Measuring the reversals

Today we continue to penetrate deep into the section and have reached rocks of around 8 million years age. Critical to determining the age of sedimentation is the magnetic timescale which is worked out by two scientist on the ship , Lisa Tauxe from the Scripps Institute of oceanography in San Diego and Giancarlo Scardia an ex-patriot Italian now working in San Paolo Brazil. In this photograph you can see him taking his samples at the table for immediate analysis just a few feet away across the  laboratory.  Because the earth’s magnetic field reverses on a regular basis through time he and Lisa are able to tell us at what time the sediment is deposited and helps us get a better constraint about when changes are occurring in the basin in addition to the data we get from the paleontologists.