Thursday, August 5, 2010

Nightly Multicoring Team

So far, we have had really nice and exciting night shifts on the CCGS Hudson. The sea is pretty calm (and we hope it stays that way…), it is warm, the sky is cloudless, and the sunsets and sunrises are just amazing. By using a multicorer, we collect soft sediment samples (also called mud) for different analyses. Some of us focus on studying the geology and geochemistry of the sediment, others the biodiversity at different scales, while others are interested in the nutrient fluxes at the water-sediment interface and the oxygen consumption of the infaunal communities found in different environments.
In shallower waters (~ 200 m), we usually have to wait for about half an hour for the multicorer to reach the seafloor and to come back to the surface, while on other nights such as yesterday (or better said, this morning at 4am!), we had to wait almost two hours for the multicorer to come back from about 1500 m depth… a long wait for rare and priceless mud! However, waiting times are used with pre-labeling countless sample containers and preparing the lab for processing the sediment, eating lots of ice cream and discussing whether Cheese-Whizz is a real cheese or not.