the process of decoding and collecting into one document our first summary
of the data. I will be bringing this document bcd with me. As a class
we will be discussing the different aspects of the science and looking
at how it can relate to our science in Northern Arizona. Thanks for
writing. Ms. Worssam

On 2014-10-20 10:01, webmaster@polartrec.com wrote:

Jillian Worssam

Hi Brandon, You ask great questions, I am super impressed. Since I am learning this as well, please bear with me. Ok, historically in the
last 4.5 billion years, the earth's poles have switched polarity, I am
not sure why, but they have switched. The last switch was approximately
780.000 years ago. I am hoping we can look further into this topic when
I get back. And yes the team got most of the data it wished to collect.
We did not get everything because the weather prevented us from
completing all the data collection. See you in a week and thanks again
for the great questions. Ms. Worssam

On 2014-10-20 12:42, webmaster@polartrec.com wrote:

Jillian Worssam

Hi Marie, You are correct the plates are moving due to heating and cooling to the ocean floor, and defined spreading centers. We will talk
more about this when I return. I am not sure on Gplates and that might
be a typing error on my part. I will check into it. Thanks for writing.
Ms. Worssam

On 2014-10-20 12:42, webmaster@polartrec.com wrote:

Jillian Worssam

Hi Elliott, Great questions. The seismic data has been collected but not yet decoded. There is still a lot of work to do back at the
University of Texas where the scientists will continue to analyze the
data. An EEZ is an economic exclusion zone, each country has one around
its oceanic boarders, usually around 200 nautical miles, and considered
to be part of that country. We will be talking about both of these
topics more when I return. Thanks so much. Ms. Worssam

On 2014-10-20 12:40, webmaster@polartrec.com wrote:

Josh S

I am wondering how you keep from driving each other crazy since you all spend so much time together? PS, I'm from Ms. Steiner's class at Murphy High School!

Jillian Worssam

Hi Josh, Thanks for today's chuckle. The people on the Palmer are amazing and with all the varied schedules and the fact that this is a
really big vessel no one is crazy yet. We also have a great mix of work
and play. Right now we are finishing a corn hole tournament which has
been a blast. Thanks for following along, and please let Ms. Steiner
know I am sending a big cheery "Hello!" Jillian

On 2014-10-17 08:15, webmaster@polartrec.com wrote: