Hard hats, goggles and ear plugs, everyone! Drilling for an ocean core requires the deployment of an elaborate array drilling gear and eventual retrieval of all gear back to the drill floor. The entire process is a wonder to watch, precision with massive, wielding clanking pipes of steel. The incredibly talented and alert drill team work together to move thousands of pounds of metal pipes that thread together to form the drill string. The drill string on the JR is a column of pipes that transmit drilling fluid (via the mud pumps) and rotational power to the drill bit at the bottom. Tripping the pipe means raising or lowering the drill string. The drill pipe is a pipe that surrounds the core sample and core liner. It has a drill bit at the bottom that drills through the rock to make the core. The drill shack is to our Right Aft and is the room where drilling operations (hydraulic lifts) are controlled. The Moon Pool (which we visited a few days ago) is below the drill floor and drill shack. This is an opening in the floor of the ship, giving access to the water below, allowing technicians or researchers to lower tools and instruments into the sea.
Here is a two-minute video that can help students to understand what the scientists can learn from drilling: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=n98nJ6GRLaQ
Be sure to watch the JR Core Journey from Rig Floor to Core Receiving Deck to Core Lab ( nice narrated video) http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wC9lDPvvze0&feature=related