Pisces – Meet the Chief Scientist

Our chief scientist, Dr. David Valentine, is a professor of Geochemistry at University of California Santa Barbara.  We managed to tear him away from his work long enough to ask him a few questions.

Chief Scientist David ValentineHow did you get involved in subsurface monitoring?

It started shortly after the Deepwater Horizon sank.  I do a lot of work on the geochemistry of methane, of gas hydrates and of oil.  Fairly soon after it was realized there was a significant leak, I started getting phone calls, largely from the media, asking questions about what was going to happen.  Soon thereafter, John Kessler (the chief scientist on the Pisces’ last mission) and I started talking about what was going on with methane.  We studied the area around the wellhead for about two weeks in June, looking at methane and other gases.  Then, John got a call to serve as chief scientist on the Pisces on the last leg, and since we’ve been collaborating on this for many years he gave me a call and we marshaled resources to man that project, and then they asked me to serve as chief scientist on this leg.  Six weeks of ship time later, here I am!

You mentioned methane hydrate.  Can you explain what exactly methane hydrate is?

Methane is normally a gas. Under very high pressures and cold temperatures, its preferred state is in a trapped structure with water.  It forms a water-ice structure where the water molecules will entrap the methane.  It’s technically called a methane clathrate, where clathrate is a word that means “cage.”  It’s methane that’s caged in water-ice.  Clathrates are stable in conditions like the deep water in the Gulf of Mexico.  At about 600m of water depth, you only need to be down to about 5 degrees Celsius for methane clathrates to be stable.  Therefore, it’s typical when you have gas emanating into the deep ocean waters for it to form immediately into that structure.

So is this the form in which they’re coming out of these seeps that we’re mapping?

There’s definitely methane hydrate forming at the seeps.  The bubbles that we see are probably bypassing methane hydrate formation in the subsurface.  Normally when they come into contact with water they form hydrate but what often happens is that as you have gases migrating up through the sediment in the ocean floor, they will form methane hydrate and will do so until there is no water left, so you have a gas pathway that’s going through that’s basically coated with solid methane hydrate.  It then comes out at the seafloor and begins to bubble up, and if you were to look closely at those bubbles, you would see that they actually form a skin of methane hydrate around the outside. As they rise it will decompose, but the methane hydrate will actually prevent the gas from dissolving rapidly into the water.

What do you think of the results you’ve seen so far on this project?

With the coring, I don’t think we got enough cores to say too much.  We haven’t seen oil in the ones we have gotten, by way of the analyses that have been run so far on the ship.  So that’s good.  If we’d been hitting oil everywhere it would be really disconcerting.  The fact that we’re not doesn’t mean it’s not there, it just means it’s not everywhere, which is a good thing.  We’ve been doing a lot of CTD casts looking at oxygen anomalies and fluorescence peaks.  Most of the more severe fluorescence anomalies and oxygen sags are not in the area of the wellhead.  They’ve moved largely off to the southwest, which is what we saw on the last trip.  The last day and a half we’ve been sampling extensively for oil in the water.  These samples are being stored to be analyzed as soon as we get back.  We’re collecting about 18 samples for oil analysis on every CTD cast.  At a rate of 12 casts a day, it’s adding up in a hurry.  Somebody’s going to be doing a lot of oil analysis when these water samples arrive.

What are some of the challenges you face in this research?

Doing things on a very short fuse.  We had about six days of advance notice for this particular mission.  Bringing together everything that you need for one of these projects is a big challenge.  You really have to pack for everything.  You’re on a boat.  No magic wand is going to make something appear that you need, so you have to bring it, you have to plan for it.

How do you feel about the work you are doing here?

I feel fortunate in that my area of expertise has become an area of importance in responding to this disaster.  At the same time, there was a lot of environmental damage that occurred.  I wish the oil spill had never happened, but I feel fortunate that I have been able to use my expertise to help out in some way.

This entry was posted in People, Pisces, Water Sampling and tagged , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

170 Responses to Pisces – Meet the Chief Scientist

  1. Robert Dudgeon says:

    Hello from Australia, keep up the good work, I have visited the Gulf Coast on quite a few occasions ( my sister lives in Gulfport ) and it is one of my most favourite places.

