Glossary

Advanced Piston Corer (APC)search for term

The Advanced Piston Corer (APC) is crucial for high-resolution climate and paleoceanographic studies. The APC is a hydraulically actuated piston corer designed to recover relatively undisturbed continuous 9.5 m long oriented core samples from very soft to firm sediments that cannot be recovered well by rotary coring.

Alkalinitysearch for term

Alkalinity is measured by titration. An acid of known strength (the titrant) is added to a volume of a treated sample of water. The volume of acid required to bring the sample to a specific pH level reflects the alkalinity of the sample. The pH end point is indicated by a color change. Alkalinity is expressed in units of milligrams per liter (mg/l) of CaCO3 (calcium carbonate).

Anoxicsearch for term

A total decrease in the level of oxygen, an extreme form of hypoxia or "low oxygen."

APCsearch for term

Stands for Advanced Piston Corer. The APC is a hydraulically actuated piston corer designed to recover relatively undisturbed continuous 9.5 m long oriented core samples from very soft to firm sediments that cannot be recovered well by rotary coring.

Aquifersearch for term

An underground layer of water-bearing permeable rock or unconsolidated materials (gravel, sand, or silt) through which water can flow.

Archive Halfsearch for term

When a core is split in half, it is the side that is saved and can only be studied without altering it so it can be preserved.

Atollsearch for term

A coral island (or islands) that encircles a lagoon partially or completely.

Basaltsearch for term

Basalt is a common extrusive volcanic rock. It is usually gray to black and fine-grained due to rapid cooling of lava at the surface of Earth.

Basement Rocksearch for term

The rock layers that lie underneath layers of sediments

BHAsearch for term

Stands for Bottom Hole Assembly.

Bioluminescentsearch for term

Living organisms, such as algae or fireflies, that can produce visible light.

Biostratigraphysearch for term

The study of how fossils are distributed through time and space. These patterns can often be used with other data to date the rock layers.

Biotic Extinctionsearch for term

The complete death and disappearance of a life form. This term is more inclusive than the extinction of a species.

Bridge Decksearch for term

The bridge deck area, including the helm (steering) and navigation station, is the place from which the Captain and his mates run the ship. 

Calipersearch for term

Caliper is a tool used for measuring the diameter of a borehole. The measurements are displayed as a caliper log. Open hole caliper logging tools often have four or more arms.

Catwalksearch for term

The catwalk is the core receiving platform; it is a covered area outside the Core Lab where each core is handed over to the Lab technicians that clean, measure, and cut it into ~1.5 meter sections.

Cenomanian-Turonian Boundarysearch for term

93 million years ago a large Ocean Anoxic Event occurred marking the boundary. At this time the oceans were deprived of oxygen and over 25% of marine invertebrates went extinct. Large charismatic marine reptiles such ichthyosaurs and pliosaurs were also wiped out.

Chemistrysearch for term

Chemistry is a physical science that deals with the composition, structure and properties of substances and the transformations they undergo.  The JR has a large chemistry lab on the Forecastle Deck.

Climate Changesearch for term

A long-term change in weather patterns

Contouritessearch for term

Contourites are the sediments deposited by, or significantly affected by, bottom currents (e.g. Mediterranean Outflow Water in the Gulf of Cádiz)

Core Barrelsearch for term

A hollow cylinder used for obtaining cores that is dropped inside the drillstring

Core Catchersearch for term

A one-way device that prevents a core from falling out from the inner core barrel once it has entered

Core Labsearch for term

Lab designed specifically for the description and analysis of sediment and hard rock cores

Core Sample Archive Halfsearch for term

When a core is split in half, it is the side that is saved and can only be studied without altering it so it can be preserved.

Core Sample Working Halfsearch for term

When a core is split in half, it is the side that can be tested and studied by scientists.

CORKsearch for term

Stands for Circulation Obviation Retrofit Kit. A CORK is a set of scientific instruments designed to monitor conditions beneath the ocean floor.

Derricksearch for term

A derrick is a tower that holds the hoisting apparatus for raising and lowering the drilling apparatus on the ship. 

