Welcome to the web site for Sediment and Solute Transport on Rivers and Margins (SSTORM) Research Group! Reide Corbett and J.P. Walsh from East Carolina University and the UNC Coastal Studies Institute lead the team.
Check out our research in/on wetlands, estuaries, barrier islands, shelves and groundwater.

Tuesday, December 11, 2012

Preparing for Science

Our first night on the R/V LMG while in transit was pretty smooth.  We are following down the East Coast of South America and are experiencing calm seas.  Tonight we will leave the shelter of the coastline and venture into Drake Passage.

South America at 10 p.m.
To prepare for our crossing we were presented with the R/V LMG’s safety procedures by Chief Mate Pete.  As part of this process we practiced donning emersion suits we will have to put on in the event of an emergency.  These suits would keep us afloat and provide a level of insulation to help us survive the cold water.  We also took a tour of the lifeboats and discussed protocols for abandoning ship.  The lifeboat was roomier than I expected, but I imagine riding in any kind of sea would be an unpleasant experience.   

This afternoon Chief Scientist Dr. Reide Corbett (East Carolina University and UNC Coastal Studies Institute), Dr. Rich Viso from Coastal Carolina University (CCU), and Dr. J.P. Walsh (ECU and UNC-CSI)  finished constructing the “clean room” for our trace metals analysis.  The rest of our scientific team consists of Dr. Rick Peterson from CCU, graduate students Jared Crenshaw and David Hawkins from ECU, graduate student Leigha Peterson from CCU, and myself, David Sybert from UNC-CSI.  This group will be broken into two teams and work twelve-hour shifts while conducting science.   

Dr. Corbett installs the clean room
In the laboratories on board we are currently figuring out the logistics of sampling water from different depths, and how water will be moved to the analysis areas.  We will measure Iron, Radon isotopes and Radium isotopes to gain a better understanding the origin of the water we are sampling (ice melt or submarine groundwater), and how it is mixing across the continental shelf. 

Many of our science team has also volunteered to help collect information from the Drake Passage as part of an ongoing study that has gone on for 15 years through the National Science Foundation (NSF).  The Marine Technicians on board will show us sampling techniques for the NSF study and the analysis that needs to be done during our three-day crossing.  Dr. Corbett’s data collections will not start until we reach the Antarctic Continent.
- David Sybert


  1. You guys are working hard it seems! Enjoy the calm seas before entering the DP. I've enjoyed the updates!