  2. Keep up the good work, I have visited the Gulf Coast on quite a few occasions

  3. Hello from Australia, keep up the good work, I have visited the Gulf Coast on quite a few occasions ( my sister lives in Gulfport ) and it is one of my most favourite places.

  4. Zoe says:

    I need a map of puerto rico for my ela class!
    Make on if you don’t have one

  5. Traplift says:

    Als U met veel plezier in Uw huidige woning woont en het opgaan van de trap wat moeilijker wordt dan is een traplift de ideale oplossing om in Uw eigen huis te kunnen blijven wonen. Verhuizen is dan helemaal niet meer nodig. In elke woning kan immers een traplift worden geplaats zodat naar boven en beneden gaan geen enkele moeite meer kost. U bent met http://trapliften-traplift.nl/trapliften/ weer in staat om hoger gelegen etages zelfstandig te kunnen bereiken.

  6. I like this website a lot due the large variety in different content.

  7. RDes says:

    Congratulations on your great work. I send all my support

  8. m88 says:

    At home, the M88, the customer will be dedicated guidance, support 24/24 including holidays

  9. linkm88 says:

    thanks for share Sincerely!

  10. That’s actually amazing new. Great to hear this.

  11. Exceptional post. Would love to see more of the same soon.

  12. I agree with you here 100%, solid points.

  13. AJames says:

    Amazing post – check out our video at https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5xRUD9nRdEM

  14. Nicely written and quite educational, thank you.

  15. I was too excited to find this post. Really appreciate this info, cheers.

  16. Jim says:

    Completely agree here. This makes perfect sense to me. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ayyGhJSbGzU

  17. Well researched. Thanks for explaining this further.

  18. Thanks for your personal marvelous posting! I definitely enjoyed reading it, you happen to be a great author.I will ensure that I bookmark your blog and will come back in the foreseeable future. I want to encourage yourself to continue your great job, have a nice afternoon!

  19. Tom says:

    Fantastic information, really useful. Thanks a bunch.. http://latestworldtechnology.com/

  20. Luke says:

    Fantastic, couldn’t agree more really. Good stuff. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Ogk3WgGsi3k

  21. Very educational and informative. Cheers.

  22. Essential info here! Thanks for the quality post.

  23. Far away from what I thought initially. Makes sense now though.

  24. I love research posts it is very intuitive and exciting to me. Thanks for sharing it.

  25. Excellent piece of content. I truly appreciate it.

  26. That is some top notch info right here. Cheers for sharing.

  27. The oceans has a lot of secrets to research. 99% of all oceans are invisible and hide many secrets. Great article, Thanks

  28. learn more says:

    The equipment search vessels have at their disposal today is truly fascinating. I enjoyed this piece, a real pleasure to read.

  29. more here says:

    I’m always amazed when I embark upon stories relating to the deep waters. Your write up was splendid and informative.

  30. Bundle Includes:1x Towel Hotter Cupboard.

  31. fakemanager21 says:

    Goodness, that is the thing that I was investigating for, what a stuff! existing here at this site, thanks administrator of this site. buy twitter followers

  32. Impressive share of knowledge here. Great stuff, cheers.

  33. Solutions says:

    We are a teaching service and a tuition agency committed to providing quality Music Tuition in Stanmore and surrounding areas.

  34. Dolls & Dirt says:

    With all our products made in Portugal using the latest technology our Funky Childrens Tee Shirts are high quality which can one day, be handed down and just get better with age.

  35. Touch Elite says:

    Touch Elite is an Online Escort Directory for escorts from all around the world. We list Adult Escort Services in Paddington and many other locations.

  36. Now that is an amazing post. Really thanks for your efforts here.

  37. Tom says:

    Have to agree with you completely on this one. Good stuff. http://www.theonewellness.com/

  38. Robert says:

    This article gives the light in which we can observe the reality. You have done a good work. Keep on posting.

  39. Tim says:

    Without researching further I’m not really sure how valid this is. http://www.noblemish.com/

  40. piano says:

    Terrific work here, thanks for the explanation.

