Articles tagged with: La Réunion

RHUM-RUM launched

Written by Guilhem Barruol, Karin Sigloch on Friday, 07 September 2012.

15 September 2012

Indian Ocean seen from Le Port de La Réunion

From Sept. to Nov. 2012, we will be installing most of our instruments: about 30 land stations in La Réunion, Mauritius, Madagascar, and the Seychelles, as well as 57 ocean-bottom seismometers during a month-long cruise aboard RV "Marion Dufresne". The cruise starts on September 22nd, we expect to be blogging regularly from the ship.

Ready for departure

Written by Chris Scheingraber, Maria Tsekhmistrenko on Monday, 24 September 2012. Posted in Cruise 2012

22 September 2012

Looking for our containers.

The French and German scientific teams arrived well on the island of La Reunion. Unfortunately, our departure will be delayed (for a few days?) due to a strike of dockworkers that we learned about on short notice. Since they are supposed to load our equipment on board, the Marion Dufresne is still docking in Le Port de la Réunion. Despite the problems we are facing, the crew and the scientists are in good spirits. We just hope that the strike will end soon so that we can finally start our mission.

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30 scientists in a golden cage

Written by Heiner Igel on Monday, 24 September 2012. Posted in Cruise 2012

24 September 2012

Blogging from a golden cage.

Here we are, ready to fight the open seas and drop down a few dozen seismometers into the abyss of the Indian ocean .... BUT ... the dockworkers decided (after many years for the first time) to go on strike just the day when we were supposed to start loading. And they seem to continue. No end in sight.
Yes. We found "our" four large containers somewhere in the harbor but unfortunately - despite the increasing use of the ship's "gym" (two bikes, rowing machine, running machine, weights) - we do not feel strong enough to carry them to our dock without machine support.
It is day 4 on the ship. With no real task, except waiting. Some sit on the two chairs outside the scientific room with view to the rising slopes of volcanic La Reunion, waiting for the next eruption (Jason), that could be viewed from a comfortable distance. Others go running along the beautiful seashore park after leaving the ports' gate (2 km away from the ship), coming back with ideas for a new seismology rock song (Jean-Paul). It is amazing what the sudden unexpected availability of time can do to you! Marvelous! Inspiring!
What keeps us from jumping overboard in despair are the meals. 12:15 and 19:15. Four courses. Entrée, plats, cheese, dessert. Excellent French cuisine (another reason for the increasing use of the gym). Followed by coffee and discussions on science, the world, our situation, the region. What an opportunity to work with colleagues from La Réunion, Rodrigues, Mauritius, Madagascar, and to learn more about these remote regions!
This situation is dangerous! 30 scientists with lots of time, good food, no internet access? I think there could be some explosive new ideas around the corner!

Le Volcan

Written by Chris Scheingraber on Thursday, 27 September 2012. Posted in La Réunion

26 September 2012

Many scientists who flew to La Réunion from continental Europe arrived some days in advance to have a look around this magnificent tropical island before embarking (embargoing?) on the Marion Dufresne. La Réunion's active volcanism is owed to its location on top of the mantle plume that our experiment plans to image by means of seismic tomography.

The "Piton de la Fournaise", the active volcano in the south-east of the island has erupted numerous times in the recent past, including an eruption lasting from August 2006 until January 2007.

Another big eruption, which occurred in 1986, increased the island size by as much as 25 hectares. The newly added area is called "Pointe de la table" and lies on the coast about 5 km north-east of Saint Philippe.

"Jardin volcanique - coastal shore line close to the famous 'Pointe de la table'

Departure!

Written by Maria Tsekhmistrenko on Saturday, 29 September 2012. Posted in Cruise 2012

28 September 2012

This is what we have been waiting for: 48 ocean bottom seismometers (Picture: Chris Scheingraber).

Anxious waiting, nervous faces all around. But suddenly the tension melts away, gives way to joy. There they are!

Our four containers are finally being released; the harbor workers are pulling up in two big trucks. They have lifted their strike after one week. To say that we are "relieved" would be a gross understatement. After days of forced inactivity, the ship becomes happily busy. Our bulky ocean bottom seismometers are being unloaded from the containers by our technicians, and the ship crew hoists them onto the helicopter deck with cranes. It takes us about three hours, and now only a cyclope could keep us from leaving.

