Sunday, 13 July 2014

Progress so far…

We have had a really successful coring campaign so far, after three days of fairly intensive activity we have collected over 20 cores, from a variety of sites. One of our first objectives was to core both inside and outside a set of large cracks close to the Storegga Slide, these features are over 100m wide, and have not yet been reliably dated. The cores we retrieved we quite spectacular, with abundant carbonised material and several distinct horizons that will allow us to correlate the cores, and refine the date at which these cracks formed. 

James and Matthieu assessing a core during the night shift.

As we moved north over the Voring Plateau, we crossed a large pockmark field, which is the subject of current research at NOC. We managed to collect two 12 m cores here, one from within a Pockmark and one from the adjacent sea bed. The pockmark core still contained small amounts of methane clathrate when it was cut on deck, nice to see as we had expected in to have dissociated before reaching the surface, however, they have a particularly unpleasant to smell!

We are currently in the Traendajupet region, looking at the nature of the landslide here, and hoping to collect a variety of data to help us understand how the landslide moved, when it happened and how much material was involved.

Life on board has settled into a steady rhythm of shifts, to maximise our time at sea we are split into two teams, the night shift run s from midnight to noon, and day shift for the opposing 12 hours. We have three meals a day, though the night shift tends to sleep through dinner, and the same for the day shift at breakfast. The chef of board is fantastic, and we have been spoilt with food, our main meal is always at lunch time, normally a soup, main and desert, and he leaves the night shift something tasty in the fridge for when we get hungry in the very early hours of the morning, the lasagne was definitely a high point!

We have a daily science meeting at midnight on the shift change, to catch everyone up on the plans for day, where we are surveying and how many cores to take in each location. We have several intense days of work between now and Wednesday, and though we have been fortunate with the weather so far, this is likely to change on Sunday night as a storm heads our way, however we are not expecting anything too severe.

The plan for the next week is to continue to the northern edge of our study area, hopefully with as much good luck as we have had with the cores to date, before heading back towards Iceland, then back into Bergen for the 31st

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