Expedition 320 Counts!

Hey guys,

We have a lot to celebrate about our work between 16 March and 16 April.  This is every exciting stuff, but we’re still drilling and working at Site U1336 and we’ll be here for another week, give or take. Check the list and photos below…it’s long, so keep reading and scrolling, because I think you’ll find it very impressive.





TOTALS: 16 March to 16 April; The last 32 Days – a partial accounting

During Expedition 320, The JR has traveled almost 2100 nautical miles (3880 km), and

  • Occupied 5 Sites, in
  • Water depths from 5116 to 4327 m.

We have cored 13 holes, recovered 283 cores, 1975 core sections, and 3950 section halves with lots of samples, each one labeled and archived.

We have penetrated 2536 m of section, cored 2452 m, and recovered 2394 m of core

Challenge:  Calculate the percent recovery and submit your answer through the comment section below.

In the Labs

We’ve had nearly 100% composite stratigraphic coverage over targeted formation intervals (where formation would permit!), and

  • Two sites were logged with natural gamma, density, and new magnetic susceptibility tools.

We have obtained 23 formation temperature measurements at 4 sites.

We’ve run ~1700 whole round core sections through the whole round track systems:  Fast track magnetic susceptibility at 5 cm interval, multiSensor track (density, velocity, susceptibility) at 2.5 cm interval, and natural gamma radiation at 10 cm intervals.

The physical properties folks have made >250 thermal conductivity measurements, and  ~550 measurements of sediment porosity, wet bulk, density, water content, dry bulk density, grain density, and velocity.

Together we’ve produced 1975 digital line scan images and color spectrophotometer measurements of all archive core section halves.

The stratigraphers have described 1975 archive core section halves with associated smear slide and thin section analyses; barrel sheets nearly completed for ~200 cores.

The correlators have created composite stratigraphic sections across all holes at each site to ensure complete formation recovery using ~1700 sections of track data,  and

>1500 core sections have been analyzed by the pass through cryogenic magnetometer for paleomagnetic work.

~500 descrete paleomagnetic cube samples have been taken with subsets run through the cryogenic magnetometer.  The paleomagnetists have complete detailed magnetostratigraphy for all holes at all sites.

Micropaleontology samples and analyses include:
>1200 samples taken for nannofossil analyses (photo),
>250 samples taken for foramiferal analyses, and
~420 samples taken for radiolarian analyses

The micropaleontology team has completed biostratigraphy for all holes at all sites.

The chemists have run >210 whole round interstitial porewater chemical analyses,
~120 Rhizon interstitial porewater chemical analyses, and
> 500 samples taken for carbonate, with a subset taken for inorganic carbon, and total organic carbon analysis


More than 80 ephemeral samples were taken for microbiology and  >9 for permeability.

There’s More…

Expedition scientists have processed/analyzed data from 4 sites and have completed nearly 30 site reports.

We’re emitting an unprecedented and extensive amount of education and public relations content (as you know if you’re reading this).

We’ve enjoyed 32 days of full network services and communications (servers, printers, computers, wireless, email, 24/7 internet access, pay phone service), and

32 nights in a comfortable, two man room (or better for a few) with limited sharing of showers/toilets. Perhaps as many as 32 workouts in the gym, a few movies, 128 really wonderful meals, 128 cookie breaks (not for me!), 32 sunrises and sunsets, 10 rainbows (4 doubles), 2 pods of pilot whales, 1 whale shark and untold numbers of flying fish, tuna, and mahi mahi.

The scientists and UISO staff have given ~20,000 person-hrs of work, with about the same amount again for The JR’s staff and crew.

And best of all,

We’ve achieved many of the primary shipboard objectives at the first 4 sites as defined in the scientific prospectus.

Next Up:  Site U1336 and the trip back to Honolulu!

Photos:  Our Co-chief Scientists, Heiko Paelike (top) and Hiroshi Nishi (bottom).   Credit:  Bill Crawford, IODP Imaging Specialist. 

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