Detritussearch for term

Small particles, debris, other material worn or broken away from a mass by water or glacial ice

Downhole Loggingsearch for term

Lowered instruments down into a drilling hole to collect measurements of the physical properties of rocks and sediments

Drill Pipesearch for term

The drill pipe is the pipe that surrounds the core sample and core liner. It has a drill bit at the bottom that drills through the rock to make the core.

Drill Shacksearch for term

The drill shack is the room from which drilling operations are controlled. 

Drillstringsearch for term

The drillstring on The JR is a column, or string, of pipes that transmits drilling fluid (via the mud pumps) and rotational power to the drill bit at the bottom. 

Dropstonesearch for term

Rock fragments that range in size from small pebbles to boulders. The critical distinguishing feature is that there is evidence that they were not transported by normal water currents, but rather dropped in vertically through the water colum. Dropstones are often carried and deposited by melting icebergs.

Drydocksearch for term

To remove a ship from water to a dry basin, typically for repairs

Dynamic Positioning Systemsearch for term

Dynamic positioning (DP or DPS) is a computer controlled system that automatically keeps a ship in its position and heading (called “on station”) by using her own propellers and thrusters

Earth’s magnetic field search for term

the magnetic field generated by flow of iron in Earth’s outer core. The magnetic field extends from the Earth’s core into space and helps to deflect solar winds that would strip away the ozone layer. Currently, the Earth’s magnetic field is oriented so that the magnetic north pole is in the north; however, at random intervals in Earth’s past, the magnetic field orientation has reversed, so that the magnetic north pole was in the south.

ELMOsearch for term

See Eocene Layer of Mysterious Origin.

Eocene Layer of Mysterious Originsearch for term

(ELMO) Period of global warming that occurred approximately 53.7 million years ago (Ma). It appears to be the second major hyperthermal that punctuated the long-term warming trend from the Late Paleocene through the early Eocene (58 to 50 Ma).

Extended Core Barrel (XCB)search for term

The Extended Core Barrel (XCB) coring system is used in sedimentological, climate, and paleoceanographic studies.The XCB is used to recover 9.5 m long core samples from soft to moderately hard formations. The XCB is typically deployed when the formation becomes too stiff to piston core (i.e., upon piston coring "refusal") or when it is not hard enough to permit efficient recovery with the Rotary Core Barrel (RCB). The XCB cutting shoe extends ahead of the main bit in soft sediments but retracts into the main bit as the weight on bit increases when firm lithologies are encountered. The XCB uses the same bottom-hole assembly (BHA) as the Advanced Piston Corer (APC).

Fantailsearch for term

The fantail is an overhang at the extreme rear of the ship. On The JR, it is the same as the poop deck

Forecastle (Foc'sle) Decksearch for term

A partial deck above the main deck at the bow

Gabbrosearch for term

Gabbros are dark igneous rocks formed when liquid magma is trapped under the Earth’s surface and cools there. Large portions of the oceanic crust are made of gabbros. 

Galleysearch for term

The area of the ship where food and meals are prepared and served

Gas Hydratessearch for term

Ice-like minerals that form at the low temperatures and high pressures in the deep sea. These Hydrates contain gases, such as methane, that are trapped within the structure of the hydrate cristals.

Gas Hydratessearch for term

Ice-like minerals that form at the low temperatures and high pressures in the deep sea. These Hydrates contain gases, such as methane, that are trapped within the structure of the hydrate cristals.

Geochemistrysearch for term

The field of geochemistry involves study of the chemical composition of the Earth and other planets, chemical processes that govern the composition of rocks and soils, and the cycles of matter and energy that transport Earth's chemical components in time and space, and their interaction with the hydrosphere and the atmosphere. 

Geological Layerssearch for term

Geological layers refer to layers of rocks and sediments with different textures and compositions that are found on land and beneath the ocean floor

Geologysearch for term

Geology is the science and study of the history of Earth and its life especially as recorded in rocks and sediments. 

Geophysicssearch for term

Geophysics is the branch of earth science dealing with physical processes and phenomena the occur on Earth, such as earthquakes.

