Andaman Sea update: beautiful cores but long working days…

Evening all,

Apologies for the terribly slow updating to the blog this last week – I blame the phenomenal coring success and subsequent enormous work load.

Free time… what was that again? 🙂

So, we’ve successfully finished coring over 700 meters of seafloor at Site U1447, our first Andaman Sea site, obtaining a record that stretches all the way back to the late Miocene (whoaaa!). This will allow us to peer back in time to when the Indian Monsoon first began to intensify about 8 million years ago, and help us to answer lots of interesting questions about how it has evolved over that time. Great stuff.

Screen Shot 2015-01-23 at 2.27.07 AM

Having finished coring at U1447, we pulled up pipe and completed the painfully short transit to our next site, U1448, a little ways to the south. I say “painfully” because we normally use the transit to catch up on our site report writing (each site must have a detailed report written about it, complete with figures and photos and lithological units all defined –we really do have a whole book written in just 2 months out here!), and 5 hours is totally not enough time to do that. Oh well.

But despite being very sleep-deprived and a bit crotchety (sorry shift-mates, I need my 8 hours or I’m a grouch), I’m also really chuffed with the sediments we’ve managed to recover at this site so far and excited about all the work we’re going to be able to do with them back on shore. Definitely worth being a bit tired for 🙂

Core view

[First core of U1448 up on deck. More lovely mud and no sand in sight!]

So for now we’re still coring Hole A, probably for another 12 hours or so, then we’ll start on our final (yay!) hole of the expedition, in order to get a second copy of the material and allow as much post-cruise work as possible to be carried out on them. Only another 100 or so smear-slides to go then…. oh dear lord.

We’ll be back in port in Singapore on the 29th, in just one week’s time, so plenty of work to do before then. Eeek. Hope there’s some time to enjoy a few more sunsets before then.

sunset watchers

So for now, toodlepip and good night.

[Still to come: What do paleomagnetists, phys props, and geochemists do? Where do we exercise and chill out after shift (er, when there’s time!)? What will I miss most about the JR?
Wow, I’d better get writing or this’ll be updated from Cornwall…]

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