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Research Vessel Marcus G. Langseth

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Ship Operations Award 2008 - R/V Marcus Langseth  (Columbia University)

Research Focus & Anticipated Benefits

The Research Vessel Marcus G. Langseth is owned by the National Science Foundation and operated by Columbia University's Lamont-Doherty Earth Observatory as a part of the University-National Oceanographic Laboratory System (UNOLS) fleet. UNOLS is an organization of 61 academic institutions and National Laboratories involved in oceanographic research and joined for the purpose of coordinating the schedules of oceanographic ships and research facilities.

Originally constructed as a seismic vessel, the Langseth has been modified and outfitted to perform the tasks required of a general purpose research vessel. The ship’s extensive geophysical capabilities are of particular interest to researchers. Its multi-streamer, multichannel seismic system, and linear well-tuned sound source arrays permit deep imaging of the earth's structure so that marine geophysicists are able to develop a better understanding of ongoing processes, such as such as earthquakes and tsunamis, that can profoundly affect society. The vessel can carry up to 55 personnel, including 20 crew members, geophysical technicians, and a complement of scientists. The ship is a global asset for marine geosciences and works in all parts of the world.

Education & Outreach

The Langseth supports NSF-funded geophysical research programs by providing a new level of data resolution and acquisition in studying the movement of tectonic plates. Cooperative programs involving other countries and foreign scientists are developing and have been developed, since this is the only academic research vessel in the United States capable of gathering this type of data. Consequently, the Langseth continues the development of students specializing in this field, and extends their learning experience to the international community.

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  • Research vessel Marcus Langseth