Cristina Lopes's blog

Coring operations

Here is a figure (thanks to Carlos Zarikian) that illustrates how busy we have been. As you can see, the recovery is higher than the cored. This happens because the material from the core expands due to gas content. We still have about 3 km of material to get.
Back to work!

Sediment cores


Here is a picture of one of the cores we got. The different colors and sediments are a record of the different sedimentation environment and respective processes. By investigating the sediment properties and components we can reconstruct these past environments and try to understand what happened in the past.

On our first site: JB-3


Finally we arrived at our first site. We will be drilling at 3446m depth and there are lots of pipes going down right now. The first core is expected to be on deck at 3 am and we cannot wait to start our studies.

"Watching dolphins"


Today we had a special treat. Some Pacific white-sided dolphins (I hope I got this species right, if not please say so) decided to visit us in the afternoon. It was quite a show as we were sailing at about 11 knots and they not only kept up with us on the side of the Joides, but were jumping all around. That was awesome and very impressive. Big smiles on those dolphin watchers.....

"Core catchers every where!!!!"


There is a general expectation on board while we wait to get our hands in the "mud"...some of us are even seeing core catchers everywhere, even in our meals. This wonderful dinner was the aim of our microfossil imagination, as we were playing with couscous core catcher description: the couscous were forams and the vegetables were macrofossils of all sorts...kept us busy for a while.


One thing that we do not have a chance to see every day is the JOIDES’ logistics. Yesterday we went on a tour around areas that are off usual limits. We had the wonderful opportunity to go to the bridge, see the drilling area and shop and even take a look at the engine room.

Getting things set up

The microfossil gang had the opportunity to have their microscopes set for their specific needs. We have four people looking at benthic and planktonic foraminifera, two people looking at calcareous nannofossils, a radiolarian expert and a diatom expert. That is a lot of microscopes to set up…thank you Bill for your patience!

Preparing for some rough sea

Today the ship is really rocking. We caught strong winds and high waves and during the night we could hear things falling and doors banging as we tried to secure our belongings the best way we could. Also, unfortunately some of us are still a little seasick.

Keeping us busy

Because we have two weeks of  transit between Valdez and the first site, we are keeping our selves busy. We start the day with a scientific meeting. Throughout the day, besides presentations from the Expedition participants, we also arrange meetings for the particular group (e.g.. geochemistry, sedimentology, paleontology, etc.).

And here we go....

And here we go! Next stop:  Sea of Japan/East Sea!

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