Welcome to Deep Sea Discovery. .
My name’s Dr. Kate Littler from the University of Exeter, UK and I’m a paleoclimate scientist – using the geochemistry of deep-sea marine sediments to understand the climates of Earth’s distant past.
From December 2014 to January 2015 I sailed aboard International Ocean Discovery Program (IODP) Exp. 353 as a shipboard sedimentologist. This blog documents some of the trials and tribulations of drilling and geologising at sea. If you want to see the fruits of our labour, in terms of the post-cruise work we’re now undertaking on these samples, head over to ancientmonsoon.org for the latest news.
During our 2 months at sea in the northern Indian Ocean, Bay of Bengal and the Andaman Sea, we recovered over 4 km of deep-sea sediment cores, which we are now using to reconstruct how the ancient Indian Monsoon behaved thousands to millions of years ago.
Today the monsoon rains supply water for over a billion people, so it is very important to predict how this rainfall might be disrupted or shifted as the global climate warms in the near future. One way we can do this is to reconstruct how the monsoon behaved during past periods of global warmth or sudden change, using a combination of sedimentological, geochemical, and paleontological “proxies” recovered from deep-sea sediments.
Check back here for updates on the progress of the post-cruise work.