15 March, 2000
Today began with a beautiful sunrise. It is so incredible to be working on deck and looking up to view such spectacular scenery. We continue to gather samples and process those samples gathered. We
are finishing our work at Station A.
Mark McClintic is a member of our research team. He is currently a graduate student at NC State. Mark collects sediment samples from bottom cores. He will analyze these samples back in his university lab for the radioactive element thorium. Thorium is ubiquitous (occurring everywhere) in ocean water. Thorium also easily attaches to many other molecules including nutrients. Therefore measurement
of thorium levels can be an indicator of bottom sediment mixing. It is hypothesized that as organisms metabolize nutrients and cache nutrients in sediments, they are transferring thorium into those sediments. One of the things Mark hopes to determine from his measurements of thorium concentrations in the sediment layers is the amount of sediment mixing.
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