Geoscientistssearch for term

Scientists who study geology, geophysics or geochemistry

Greenhousesearch for term

The planet's climate has been fluctuating between two dominant states: the Greenhouse and the Icehouse. These two climate sets generally last for long periods of time (many millions of years) and should not be confused with Ice ages or Glacial and Interglacial periods. A "Greenhouse Earth" or "Hothouse Earth", is a period in which there are no continental glaciers whatsoever on the planet, the levels of carbon dioxide and other greenhouse gases (such as water vapor and methane) are high.

Greenhouse Conditionssearch for term

Refers to warm environmental conditions, such as during the early Eocene, when the Polar Regions were free of ice and there were relatively high levels of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere

Greenhouse Effectsearch for term

An atmospheric heating phenomenon caused by carbon dioxide, water vapor, methane, and other gases trapping more of Sun’s heat, resulting in higher temperatures on Earth’s surface

Hold Decksearch for term

The very bottom deck of the ship, used for storage

Hotspotsearch for term

An area of volcanic activity that is found within a tectonic plate and is not caused by a subduction zone. Hawaii, Yellowstone and the Louisville Seamount Trail are all examples of hotspots.

Hullsearch for term

The body of a ship that provides buoyancy

Hydrogeologysearch for term

The study of water in the Earth's crust

Hydrogeologysearch for term

The study of water in the Earth's crust.

Hyperthermalsearch for term

Geologically brief time intervals (<200,000 years) of global warming and massive carbon input.

Icehousesearch for term

The planet's climate has been fluctuating between two dominant states: the Greenhouse and the Icehouse. These two climate sets generally last for long periods of time (many millions of years) and should not be confused with Ice ages or Glacial and Interglacial periods. An "Icehouse Earth" is a period in which continental ice sheets are present, and wax and wane throughout time known as glacial (ice age) and interglacial periods. During an Icehouse Earth, greenhouse gases tend to be less abundant, and temperatures tend to be cooler globally. The Earth is currently in an icehouse stage - ice sheets are present on both poles.

Icehouse Conditionssearch for term

Refers to glacial environmental conditions, such as during the early Oligocene, when the Polar Regions were covered in ice and there were relatively low levels of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere

Immersion Suitsearch for term

A special type of waterproof dry suit (also known as a Gumby suit) that protects the wearer from hypothermia from immersion in cold water, after abandoning a sinking or capsized vessel

Iron Roughnecksearch for term

The piece of equipment that attaches sections of drill pipe to each other, much like a large, mechanical wrench

Isotopesearch for term

Isotopes are atoms of the same element that have the same atomic number (the same number of protons and electrons) but different atomic weights (different numbers of neutrons).

Jointsearch for term

On The JR, three 9.5 meter joints of drill pipe are threaded together to make a single stand of pipe.

K-Pgsearch for term

The K-Pg, or Cretaceous-Paleogene boundary, marks the mass extinction event 65.5 million years ago that is most famous for killing the dinosaurs. 

Lab stacksearch for term

The multi-floor area of the ship that houses all the scientific laboratories on board the ship

Lithospheresearch for term

The outermost shell of the Earth that includes the crust and the uppermost portion of the mantle. The lithosphere is rigid, yet able to bend, move, fracture and break into tectonic plates.

Loggingsearch for term

Lowering instruments down into a drilling hole to collect measurements of the physical properties of rocks and sediments

Logging Scientistsearch for term

A person who analyzes data from logging instruments – those lowered down into a drilling hole to collect measurements of the physical properties of rocks and sediments. 

Magnetic anomaly search for term

A local variation in Earth’s magnetic field resulting from variations in the chemistry and/or magnetism of rocks. Magnetic anomalies found in bands of oceanic floor parallel with mid-ocean ridges record reversals in Earth’s magnetic field over millions of years.

Main Decksearch for term

The highest deck of the hull, usually but not always the weather deck

Marine Biologysearch for term

Marine biology is the scientific study of living organisms in the ocean or other marine or brackish bodies of water. 

Marine Geophysicssearch for term

Geology that deals with the physics of the ocean, including seismology, volcanology, and geomagnetism

Mbrfsearch for term

Meters Below Rig Floor or MBRF adds the vertical distance between the water line and the rig floor to Meters Below Sea Level or MBSL. The height of the rig floor above the water line changes as we use fuel, pump ballast, take on supplies, etc.

