Drilling into Rock

Hey! I want to help too! The first cores containing rock, rather than soft sediments, was brought up on the ship yesterday and several more came up during the night. Remember, work continues 24 hours a day. Underneath the soft sediments that we have been collecting is the hard rock of the ocean floor. It is a black, somewhat smooth looking, rock made when lava pours out into the ocean water through long fractures in the ocean floor. It cools rapidly because it is in contact with the cold ocean water. The same type of thing happens in Hawaii but it occurs at the edge of the island at the surface. Scientists want to know how the basalt may have changed while sitting down at the bottom of the ocean. Some of the changes involve fractures, which may fill up with a white looking mineral, or chemical changes, such as the orange-brown color of rust (See photo below).