R/V Marcus G Langseth is heading south at full speed, but it would take a few more days until we reach the target research area. The sailing distance from Cape Verde to the equator is about 2,000 km. The ship is sailing through calm seas at about 10 Knots, which is approximately 20 km/hour. Some of the scientific and technical groups have already started their routine shifts, of either 6 or 12 hours, in preparation for when stations deployment starts to take place day and night.
Who was Marcus G Langseth?
The ship name is dedicated to the pioneering Earth scientist Marcus Gerhardt Langseth. In the mid 1900’s Dr. Langseth developed one of the first modern instruments and techniques for measuring the flow of heat through the Earth’s upper layers. He gathered heat flow measurements from all the world’s oceans. With these data, the first global picture of how and where heat flowed near the Earth’s surface was compiled. Dr. Langseth’s heat flow data provided corroborating evidence of the heat engine that drives plate tectonics and how the ocean floor evolved. As young seafloor spreads out from mid-ocean ridges, it gradually cools until it becomes dense enough to sink back into the mantle, 200 million years after it was born. Dr. Langseth’s global heat-flow explorations also led to the discovery of hydrothermal vent systems at the mid-ocean ridges.
Dr. Langseth also headed the Apollo Lunar Heat Flow Experiment, which made the only measurements ever of the moon’s heat flow. He concluded that much of the moon’s original internal heat has been dissipated and that the moon showed no signs of recent volcanic activity.
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