We opened and sampled the last cores!
We’re now really nearing the end of the sample party. One of the IODP traditions involves the making of an alternative logo by one of the participants. Our logo was made by Ian Marshall and includes the owl that visited us at the Landsort Deep station during the cruise. It’s quite different from the official logo (see the first blog post below).
Another tradition is a group photograph of the whole science party.
Two more days to finish all the reports and then we’ll say goodbye. We will meet again several times over the coming years to discuss results!
More than 1250 meter of core has now been opened. More than 25.000 sediment samples have been taken. Sampling of the sediment still continues steadily! The amazing discoveries also still continue…such as the finding of this huge concretion (with a diameter of many cm's) in a sediment core….
Most of the objects we find are much smaller...
More and more of our time is now devoted to discussion of the results...
....and report writing in what is called the scientist's office. Two months from now, a summary of our initial results will be made public and we need to make sure that we get everything written up before we leave for home at the end of next week.
But because of the good progress we’ve made so far, we’re getting a 3.5 hour break today! For the day shift, that means we can see the city of Bremen during the day for the first time!
We’re halfway the sampling party. Every day, the various sampling tools are in use from morning to night. Besides various ingenious sample devices that were especially designed for sediment sampling we’re using simple household utensils.
In the cores, we’re finding a wide range of sediment types: sometimes sands, but mostly various sorts of fine-grained sediments. And we’re seeing distinct differences depending on the location and sediment depth: sometimes the sediments are “striped” showing alternations of dark and light layers, sometimes they are more homogeneous in composition. Alternating dark and light sediment layers can form in different ways: They can, for example, be indicative of low oxygen conditions in the bottom water. In Baltic fresh water sediments, we also find “varves”, layers that are formed annually – for further details, see the blog of Sandra Passchier.
And we’re finding other really interesting things as well: like these strikingly bright blue spots in the sediment. That’s the iron-phosphate mineral vivianite. It is known to form from porewaters that are rich in dissolved iron and phosphate. It is most common in freshwater sediments.
Although there is every little time to do anything besides work, we’re trying to see something of Bremen by foot when we occasionally have dinner or a drink in town. Nice city center, but dark! When you are on the day shift, you don’t see any daylight when not working!