Mbsfsearch for term

Meters drilled or logged below seafloor.

MECOsearch for term

See Middle Eocene Climatic Optimum.

Mediterranean Outflow Watersearch for term

The Mediterranean Outflow Water (MOW) corresponds to the water flow coming from the Mediterranean Sea into the Gulf of Cadiz through the Straits of Gibraltar.

mid-ocean ridgesearch for term

Underwater mountain chain with peaks generally lying approximately 2-2.5 km below the sea level. The ranges typically have a valley known as a rift running along the spine. Mid-ocean ridges are formed as a result of plate tectonics: at mid-ocean ridges, new ocean floor is created through molten material welling up from the underlying mantle and cooling to form basalt. As new ocean floor is formed, older ocean floor is pushed away from the mid-ocean ridge on either side of the ridge axis, making the mid-ocean ridge roughly symmetrical.

Middle Eocene Climatic Optimumsearch for term

After the PETM the Eocene climate went through a period of general cooling with a series of hyperthermals. The Middle Eocene Climatic Optimum (MECO) occurred42 million years ago a sharp increase in carbon dioxide caused a warming trend that lasted about 600,000 years..

Moon Poolsearch for term

A moon pool is an opening in the floor of the ship, giving access to the water below, allowing technicians or researchers to lower tools and instruments into the sea. 

MOWsearch for term

Stands for Mediterranean Outflow Water.

OAEsearch for term

See Ocean Anoxic Event.

Ocean Anoxic Eventsearch for term

Also known as an OAE, it is an event where the oceans become completely depleated of oxygen. OAEs have happened many times in the past and are often associated with mass extinction events.

Oceanic Circulationsearch for term

The circulation of large-scale ocean currents that is driven by differences in the density of seawater at different locations. The density of seawater changes depending on how much surface heat and freshwater it receives.

Oligocene-Miocene Boundarysearch for term

Occured 23 million years ago. It is not set at an easily identified worldwide event but rather at regional boundaries between the warmer late Oligocene and the relatively cooler Miocene.

OsmoSamplersearch for term

A device consisting of an osmotic pump connected to a long section of small-bore tubing used to collect water samples

Paleclimatologysearch for term

Paleoclimatology is the study of climate change taken on the scale of the entire history of Earth. It uses records from ice sheets, tree rings, sediment, and rocks to determine what climate was like in the past. 

Paleo Combosearch for term

The Paleo Combo is a downhole logging tool that measures the natural gamma radiation, density, and magnetic susceptability (amount of magnetic material) in the sediment.

Paleocene-Eocene Thermal Maximumsearch for term

Also called the PETM, the Paleocene-Eocene Thermal Maximum was a super-warm climate event that occured 55 million years ago. During this time, the Earth released massive amounts of greenhouse gasses and temperatures rose to the highest levels in the last 80 million years. During the PETM there was no ice on Earth. It was so warm that the poles were covered in cyprus swamps and redwood forests. The PETM is also characterized by a mass extinction of foraminifera in the deep sea.  

Paleomagnetismsearch for term

Paleomagnetism is the study of the record of the Earth's magnetic field preserved in various magnetic minerals through time. 
 

Paleontologysearch for term

Paleontology is the study of the history of life on Earth, as reflected in the fossil record.

 
 

Peer Reviewsearch for term

The evaluation of a scientist’s work, usually in the form of a paper, by other scientists to ensure good science has been conducted

PETMsearch for term

See Paleocene-Eocene Thermal Maximum

Petrophysicssearch for term

Petrophysics is the study of the physical and chemical properties that describe the occurrence and behavior of rocks, soils and fluids. 

Physical Propertiessearch for term

Physical properties describe the physical characteristics of rocks and sediments such as appearance, texture, color, odor, density, solubility, porosity, magnetic, and other properties of rocks and sediments. The JR has many physical properties instruments housed in the core lab.

Physical Sciencessearch for term

Physical science is an encompassing term for the branches of natural science that explore non-living systems, in contrast to the biological sciences. 

Poop decksearch for term

The poop deck is a partial deck above a ship’s main afterdeck (toward the back of the ship). 

