7 September, 1997
Today will be our last coring station. We are in a region where no core samples of the ocean floor have ever been collected. Previously, ships with the special cranes and winches required for coring were not able to operate in ice. This project required that the Louis be refitted to work as an arctic research vessel.
There were two types of core samples collected today. The piston core collected a section of sediment about six centimeters in diameter and three meters long. The sediments from the bottom of the core were probably deposited at a time when the arctic was free of ice. By studying these, scientists will get a better idea of how the arctic responded at a time when the planet was much warmer.
The second collection was made with a box corer, a device that scoops a section of about one half square meter of the ocean bottom to a depth of about 25 centimeters. This will be used to determine the sedimentation rate and to measure the concentration of contaminants that are being transported to the arctic.
There were several large stones on the top of the clay silt. We can only speculate on their origin but assume they were carried on an ice flow. It may just look like mud but it holds the recorded history of the area.
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