A big performance in two halves

The working half of the core is having its big performance: Coming right from the diamond core splitter, it is …

… dished up in the CORE SAMPLING laboratory. It is unpacked (relieved from the protective wrap that covers the core), measured like a fashion model … and divided among the researchers as samples for future studies.

A sheet of paper lists all the scientists’ requests for samples they will use for further studies concerning each section. This list is processed point by point for each core section.

The requested core pieces are marked with a knife and removed with sampling tools. Pieces are taken out by hand in ocean blue gloves.

Several pieces are cut…

The working halves are directly measured and sampled for

– Moisture and density (MAD)
– P-wave velocity (velocity of an ultrasonic wave that characterizes the type of rock, seismic proxy)
– Thermal conductivity (capacity of rock to absorb heat)

In this lab, samples are washed to release the fossiles from the surrounding sediment. Certain fossils can tell the scientists the age of the rock, as they only lived for specific periods of time in earth’s history.

bmatyssekecord_iodp_filter
Substances dry in the filters.

The archive halves have been described and photographed. In the second laboratory the MSCL (Multi Sensor Core Logger) measures now only the colour reflectance, as all other required MSCL measurements were already made while offshore.

Non-destructive methods, such as digital line scanning, are undertaken before the core goes to a group of scientists who log it in minute detail. This is called VCD (visible core description).Also non-destructive is thermal conductivity. This property is measured at plus 4 degrees Celsius in the core repository in a sophisticated box that keeps the rate of mistakes at less than 0.2 per cent.

The cores are wrapped up afterwards and stored in the racks of the Bremen Core Repository. The archive halves slumber towards a better future. Maybe, new analysis methods are coming later on. Please do not disturb…

Written by Barbara Matyssek

Feature Image: BMatyssek@ECORD_IODP

All other images by BMatyssek@ECORD_IODP

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