TRANSA concluded on the 21st of May with the Celtic Explorer arriving in Galway.
Some highlights TRASNA include:
• Survey has mapped, in adverse weather conditions, 14,000 square km (similar to Connacht) of unchartered ocean seafloor crossing the Atlantic with a passage length of 2400 km
• Detailed mapping was performed in the Mid Atlantic Ridge, half-way along the journey, uncovering new features on the seafloor. A large transect was mapped showing greater detail in a potential spreading centre for the Atlantic Ocean separating two large mound provinces
• Seafloor samples were recovered in several remote locations near the Mid Atlantic Ridge returning mafic intrusive igneous rocks (e.g. gabbros) biogenic hardgrounds, bivalves and sponges
• Under water video footage was taken over a mound at 1100m. Images revealed similar type of rocks than the ones previously recovered and a variety of deep-water benthic fauna
• Training through research on-board the R.V Celtic Explorer was a key element during the expedition. Specific training in the use of the different mapping and sampling capabilities of the ship (multibeam, sub-bottom Chirp, Single Beam echosounder, XBT, CTD, UWV, Dredge sample recording) was provided to students and early career scientists.
• A number of evening scientific lectures in the different aspects of seabed mapping were delivered on-board for the benefit of all the participants covering a variety of ocean sciences disciplines
• A prototype of a remote assistance toolset developed by Greenlight survey was trialled during the expedition to provide multimedia on-line technical support in real time.
• High species diversity was recorded during the transect. 24 species of seabirds, including large numbers of great shearwater and long –tailed skua, plus a rare north-atlantic sighting of a south polar skua were recorded
• A number of species of whales and dolphins were identified, including Humpback whales and sperm whales
The experience and importance of the voyage was well summed up by Rachel Wireman, Geologist and participant in TRASNA:
"As the final hours on board the R/V Celtic Explorer approach – and land finally comes into sight – it’s easy to reflect upon what a uniquely awesome experience this TRASNA leg has been. Between multibeam mapping, seismic surveying, rock dredging, and buoy servicing, a marine scientist can really experience a little bit of everything upon the Celtic Explorer."
Three students aboard on scholarship stand in front of the R/V Celtic Explorer holding their certificates of completion immediately after docking in Galway.