Sea Snails and Computers
A beautiful morning shot of the Isla del Cano. Rain coming!
Where are we now?
Off the western coast of Costa Rica, in the Pacific Ocean, Site U1413. Our coordinates: 8°44’ North, 84°7’ West. Water depth: 540 meters (~1/3 mile). We will be moving soon!
Scientists at Work
We finished coring and have been downhole logging all day (where instruments are only recording information about the hole and its surroundings), but scientists are still sampling the recovered cores from almost 600 meters below seafloor (mbsf). Scientist Debora Nascimento must use a chisel to take a sample because the cores are so lithified (rock-like) at this depth.
In these deeper cores, the lithology (characteristics) of the rock changed to a dark greenish-gray siltstone containing some fairly thick layers of sandstone with large pieces of shell, foraminifera, and wood.
As they got deeper, rounded pieces of rocks were found in the siltstone along with many gastropods (some sort of sea snail - see photo below). Nannofossils put these deepest cores in the Early Pleistocene Age!
Life on Board
Spotlight On Schools (SOS)!
Ms. Glanz teaches Fourth Grade at Rio Seco Elementary School in Santee, California. She gave me a school T-shirt to take with me to the Costa Rica Seismogenesis Zone! In the photo, can you guess where I am standing?
Three decks below the Core Lab, there is a deck called the “Lower ‘Tween Deck.” The deck above that one is called the Forward ‘Tween Deck (not Upper ‘Tween as you might have guessed), and the deck below it, the lowest, is the Hold. On the Lower ‘Tween Deck, the sign on the only door says,
decks below the Core Lab, there is a deck called the “Lower ‘Tween Deck.” The
deck above that one is called the Forward ‘Tween Deck (not Upper ‘Tween as you
might have guessed), and the deck below it, the lowest, is the Hold. On the Lower ‘Tween Deck, the sign on the only
Inside, you will find cubicles with computers, because not everyone on the ship brought their own. Satellite bandwidth is very limited on the ship, and surfing the web or downloading anything is brutally slow. The speed is like if you had 60 computers at your house, all on the same cable. Sites like “Youtube” are not enabled on any computer because they would use up all of the bandwidth we have!
They have one Skype station if you want to talk to friends or family, but you are limited to 15-minute sessions. Whenever I have video conferences with schools around the United States, I send out an email to everyone to please limit their computer use for 30 minutes. This helps to keep things running more smoothly while I am taking students on a long distance tour of the ship with our iPad.
Michael Cannon and Grant Banta are the Marine Computer Specialists, our IT guys on the ship. They take care of all of the computer problems that come up, and try to keep the whole system running as well as possible. I can’t even count the number of times that I have called one or the other of them with a computer issue. And, guess what? They always smile and take care of it. Thanks, guys!
For more photos, see our Facebook page!
From the subduction zone…