  41. period pain says:

    Truly enjoyed the good read. Cheers for your share.

  42. Exceptional work, truly enjoyed the quality information here. Cheers.

  43. Karl says:

    Great to see you posting again, would love to see more on the topic. http://scyllar.com/

  44. Couldn’t be said any better. The info makes perfect sense.

  45. Absolutely amazing post, quite comes handy. Thanks a bunch.

  46. Quite beneficial information, appreciate the good share here.

  47. Great to see you posting again, just like our great handmade job,would love to see more on the topic.

  48. Absolutely agree with you here, fantastic post!

  49. Amazing content and great resource overall, cheers.

  50. Jacob says:

    Good quality post, thanks for sharing with us. Awesome! http://www.tatiliks.com/

  51. Top notch writing, the articles was quite useful for me to read.

  52. Glenn says:

    Excellent post, really appreciate your time put into this. http://www.cureforall.net/

  53. Unbelievable, this is extremely useful in my research, cheers!

  54. Slim wallet says:

    Great reminder here, thanks for sharing this post.

  55. sinonim says:

    That’s fantastic, thanks for shedding a light on the topic here.

  56. Good job in shedding a light here, interesting discussion.

  57. wew thats cool nice article thanks for sharing

  58. Jason says:

    Could not possibly agree more, you made some excellent points here. http://www.558app.com/

  59. James says:

    Kinda familiar with the topic, so I’d say I agree completely here. http://www.tnrequingene.com/nike-air-tn-requin-c-407/

  60. Thanks for this fantastic opportunity, this is actually a great post.

  61. great thanks for share

  62. Great Thanks For Sharing its very useful

  63. Thank you for sharing excellent informations. Your site is very cool. I’m impressed by the details that you’ve on this web site. It reveals how nicely you perceive this subject. Bookmarked this website page, will come back for more articles. You, my friend, ROCK! I found just the info I already searched all over the place and just couldn’t come across. What a great site.

  64. Excellent post, really appreciate your time put into this. It is what I wanted to know…

  65. Bozzy says:

    Completely agree with you, that makes perfect sense. Great work! http://topricecookers.com/

  66. Tom says:

    Quality and informative post here, thanks for your efforts. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jaRilTjJK1Y

  67. Top notch content here, appreciate the efforts put in!

  68. Rob says:

    One of the better posts I’ve read in a while, great stuff here indeed. http://acetraininghub.com/

  69. Ian says:

    Really cool post, got a great deal of useful info. http://www.climaxair.ca/

  70. We found this post quite interesting, really appreciate the share.

  71. JAke says:

    Fantastic work, thanks a lot for posting this here! http://www.sandiweb.com/

  72. map says:

    Thanks for the fantastic post, appreciate it.

  73. Simon says:

    Appreciate the quality post! Thanks for your hard work here. http://iphonerepairinplano.com/

  74. Good stuff as usual. Thanks for your post!

  75. wise euask says:

    Interesting to know, it’s great I managed to find this info.

  76. Quite generous from you to share this, appreciate that!

  77. Tom says:

    Exceptional post! Would love to see more of the same soon. http://www.cellularrepairparts.com/

  78. Laura says:

    Some excellent stuff here, quite informational. Cheers. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=V5Jn_QC-a8c

  79. Jake says:

    Wasn’t aware of that really. But it does make sense so thanks for posting. http://www.smsuaemarketing.com/

  80. This is great really, appreciate the quality info.

  81. Dale says:

    Good way of presenting the topic, quite satisfied with what I see. Thanks. http://incatalogue.vn/

  82. David says:

    What a fantastic explanation, highly appreciated! Cheers. http://atlantaappliancesrepair.com/

  83. Thanks to my father who told me about this website, this blog is genuinely awesome.

  84. engineering says:

    Quality stuff, appreciate the post here! Thanks.

  85. Karl says:

    Good information gathered on your blog, great work! http://www.stanleysteemerspecials.com/

  86. TJ says:

    I’m somewhat curious to find out more re this. Good post. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=BJRlJo7WIKk

  87. Definitely good to consider going forward, cheers.

  88. This makes perfect sense! Appreciate you posting this really.

  89. Good to see this finally posted, thanks much!

  90. Brilliant, thanks a lot for your post!

  91. Evan Vitale says:

    That’s a marvelous posting, really informative.

