Blog Posts

21 Oct 2017

The air-guns stopped shooting at 5:00am. Years of preparation, countless financial resources, hours of effort, and bright minds from twelve different countries went into making the MIRAGE II...

19 Oct 2017

For the past three weeks, the scientists on board the R/V Marion Dufresne have had a great deal of work to do. For one day, I observed the comings and goings on the decks of the Marion Dufresne....

18 Oct 2017

"A flash of light catches my eye and I raise my binoculars to check it out. A dolphin perhaps? Or a basking turtle? I search until I spot it again. The object is bobbing high in the water,...

16 Oct 2017

Chief Scientist Satish Singh was invited to share his experiences in a joint event organised with the United Nations Office for Disaster Risk Reduction. The goal was to discuss how to reduce...

10 Oct 2017

Hear from Filomena de Jesus (Timore L’este) and Marie-Laure Fournasson (France), about their experiences as participants in the Floating Summer School programme on board the R/V Marion Dufresne...

09 Oct 2017

Albert Einstein once said, “Imagination is more important than knowledge. Knowledge is limited. Imagination encircles the world.” We should take his word for it, especially when it...

06 Oct 2017

Subduction zones are the most violent collisions on Earth. They are so powerful that even scientists who are familiar with the dynamics of plate tectonics are humbled by images of the aftermath....

04 Oct 2017

One week into the MIRAGE II expedition, the Marion Dufresne French research vessel is navigating its way...

02 Oct 2017

Five centuries ago, Leonardo da Vinci noticed fossilised sea creatures encrusted in the rocks around his house. He began to wonder whether, at some point, the mountains had been underwater. Da...

27 Sep 2017

It happened at 7:58am (Indonesian time) on 26 December 2004. In a few instants, the equivalent of 370 years of energy use in the United States, or 550 million times the power of the...

26 Sep 2017

The French Embassy in Jakarta was abuzz with excitement on Sunday, September 24 2017, as hundreds of people gathered together for the official launch of the second Marine Investigation of...

19 Sep 2016

The MIRAGE research team returned from their month-long expedition, almost two months ago on 30 July 2016, with a great deal of data that was collected directly from the seafloor of the Wharton...

30 Jul 2016

It has been almost a month since we left the port of Colombo to make our way to the Wharton Basin, a place so remote that I can count on one hand the number of container ships and fishing boats I...

30 Jul 2016

Last Saturday was barbecue night on the R/V Marion Dufresne, a chance for passengers and crew to mingle, cook their own dinner, and wear flip-flops on the ship’s main work deck, which is normally...

29 Jul 2016

The first thing you need to know about the R/V Marion Dufresne’s engine room is that it is not a room at all. In fact, the engine — or engines, to be more precise — occupy an entire section of the...

27 Jul 2016

Some people collect stamps, while others collect the cancellations on stamps, from “fancy cancels” to first-day issues. Within the world of cancellation collectors, there is a smaller, but no less...

26 Jul 2016

This week, the lab was buzzing with anticipation as we approached a seamount (an underwater mountain formed by volcanic activity), a small section of which had been mapped during last year’s...

25 Jul 2016

When the prospect of joining the MIRAGE team was dangled before me this spring, I was briefed on the nature of the survey we’d be conducting, the importance to the region of understanding why...

23 Jul 2016

The less said about yesterday’s equator ceremony the better. Unfortunately, as the Communications Officer for the MIRAGE, I am duty bound to describe the events as they transpired.

21 Jul 2016

Obviously, no one on deck gets to see this momentous event since it’s happening 4.5 km below sea level, but the pipe’s collision with the seafloor can be followed on a monitor that tracks the...

19 Jul 2016

In my first post about coring, I explained why we selected our two coring sites, as well as what MIRAGE researchers hope to find once the samples we retrieved are analysed. But I left out the most...

19 Jul 2016

Coring is difficult work, requiring days of planning, specialised equipment, and no small amount of physical prowess. Unlike bathymetry, which is primarily experienced by staring at computer...

14 Jul 2016

One of the root causes of all this activity could be the age of the lithosphere, that ever-spreading, always-moving seafloor crust. “South of eastern Java,” Dr Dyment said, pointing to a brightly...

13 Jul 2016

Between roughly 84 and 118 million years ago, during the Cretaceous Period, north was north and south was south, just like it is today. But around 83 million years ago, the planet’s polarity...

12 Jul 2016

Yesterday afternoon, at Captain Victor Broi’s suggestion, I went up to the bridge to watch Navigation Officer Mr Turcu Lucian and Helmsman Mr Dumitrache Lucian (no relation), execute a rather...

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