EXP-355: Thrusters Up! On the way to Mumbai, India

Finally, Expedition 355 after completion of its eight weeks of sediment and basement coring in the Laxmi Basin (Eastern Arabian Sea), we have started our journey to the land.

Finally we have the basement from Laxmi Basin!

Finally we have it!

Just a few hours are left in the winding up operations of Expedition 355 in the Arabian Sea and we just recovered what we have been looking for past 60 days! We got the Basement!

Sunrise patrol

Just one full day of drilling time left now before we have to start pulling pipe and packing up to go back to Mumbai.  It's now a race to see we can reach the basement before our time has run out. Although we are nervous for a successful conclusion to our expedition this does not interfere with some of the important routines that we have developed over the past weeks.

Final few days

We only have a few more days of operations left and just over two days in which to recover more core material during this expedition. Although we are all excited to go home we all want to finish the expedition well with some interesting new sediments from deep in the Arabian Sea.

Monsoon brewing

The clear sunrises that we have been enjoying for most of the expedition have suddenly become rather rare. Instead the sun arises into a bank of clouds which yesterday had a rather dark and menacing look about them. As you can see in this photograph the clouds are black and low and full of rain.

Low Recovery Therapy

We have now changed out our drilling technology and are making progress towards our final target. The main problem is that we are still relatively shallow in the section and so the sediment is quite soft and result of this is that we don't get a lot of material when we try to take a core using the rotary drilling technology.

Bit change

We have now successfully recovered the top 200 m of the sediment at our new site and we are now preparing to drill deeply, hopefully as far as 1000 m below the seafloor into the igneous basement of the Laxmi Basin.

This is a drill, this is a drill

Guardian of the Physical Property lab

After making significant progress yesterday we are now changing out drilling bit so that we can complete our penetration to the igneous basement at the bottom of the Laxmi Basin. This gives me the opportunity to introduce you to one of our physical property team, Dr. Annette Hahn from the University Bremen in Germany.

In a slump

Not entirely sure where our friend the Indus Fan is hiding but at the moment we are spending our days looking at dramatic deposits like the one in this photograph. The steep dip and the breccia shows us that the sediment is probably related to some type of underwater slumping although exactly where this stuff is coming from is another matter.

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