  92. Jake says:

    Fantastic post, wasn’t really aware of this before. Cheers from http://www.1wedding.us/.

  93. 2017 Cars says:

    Some top notch writing here, appreciate the sharing.

  94. Great to learn something new here. Thanks for your post!

  95. Erlara says:

    good information, thanks for share !

  96. Very impressive post, thanks for sharing this..

  97. natalia velero says:

    http://www.toptabaco.com es una empresa joven y dinámica que ofrece a través de su Web, la venta de hojas de tabaco 100% natural,
    tanto en hoja entera como en tiras/strip sin venas.
    Nuestro equipo está formado por personas que tienen muchos años de experiencia en la hoja natural.

  98. Some quality information as usual. Thanks for the heads up.

  99. Even more curious about this now, some solid info here, cheers.

  100. i like your article. Thank you for your wonderful article

  101. am very happy to read this. This is the kind of manual that needs to be given and not the random misinformation that’s at the other blogs. Appreciate your sharing this best posting.

  102. House music says:

    Awesome write-up, thanks or the heads up.

  103. online store says:

    Agree with you here, this makes perfect sense actually.

  104. Top notch stuff as usual, thanks for posting this.

  105. Not exactly what I wanted to hear, but thanks for letting us know though.

  106. These published pics invite “photo likes” form our face-book friends. This quantity of “photo likes” assists to boost credibility of this account.

  107. Superb stuff, thanks a bunch for sharing this.

  108. Josh says:

    Much appreciated, keep up the great work and posts. http://greenpoint-locksmith.com/

  109. Wish I was able to find out more re this.

  110. cloudkicker says:

    That’s pretty awesome! Would love to learn more.

  111. Exceptional quality of writing, keep it up. Cheers!

  112. Jeremy Wilding says:

    Is it just me who thinks this is an awesome write-up? Regards from http://mapledentaloffice.com/.

  113. I’ve added this to read later, a colleague was quite impressed.

  114. Samsung toner dolumu kolay ve ucuz yazıcılar ile piyasaya girmiş olmasına karşın zaman içinde kullanıcı dostu yazıcılardan vazgeçerek orijinal toner kullanılmasına zorunlu bırakan veya yüksek fiyatlara dolum ve yenileme yapılan yazıcı üretimine geçmiştir. Samsung toner dolumu nasıl yapılır


    Tüccar ve şirketlerin zorunlu olarak tuttukları yevmiye ve kebir defterleri, uzun yıllar boyunca nokta vuruşlu yazıcılarda yazdırılmasına rağmen lazer printerlerin yaygınlaşması ardından numaralı sürekli form kağıtları, yerlerini numaralı a4 fotokopi kağıtlarına bıraktılar.

  116. Fantastic! Will share this and let others know as well.

  117. Can’t help it but wonder if that’s actually true?

  118. Marking this down, some valid points indeed.

  119. luxury car says:

    U posting anything new soon? Would be awesome, cheers!

  120. This is absolutely clear now, thanks for the clarification.

  121. Cool, enjoyed reading this indeed. Good post.

  122. Harry says:

    Really appreciate the post, thanks for your great work here. http://www.planetearthvacation.com/

  123. Top notch writing here, appreciate your time spent into this.

  124. Robyn says:

    Agree with you here, 100%. This makes perfect sense. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=n5YYnkPMvw4

  125. cool, thanks for sharing

  126. Aljaz says:

    Excellent stuff, appreciate the hard work here.

  127. farz says:

    Good quality post, thanks for sharing with us. Awesome!

  128. Damien says:

    Really appreciate this, good info in a timely manner. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4opPiExhXWw

  129. anakpati.com says:

    Quite useful and handy to know. Thanks for sharing.

