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17 March, 2000

We have returned to Station A and are finishing sample gathering here. Tomorrow we will do the same at Station B. The last of the sediment cores are being sliced and prepared for laboratory tests and observations. To slice a sediment core, it is placed on a device called an extruder. The extruder pushes a piston up through the bottom of the core cylinder forcing the sediment out of the top of

the cylinder. This can be done in controlled amounts so that layers 0.5 cm and 1 cm. thick can be obtained. Some slices will be weighed wet and then reweighed dry to test porosity (how much water the sediment holds). Other slices are fixed with a preservative or

frozen to later be observed for larvae, nematods (roundworms), or polychaetes (worms). Another set of samples will be treated chemically and then frozen to later measure ATP levels.

It has been another beautiful sunny day with petrels and albatrosses flying around the ship; even a few penguins swimming by in the water.

Sarah prepares sediment samples for ATP testing

Graduate student Sarah Mincks prepares a core tube on an extruder for slicing samples

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