Black Smokers!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Katie Inderbitzen walked into class today dressed as a black smoker! It was clever and hilarious! She continued her lesson today by explaining the importance of heat flow and hydrothermal circulation. We looked at the model of expected temperatures vs age of rocks/sediments. There is a 30% discrepancy between the expected and actual values for younger rocks. Scientists think that the hydrothermal circulation around ocean vents explains this problem.

 She then had us look at a new set of cores. These cores were not all from the same hole, rather they showed lithology of a traverse.  The sections were absolutely beautiful. Have a look:


The cores were littered with veins filled with an array of minerals like pyrite, chalcopyrite, sphalerite, hematite and sulfur. The core revealed a hydrothermal vent where we could see the massive sulfide zone, sulfide feeder zone and deep copper zone.

Recall I said that I would revisit paleoceanography… John Firth and Leslie Sautter  led an exercise that had us describing cores that cross the Eocene – Oligocene boundary. It is a really great story that I cannot seem to piece together in a concise way. I am going to have to sleep on this one for another night and revisit this topic later in the week!

On a personal note, I enjoyed stepping out to watch the waves. As you can see, the day was lovely:


 I was going to try to catch the sunset from the upper deck when my eye caught these beautiful halite crystals that had precipitated here and there on the ship. The largest is probably only a couple of mm wide.