Hi everyone! Another blog from the Black Sea. Today it was time to get down to business. In the morning, the water was investigated using specialized metal-free equipment. We want to look at ultra-low concentrations of metals in the water, so any contamination must be avoided. This means a lot of work in the clean lab for our water column team, which oddly enough consists of only women (Silke, Amy, Nikki and Marie). The sediment team, specialized in smearing mud on everyone and everything, is made up of men (Niels, Wytze, Martijn and Peter). How stereotypical.
Foto 1: The Mud Masters, from left to right and top to bottom: Peter, Niels, Wytze and Martijn posing with the device used to get seafloor samples.
Our first location provided us with more than enough work for both teams that worked from the morning to the wee hours of the night. The result: many samples that will tell us what is floating around in the waters of the Black Sea, and what has sunk all the way down to the seafloor, at 1500 m for this location.
Foto 2: To get to the mud, we need to get rid of the salty, smelly water. At any cost.
Star of the day was the beautifully preserved small fish that was found in ~3000-year-old sediment. The lack of oxygen and abundance of toxic sulfide in the deep Black Sea severely slows down the degradation of materials such as animal remains (our fish) and wood (the famous preserved Byzantine ships in the Black Sea).
Foto 3: Our fish, buried for thousands of years, and now on clear display for excited geochemists.
Tomorrow, we arrive at our deepest location, where the water column team and the awesome Pelagia crew will have to use all the scientific tricks up their sleeve to explore 2 kilometers of water.