Sunday, February 7, 2010

Good old diamictite and another transit

The drilling started out very well yesterday, but unfortunately about 30 meters into the sea floor the drillstring broke off and it had to be left behind in the hole. It was then just time to move out of the shelf area, because of the approaching big storm. We did get diamictites with quite good recovery before the incident. There were big boulders in them that we drilled through as well. These diamictites likely originate from the erosional and grinding action of glaciers, which released their debris upon melting in the ocean, or by sedimentation from icebergs, which are plenty at this site along coastal Antarctica today. Notice the big pink granite clast: quite amazing to find that in a core!
After the drilling terminated the beacon was floated from the seafloor to the surface and was pulled in. We received an update on the plans for the next site in the core lab, as usual. Co-chief Carlota (seen on the back) here is explaining what is happening. We are in transit so often these days, that when you get up the first question is: where are we, and what is happening? We actually just arrived on our next site in just over 3000 m of water. The weather here is still not too bad, so we may get some coring done before the storm. In the mean time, so many good data sets have come out of some of our previous sites that we are having a science meeting tomorrow to discuss the implications.

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