This entry is written by Debbie Thomas, co-chief scientist of Expedition 378. It comes from her Expedition 378 Odyssey blog, which can be found here.
Each whole-round core section is divided lengthwise into two halves – the working half, from which discrete samples are removed for analyses of all sorts, and the archive half, which is intended for an intact legacy record for future reference. The splitting room features some very clever innovations to split soft sediment and hard rock cores:
And to round out the sediment description team’s activities, Erika is assessing the sediment composition by swiping a toothpick’s worth of the sediment onto a microscope slide and sealing it with optical adhesive and a cover slip. She has the important task of estimating the relative abundance of the major types of grains that we find in the sediment – microfossils, detrital grains such as dust particles, volcanic glass, mineral grains, and any other minor phases.
Here is an example of what she might see under the microscope from one of the JR’s library of teaching slides: