Meet 340 Curator Gemma Barrett: Splitting the Cores

This blog contribution was provided by 340 Curator, Gemma Barrett. Read on to view YouTube videos that show the final 340 cores being split into two halves. Here's Gemma. "Splitting the cores is a crucial step in processing the cores within the labs. After sectioning the cores on the catwalk and bringing them into the core lab, they sit in racks until equilibrated to room temperature and then a variety of measurements are made on the un-split whole cores (density, porosity, gamma radiation, magnetic susceptibility, thermal conductivity).

Photo credit, Etienne Claassen, 340 Marine Instrumentation Specialist

After the data is verified for the whole core, the next step is to split the core lengthwise into its final form as a working half and archive half. Deciding how to split the core depends if the material is hard sediment, hard rock, sand, loose sediment or something in between. We have individual saws to cut pieces of hard rock and a larger saw (also known as the ‘super saw’) to cut harder sediments.

Photo credit, Etienne Claassen, 340 Marine Instrumentation Specialist

 

Watch the YouTube video

Soft sediments are cut using the splitter shown in this video which uses two blades to cut the outer liner and a wire to cut the material within the core liner in half. After the core is split, the working half moves onto the sampling table where scientists choose the locations of their samples and the archive half moves onto the core description tables to be imaged and described by our core description scientists."

Photo credit, Etienne Claassen, 340 Marine Instrumentation Specialist

Thank you, Gemma. I would like to extend a special thanks to Gemma, Chieh Peng and Maggie Hastedt for the afternoon in the Splitting Room to practice recording videos of core splitting procedures. Many thanks to Lisa Brandt and Heather Barnes, with additional support by Emily Fisher for being the stars of our 340 Core Splitting YouTube videos. Thanks again to each of you for sharing your insights and skills with us. These ladies are part of the 340 Technical Staff who support the scientific objectives throughout the expedition--- they help to Git' 'er done 24/7, one core at a time!

Watch the YouTube video

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