End of the hole

We have now decided to stop coring at the site because our rate of penetration had decreased to a very low value so that we were spending a lot of time acquiring a relatively small amount of material and the co-chief scientists decided to curtail further activities so that we save some more time for sampling at other locations.

Radiolarians to the rescue

Drilling into the basement now to make sure we get enough material for the radiometric dating that will confirm the age of seafloor spreading in the SW basin. It’s important to try to get some lavas that are not too altered so that reliable eruption ages can be measured allowing us to test the tectonic models for the SW basin.

Touch down!

A much better day on the JOIDES Resolution today and indeed a banner day because we have achieved one of our major stated objectives by finally reaching the basaltic basement at Site U1433.

Steady as she goes

We are getting closer to basaltic basement now but still have a couple of hundred meters to go before we can breath easily.

Half way there

Another day of steady progress drilling to the basement and we are now over half way to our target. We don’t want to go too fast because this would indicate that the formation is soft and therefore liable to collapse which would stop us getting to basalt in the end. Like many good things basement is a pleasure to be waited for. Fortunately we have been going at a good pace.

Deeper and older

We are making steady progress deepening this site and we are now running rotary core barrels (RCB) now that the formation has become harder if not actually hard stone just yet.

Belated Mardi Gras

Today has been a busy one here on the JR. First we had our traditional cruise photograph with all the members of the ship, including scientists, technicians, cooks, drilling staff, marine crew all posed for a group shot arranged around the front of the bridge/accommodation block.

Horns in the night

It was a busy day in the lab again as we dusted off our rusty skills with the various database programs and at the core table and got down to the serious work of processing the core from the 180 m deep drill hole we have made so far with the Advanced Piston Corer (APC).

Core on Deck

“Core on Deck!” What a beautiful sound to hear on the ship’s intercom this morning. We have been waiting two weeks for those magic words that tell us about we are back in business. It was a wonderful sight to see the new core being carried onto the catwalk and sliced up in the time-honored fashion before being brought inside for the techs and scientists to work on.

Waiting for Core

They say that being a soldier in war is 90% boredom followed by 10% action and on this cruise it is feeling like being a marine geologist is pretty similar to this. We are now at our new drilling site and waiting for the fresh material to arrive in the lab so that we can get going.

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