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We’ve Got Core

Temperature +3C, wind 5 kts, 1 meter swells, 63 degrees 50.5 minutes South and 138 degrees 49.4 minutes E

ABOARD THE JOIDES RESOLUTION, OFF THE COAST OF WILKES LAND, ANTARCTICA– What an exciting day! After 2 days on site we have retrieved our first real core. The problem last night was that the seabed was so rocky and hard that it broke our bottommost drill pipes when we hit. We had to trip (pull up) all 4 km of pipe (7 hours) and use a torch to cut off the bent and broken pieces. We then reassembled the whole thing and put a big rotary diamond bit on the end. Now we have core!

First core on the catwalk, Expedition 318.

It’s been all rock and gravel so far – a real surprise because we are in deep water far from shore. We think this is the top of a giant submarine fan, kind of like what you might get at the base of the Monterey submarine canyon. These canyons and channels act as conduits that carry big heavy rocks and lots of sand into the deep sea. But in this case the rocks and sands were carried to the edge of the continental shelf by ice! Well, we get 10 new meters of core every 3 hours or so now and so the work begins in earnest. Who know what lies beneath the rocks and gravel? We’ll find out soon – in this very first borehole drilled in this part of the ocean!

Christina Riesselman, Expedition 318 diatomist from Stanford, waits for the first sample.
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3 Responses »

  1. Can’t wait to learn more from the crew.Thanks for the pictures!

  2. Great to be able to keep up with the work you are all doing! Thanks for the posts and the videos AND for keeping the rest of the world involved in the day-to-day happenings. Keep those cores coming!

  3. These updates are fascinating. I can’t wait for the next one!!! So happy to be part of Real Science as it’s happening. Go, Rob! Go, Christina! And Everyone else!