  130. cool, thanks for sharing

  131. Alat Bengkel says:

    Jual Alat Bengkel, Alat Teknik Alat Perkakas Tangan, dll

  132. Glad to have learned this, thanks for posting.

  133. menjual berbagai alat perkakas yang berkualitas

  134. Joe says:

    Agree completely here! Solid informative post. http://advokati-bg.blogspot.bg/

  135. Jamie says:

    Good to know really, appreciate this amazing share. http://www.pakistandevelopers.org/

  136. Much appreciated! Thanks for posting this useful info.

  137. free hosting says:

    Great work here, appreciate the quality post. Thanks a lot for sharing this!

  138. Nice one, read through with a great of interest. Keep it up.

  139. Toner Dolumu says:

    Quite useful and handy to know. Thanks for sharing.

  140. This is absolutely clear now, thanks for the clarification.

  141. Alo Toner says:

    Some quality information as usual. Thanks for the heads up.

  142. I’m absolutely happy to have found this. Great post.

  143. Excellent, would love some further information on this though.

  144. khoirmifta says:

    Hi there! I’m at work browsing your blog from my new iphone! Just wanted to say I love reading your blog and look forward to all your posts! Keep up the superb work!

  145. Abby Mayer says:

    keep working hard dude and dont forget visit my blog http://tokopipahdpe.blogspot.co.id/

  146. emfa01 says:

    hey this site is great, man :) Thank you for sharing

  147. 我們熱愛旅遊,

  148. Couldn’t be happier with this, excellent post!!

  149. I love to travel,So I am very aware how important the comfortable rooms to a nice journey.
    I expect all Traveler came to Taichung Feng Chia 9527 can carry a pleasant physical and mental relaxation , enjoy a wonderful journey .

  150. Jual Gerinda Tangan Paling Lengkap hanya di Tokootomotif.com

  151. Jual Mesin Pemotong Besi / Cut Off Berkualitas dengan Harga Diskon di Tokootomotif.com

  152. Jual Drill Stand / Jual Dudukan Bor Nankai Berkualitas Harga Murah di Tokootomotif.com

  153. Jual Hot Gun says:

    Jual Mesin Gergaji Jigsaw Makita Berkualitas dengan Harga Diskon hanya di Tokootomotif.com

  154. Jual Kunci Bor Berbagai Ukuran Paling Lengkap dan Berkualitas dengan Harga Diskon hanya di Tokootomotif.com

  155. Jual Mesin Bor Berbagai Merk dan Jenis Paling Lengkap dan Berkualitas dengan Harga Diskon hanya di Tokootomotif.com

  156. Jual Mesin Bor Gantung Kualitas Terbaik dengan Harga Diskon Hanya di Tokootomotif.com

  157. Leila says:

    Fat Transfer/Handling They usually search about the experience chest shoulders throat or upper percentage of the back.

  158. jual clamp meter / tang ampere Kualitas Terbaik dengan harga Murah

  159. tokootomotif.com Jual Dial Indicator Dial Indicator yaitu media ukur dengan skala yg amat kecil, contohnya pada pengukuran pergerakan sebuah komponen (backlash, endplay) pun pengukuran kerataannya (round out).

  160. Great post, straight to point and truly informative.

  161. Dapatkan alat ukur Coating thickness gauge berkualitas dengan harga yang sangat bersaing hanya di tokootomotif.com disini menyediakan banyak sekali pilihan model, jenis dan merk thickness gauge dan aneka alat ukur lainnya. Tidak hanya itu saja, toko otomotif ini juga menyediakan banyak sekali mesin dan alat perkakas serta alat pelindung diri. jual coating thickness gauge harga diskon

  162. cns says:

    great work done, keep going good research.

  163. vw says:

    Some quality in your post here, appreciate the solid info.

  164. Aviz says:

    Appreciate the post. Would love to see more.

  165. Jual Jangka Sorong Berkualitas Harga Murah

    Jangka sorong merupakan sebuah alat yang digunakan untuk melakukan pengukuran terhadap suatu objek secara rinci. lat ini biasa digunakan untuk melakukan pengukuran dengan hasil yang detail atau rinci dari suatu objek

  166. Tokootomotif.com adalah toko alat teknik dan toko alat perkakas bengkel mobil & sepeda motor online terlengkap, termurah, dan terpercaya di Indonesia.

  167. Jual Sepatu Safety Berkualitas dan Paling Lengkap Tokootomotif.com

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s