Radiometric dating search for term

a technique used to age-date rocks (or other materials) through measurement of the abundances of radioactive isotopes and their decay products found within the rock. The age is calculated based on the known decay rate of radioactive isotopes.

RCBsearch for term

Stands for Rotary Core Barrel. The RCB is a rotary coring system designed to recover core samples from firm to hard sediments and igneous basement.

Reentry Conesearch for term

The Reentry Cone and Casing (RECC) system is a permanent seafloor installation (or legacy hole) that helps scientists return to and re-enter a particular hole.

Rhyzon samplerssearch for term

Rhyzon samplers are soil moisture probes that enable discrete sampling with minimal disturbance to the sediment surface. The method does not require filtering or removal of wet sediment from the piston core.

Rotary Core Barrel (RCB)search for term

The Rotary Core Barrel (RCB) is a rotary coring system designed to recover core samples from firm to hard sediments and igneous basement. The RCB is crucial for oceanic crustal hard rock studies.

Salinitysearch for term

The amount of salt in seawater, usually measured in parts per thousand

Seamountsearch for term

 A mountain in the sea that is at least 100 meters high and is not found on a continental shelf.

Sediment Driftsearch for term

Sediment, such as sand, mud, silt, and clay, carried and deposited by deep ocean currents.

Sedimentologysearch for term

Sedimentology is the study of sediments such as sand, mud (silt), and clay, and understanding the processes that deposit them.  Sand, silt, and clay are defined according to their grain sizes, with sand composed of coarser grains and clay composed of finer grains.

Seismic Explorationsearch for term

Seismic exploration is the search for geologic resources such as crude oil, natural gas, and minerals by using sound waves to produce images of the rock layers below Earth’s surface. Seismic maps are helpful in determining the best places to drill.

Seismic reflectionsearch for term

Seismic reflection is a method of geophysical exploration  that uses the principles of seismology to estimate the properties of the Earth's subsurface from reflected seismic waves. The method requires a controlled seismic source of energy, such as an "air gun".

Splicesearch for term

The splice is a composite core section representing the best available representation of a complete stratigraphic column at a site. It is composed of core sections from adjacent holes such that coring gaps in one hole are filled with core from an adjacent hole.

Stratified Watersearch for term

Water stratification occurs when water with different salinity (halocline) and/or temperatures (thermocline) form a barrier because their properties prevent them from mixing.

Stratigraphic Correlationsearch for term

The process of taking observed and recorded data on multiple cores, and using the similarities to create a composite view of the area sampled.  Because of the wiggle in data from multiple holes, this is sometimes called "Wiggle Watching".

Survival Suitsearch for term

A survival suit (or more specifically an immersion survival suit), is a special type of waterproof dry suit that protects the wearer from hypothermia from immersion in cold water, after abandoning a sinking or capsized vessel.

Thermistorsearch for term

 A temperature-sensitive resistor used to measure temperature

Thrusterssearch for term

A thruster is a small (relatively) propulsive device used by a ship to keep it in a particular position.  The JR has 12 thrusters that are controlled by the Dynamic Positioning System.

Time Series Analysissearch for term

Time series analysis is the study and interpretation of data taken at equally spaced time intervals.

Tripping pipesearch for term

“Tripping” simply means raising or lowering the drill string

Turbiditessearch for term

A sedimentary deposit formed by a turbidity current.

Turbidity currentssearch for term

Turbidity currents can be set into motion when mud and sand on the continental shelf are loosened by earthquakes, collapsing slopes, and other geological disturbances. The turbid water then rushes downward like an avalanche, picking up sediment and increasing in speed as it flows.

Tween Decksearch for term

These are smaller storage levels/partial decks within the hold deckThe JR has an upper and a lower tween.

Vertical Seismic Profile (VSP)search for term

A VSP differs from a conventional reflection profile in that the receiver is clamped successively at different borehole depths within the Earth.

Weatheringsearch for term

The breaking down of rocks, soils, and minerals through contact with the Earth's atmosphere, biota and waters.

Working Halfsearch for term

When a core is split in half, it is the side that can be tested and studied by scientists.

XCBsearch for term

Stands for Extended Core Barrel. The XCB is used to recover 9.5 m long core samples from soft to moderately hard formations.