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Europe cores in EUROCORES: Ocean drilling in EuroMARC
Date:11/24/2008

t lengths, depending on the sediments and the objectives. Short cores of less than 1.5m are often used to drill coral reefs, and if you have high sedimentation rates going back in time you need long cores. Box coring is used for taking surface samples as is the so-called multicores instrument with four short cores, where even the water above the sediment is captured and subsequently the interface analysed. Once a core is on board, its dimensions are measured. Longer cores are cut into segments, then split into two halves, the archive half and the working half, and the first preliminary, non-destructive on-site analyses are made, such as the core description including photos, microbial activity tests and the measurement of the physical properties in a multi-sensor core logger. Then the cores are stored and cooled in containers before undergoing more sampling procedures.

Life on the cruises is rather exceptional: The expeditions are up to two months long and the science is done around the clock the members of the scientific crew do two four-hour shifts per day. "It's like a small community living and working together, there is a lot of potential to create a good atmosphere from a scientific perspective, but also to find new friends" said Ralph Schneider of Christian-Albrechts-University in Kiel, who is involved in the GLOW (Tropical Temperature History of Global Warming Events) project. Of course, there are also some downsides, as different personalities can clash as well as families and friends need to be left behind for a considerable time. The crew can be as big as a hundred people, comprising of the science crew, technical crew, the crew maintaining the ship - AMOCINT even had five teachers on board who participated in the "Teachers at Sea" program of EGU-IPEV (European Geoscience Union-Institut Paul-Emile Victor).

As not all techniques can be run on board, the sampling is either done in the individual labs or as a joint activity in form of a
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Contact: Angela Michiko Hama
mhama@esf.org
European Science Foundation
Source:Eurekalert

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