We are in MicroWorld!!!

We are eight micropaleontologists aboard the JOIDES Resolution – four of us study diatoms, two study foraminifera, and two study radiolarians. These organisms are generally smaller than a grain of sand so we must study them using microscopes, despite the rocking of the ship. These organisms are important to the expedition because they can be used to determine the ages of the sediments. Each species only lived for a geologically short time, so by identifying the species, we also identify the time when the sediment the fossil is in was deposited. We can also use these fossils to determine past environmental conditions like productivity, temperature, salinity, ocean currents, water depth, and oxygenation with the help of the sedimentologists in lab next door. Let’s read the past from the microfossils, together!!! Christina & Itsuki