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Geek blog: Ophiolites, and mixing scientists

The other reason, scientifically speaking, that we are drilling the Izu-Bonin Forearc on IODP Expedition 352 is to test ideas about a unique set of rocks that we find in mountain ranges.

The Chemistry of Cores

Petrologists identify minerals using tiny slices of the rock called thin sections; geochemists identify the chemical characteristics of these rocks.  Together this information can build a more complete picture of the core.

 

From rainclouds to silver linings

We’ve been hanging by a thread for some time now. 

Rig Floor Reflections

One of the best things about being an Expedition 352 Education and Outreach Officer is the opportunity to learn about all parts of the drilling process.  From the geology of the drill sites to the roles of each individual on the JR, everything is fair game; no question is too basic or trivial as everyone takes up the task of helping me learn.

Quiet Shifts, Crazy Crossovers…

This past week we completed drilling and geophysical logging of the hole at Site 1440B, and then we used the ship’s thruster system to slowly motor back the ~8 km to Site 1439, where at midnight we deployed a re-entry cone to set up for hard-rock drilling near Site A – first they quick-drill through the sediments, then they case the hole for stability before deploying their hard-rock RCB drill bit

Logging without an axe

Though structural geologists use our smaller sample of cored rock to form the larger picture of what its surrounding rock may look like, confirmation about the hole’s physical and chemical traits comes from the work of our logging staff scientist, Sally Morgan.

Rescue at Sea

It all started when a bird flew into one of the uprights of the derrick and fell onto the rig floor.  

The relay to save the bird initiated with Ken, the chief rig mechanic, who came into the lab and asked:  “Does anyone want to box a bird?”

Reconstructing History

When you consider how much magmatic activity occurred in the Izu-Bonin-Mariana forearc, the core from which we intend to gain so much historical geologic information may seem disproportionately small in comparison.  We collect cores no bigger than 60-62 mm (less than 2.5 inches) in diameter, which provide a very limited, but representative, view of the surrounding rock. 

Outline of A Scientist’s (me...) Day on Shift

• Up at 9 PM (!!), in a pitch-black room (no windows in the JR cabins, so a headlamp for camping or caving is very useful in the morning….)

Geek Blog 2: Why boninites matter....

So, why is it such big "news" that we drilled into boninite (that's them, in the teaser pic!), aside from the truth-in-advertising thing, that the Cruise Prospectus said we were going to find it?

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