Rachel Barrett (ESR 1) | September 2018 - January 2019 | 7 July 2019


The five months between September 2018 and January 2019 saw me “flitting” (as one of my aunts so aptly put it) around Europe in order to collaborate with overseas research partners and work with a variety of data. Following the SLATE workshop last September, I spent just two days at my home-base of Kiel in northern Germany before heading off for eight weeks of secondments in the UK (at Durham University and the National Oceanography Centre in Southampton) and in Norway (at VBPR in Oslo). I also returned to Oslo for a couple of weeks in January in order to finalize figures for my first manuscript.

Secondments at Durham University and the National Oceanography Centre, Southampton (24 Sept. – 10 Oct. 2018)

The purpose of my visit to Durham University was to map out turbidites evident in 3.5 kHz and single-channel seismic data across the Aegir Ridge, north of the Tampen Slide offshore of Norway, to write a report about the distribution of these turbidites, and to meet with my supervisor Pete Talling.

During a cruise in 2014, several cores that extend through, or into, these turbidite sequences were collected in the Aegir Ridge region. These cores are held at the British Ocean Sediment Core Research Facility (BOSCORF), operated by the National Oceanography Centre (NOC) in Southampton. So, during my visit to the UK, I spent a week working at BOSCORF and NOC. I worked on visual logging of one of the key cores in the area and also obtained high-resolution radiograph images of the core. As a geophysicist, I do not often get the chance to work with core material, so this was really a great opportunity to practise my core description and analysis skills.

Unfortunately, there is a large data gap between the Aegir Ridge (where the turbidites are observed) and their potential source region, which makes it difficult to fully understand the process of emplacement of these turbidites. Consequently, this component of my project is currently on hold.

Secondments at VBPR, Oslo
(11 Oct. – 10 Nov. 2018, and 14-25 Jan. 2019)

Following my visit to the UK, I returned to Oslo in order to continue working with the AMS17 3D seismic cube that I first began to work with at the end of August 2018. My goals for this visit were to pick the top and bottom surfaces of the Tampen Slide from the 16,000 km2 3D seismic cube, perform geomorphological analysis of the Tampen Slide headwall region and analyse the internal deformation of the Tampen Slide. I also linked the picked surfaces to other datasets in the vicinity, so as to better map out the extent of the Tampen Slide. I returned to VBPR again for two weeks in January in order to finish mapping out the base of the Tampen Slide and finalise figures for a manuscript I am working on.

Spending so much time away from my home-base of Kiel has made it challenging to get into a routine – for example, committing to a sports team here is out of the question – however, the opportunity to spend extended periods in different cities, experiencing what it is like for locals who call these places home, is both rare and one I am grateful to have had. The SLATE students and members of my supervisory team who are based in Durham, Southampton, and Oslo welcomed me into their lives and routines during the time that I spent in their respective cities, and for that I am immensely grateful.