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16 June, 2000

Geology and Biology

Today, we are in the process of sailing back to Nuuk, Greenland. While there is a lull in the science experimentation, I am going to take this opportunity let you know what we will be doing over the next two weeks. During the next leg of the trip, the coring capabilities of the Healy. will be the major focus of our testing. Larry Lawver from the University of Texas at Austin will be meeting up with us in Nuuk. He will be sharing his expertise in Geology with us. We will be completing another rock dredge and taking core samples from the ocean floor.

Greenland has the oldest known rocks found on the Earth. Much of the island is composed of metamorphic rock that is over three billion years old. One formation near Nuuk dates back 3,700,000,00 years ago. Considering that scientists believe that the Earth is 4.5 billion years old, you can see why the geology of Greenland is very intriguing to geologists.

While we are in Nuuk, we will also be checking the Biodiscs we placed at the pier before we headed out on our first leg. Biodiscs are plexiglass discs with holes cut in the center. They are usually suspended in a vertical line, for an extended period of time, in the water. The discs will first develop an algal film and then will be populated by larger organisms such as barnacles and mussels, if left out for a sufficient length of time. They have been used by the Maryland Sea Grant to monitor water quality and biodiversity of Baltimore's Inner Harbor. Since our discs have only been out for a week, there will be very little information gathered. We will probably have a minuet amount of algae growth to inspect. It will be of interest to myself, because this will be a project that I will be able to easily incorporate into an arctic studies program back in Nome.

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