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At 3 p.m. everything is ready for departure. While the pilot is coming onboard and the crew is pulling in the ropes, the scientists are assembling on the superstructure in front, facing the harbor exit and the Indian Ocean. The sky is cloudy, it is drizzling, but nobody minds in the least – we are finally underway!

The harbor episode due to the strike already felt like an odyssey in itself, but now the real work is coming up. Still, we have used to time to get to know each other better and to bond. Our international group should be working together all the better for it.

“It’s déjà vu all over again”

Written by Karin Sigloch on Monday, 08 October 2012. Posted in Cruise 2012

6 October 2012

“It’s KUMing home” – was it them who told the dock workers that the Marion Dufresne would be back in port?

"It's kuming home" -- Was it them who gave away the Marion Dufresne's return to port?


Halfway through the experiment, we were going to stop briefly in La Réunion on October 9, in order to pick up more colleagues and material. And guess what, yesterday the dock workers announced a strike for that day. No joke. This time a nationwide general strike of harbor workers and others.

The human mind tries to make sense of things. The first strikes in 10 years, and both on the only days that we need the dock workers? They must have been missing us, our friends from the dock – longing for another rendez-vous at the harbor gate, no doubt. Has nobody else been talking to them since we left? Who has leaked the plans for our stopover, and how do we plug this leak, given that we'll have to return to port once more at the end of the cruise?

But they blundered, this time by giving us more than 24 hours notice. Yesterday was spent with frantic phone calls and deliberations, a scramble to advance our port visit by one day: to rush in our colleagues from Europe for Leg 2, to accommodate the people leaving, and to design a new deployment route that minimizes the loss of time. Plans for this counterstrike are well advanced: Rendez-vous in Le Port on the 8th – in full working gear!

Here we go again!

Written by Maria Tsekhmistrenko on Friday, 25 October 2013. Posted in Cruise 2013

12000 km of total route length to go. 57 OBS are waiting for us in the deep abyss of the Indian ocean. 43 days at sea. 24 scientists gathered on the the magnificent Meteor. 10 knots of mean velocity. 2 Legs. 1 big Project. RHUM-RUM.

One year later, one year of waiting, one year of unbearable curiosity. We are back to recover the OBS we deployed one year ago. After this time the ocean bottom seismometer had enough time to gather a lot of data.

The recovery has now started and with each new OBS safely recovered, we gather more data. Valuable data for our project to image the hot spot below La Reunion. But will the instruments deliver the expected and needed data?

Still 44 days to got and 54 OBS to recover to find this out.

 

Heading for the volcano

Written by Karin Sigloch on Saturday, 09 November 2013. Posted in Cruise 2013

9 November 2013

 

Group photo Leg 1. Since starting out from Mauritius 19 days ago, we have successfully recovered 28 OBS as planned, and have accomplished additional bathymetric mapping here and there. We have kept circling the central target of our seismological campaign, the hotspot of La Réunion. Now, during the last night of Leg 1, we are heading directly towards it. The Meteor should reach this spectacular volcanic island early in the morning, where the first half of our cruise will end.

 

End of second RHUM-RUM cruise in La Réunion

Written by Guilhem Barruol, Karin Sigloch on Saturday, 07 December 2013. Posted in Cruise 2013

4 December 2013, Karin Sigloch & Guilhem Barruol

 

Wednesday, 4 December at 5:00 in the morning, La Réunion Island is lying ahead of us in the first daylight -- our cruise is ending here.

The "Marion Dufresne" arrived in Le Port together with us.

We made a fuel stop in Mauritius yesterday. During our overnight transit to La Réunion, the research vessel Marion Dufresne had stayed by our side the entire time. They too had been filling their tanks on Réunion’s enterprising sister island, but for us, the unexpected company of “Le Marion” during our last cruise night meant a bit more. It was with this French ship that we began our experiment and deployed our seismometers 14 months ago. Being accompanied home to Le Port by Le Marion, with all OBS recovered onboard the German Meteor, gave a beautiful sense of closure.

Things are moving in European marine geophysics!

Thank you very much to the science party of cruise M101, and to those who will now work hard on the data, in order to illuminate one of the darker corners of the interior of our beautiful planet.

And thank you very much to the crew of the Meteor for their dedication, professionalism, and good humor at all times of day.

Vielen Dank und auf Wiedersehen!

Karin & Guilhem

 

Science team of cruise M101, Leg 2.