September passed quickly as we/Guralp focused on analyzing the BOBS data from the Laurentian Fan test survey to understand the instrument problems it had revealed and address these by the beginning of October, when our second test cruise was scheduled off B.C. We were relieved to find that what superficially appeared to be many separate issues actually stemmed from a few simple causes, confirmed by lab tests. Guralp came up with straight forward fixes for these that are easy to implement. The B.C. instruments were retrofitted accordingly, putting us in a position to proceed with deployments for our second facility test on schedule.
Unfortunately, despite the great effort involved in pulling this together, the West Coast deployments had to be cancelled shortly after sailing due to an outbreak of COVID in the science party, with all members of the NFSI team, Guralp, students from UBC, and the Chief Scientist from the Geological Survey of Canada ultimately testing positive. This has put us in a challenging situation, as a long period field test demonstrating that the data quality issues observed on the Laurentian Fan are resolved is essential for us to accept further batches of instruments from Guralp and proceed with future programs. We are therefore discussing a 3 BOBS deployment in the Tyrrhenian Sea for 3-4 months starting in November. In the meantime, we have delayed our first deployment in the Hikurangi Subduction Zone to November 2023.
In other news, planning for the 2nd NFSI workshop, this time with international participation, is moving forward. The plan is to have a combination of talks, including those from invited speakers, hands-on experience with deploying/recovering BOBS at sea and computer analysis of BOBS data, and a survey proposal development session in breakout groups.
Mladen and Graeme