FEATURE: Taiwan-US team finish underwater survey

A team of Taiwanese and US researchers last month overcame challenges from the COVID-19 pandemic and rough seas to complete an underwater sound survey near the South China Sea.

The expedition from Oct. 14 to 19 aboard the research vessel Legend, operated by the Taiwan Ocean Research Institute (TORI), set out to investigate undersea sound propagation in relation to internal waves and shelf breaks, said Lin Ying-Tsong (), a Taiwanese-American scientist with the Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution (WHOI) in Massachusetts.

The area is an optimal region for conducting this experiment, where the vertical displacement of internal waves can reach more than 100m, the largest in all oceans, he said.

Photo courtesy of Lin Ying-tsong, Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution associate scientist

For the cruise, researchers transported more than 8 tonnes of instruments from the WHOI to Kaohsiung, with air and sea freights totaling US$650,000, while they also used some instruments from local partners led by National Sun Yat-sen University (NSYSU) associate professor Chiu Yung-Sheng (), Lin said.

The international collaboration between the university and WHOI is funded by the Ministry of Science and Technology and the US Office of Naval Research, he said.

Lin in June became the 12th person, and the first of Asian descent, to dive to the Earths deepest part, the Challenger Deep in the Mariana Trench, together with US adventurer Victor Vescovo in a submarine.

Arriving with Lin last month were WHOI....

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