Just as there’s a whole new way of life on this boat, there’s a whole new language. Acronyms just start rolling off the tongue.

We’re wrapping up the huge area of multibeam survey now, and a lot of people are rather happy they have something active to do again! It’s coring time: 6 Kasten Cores and 4 Jumbo Piston Cores in 24 hours. We’re not processing the JPC’s on board, but there’s still a lot of mud on the table in the Lab to be cleaned up, described, logged, sampled and archived. And the MT’s on the back deck have been working flat out to turn around core after core after core. We’re targeting various grounding zone wedge surfaces in the complex that we’ve mapped with the multibeam, with our key aims being:

  1. to recover enough material for radiocarbon dating of the timing of ice retreat from the continental shelf, and
  2. to determine the development of an ice shelf and its relationship to the retreat dynamics, based on the types of sediments we recover.

When the JPC operation is all wrapped up, we’ll be heading out to the continental shelf edge to re-start the aborted seismic line. We’ll do some final patching up of a few multibeam holes en route: my neurotic tendencies regarding systematic (or lack thereof) data acquisition have been widely noted…

The JPC deploys

The JPC deploys and a mud coated barrel returns. Photo: Sarah Greenwood

Scraping mud off the JPC barrel

Scraping mud off the JPC barrel. Photo: Sarah Greenwood

Capping the JPC trigger core

Capping the JPC trigger core. Photo: Sarah Greenwood