Day 5 of Sampling: Exhausted but excited!

What an exhausting week! Today we finished opening and sampling all of the cores. Our busy team consisting of Dr. Hendrik Lantzsch, Dr. Till Hanebuth, Dr. Isabel Mendes, Dr. Laura Anton Lopez, Mareike Höhne, Grit Warratz, Basti Steinborn and Mary Lee King.  Of the 152 core sections we opened, described, logged, sampled and stored, most of them were gravity cores along with some vibracores, giant box cores, and Rumohr cores. 

The giant box core has a volume of 50cm3. When the device is lifted out of the sediment, a shovel releases from the top and scoops the material under the box to keep the sample in as it is lifted to the ship.  This method allows for a large amount of surface material sampling.  Once the giant box corer was on the ship during the cruise in March 2015, we removed the water ontop, described the sediment, and pushed plastic core liners in to receive mini-cores.

Matt Kestner showing us the giant box corer. Credit: Pos482 CADISED.  

The Rumohr corer is basically a small gravity corer.  The device uses a 100cm long plastic liner that is attached to about 50kg with some fins for stabilization.  Above the plastic liner is a lid that closes as the Rumohr corer is pulled out of the sediment.  When it closes a suction is created to keep not only the undisturbed sediment surface intact but also the water located along the seafloor within the core liner. Usually two of these had to be taken at every station to account for the amount of surface sediment needed by all of the involved research groups. Most of the Rumohr cores were sampled on board during the cruse in March.

The left photo shows the Rumohr corer not in use without the core liner in it.  The right photo shows Mary Lee King preparing to pull the core liner out of the device.  Credit: Pos482 CADISED.  

Next week brings sample cleaning for radiocarbon dating along with some analysis of samples.  

German word of the day: Würstchen=Sausage

German word of the day, bonus: Wie bitte?= Pardon? (a polite way of saying ‘what?’)

If anyone has questions they want me to answer on my blog about my research or living in Bremen, Germany, shoot me an email at

Prost from across the pond,

Mary Lee