Sampling Party

Unfortunately not the sort of party that many of us would like to attend now that thoughts of the soft life in Hong Kong have receded.  We are sufficiently deep under the sea floor that core is basically hard rock, albeit sedimentary rock, this means a change in the way that we have to deal with it. No more smear slides for microscope work but now we have to cut the core with saws and make polished thin sections. The whole business of processing the core has slowed up and changed, with the fragments being sawn in two and labeled with loving care and attention by Gemma the curator and her trusty friends. That said the core is beautiful to see and is still dominated by deep-water material derived from the side of nearby seamount volcano, or so it seems at the moment. Describing this can be a challenge because the rock is altered and the volcanic pieces are no longer as they used to be or how we might expect them to look based on undergraduate lectures. Sampling has also started to be a once a day activity instead of continuous, with much debate about where the precious few samples can and should be taken.