13 November, 1998

Friday, November 13, 1998

Hello! Today was a day of catching up! Number one was SLEEP ! I got 11 hours of sleep last night…guess I really needed it! Got to the lab early today and started right in on work. I took yesterday's samples (that Fabio and I drilled) out of the little sampling bags (you will see a photo!) and had to label these with the proper numbers…to show where they came from in the drill hole. Most of them were around the 200 meter mark (roughly). This took awhile! Next, each sample was placed in a tray to dry. I had to be sure to mark each tray carefully so that the samples don't get mixed up. I must have labeled over 30 samples!

Our meeting today focused on the International Steering Committee (IOC) for the Cape Roberts Project. The remaining members of the committee arrived in McMurdo on last night's Starlifter flight from Christchurch. This project involves scientists from Australia, Germany, Italy, New Zealand, the United Kingdom, and the United States. The committee will be reviewing this season's progress and voting on whether or not to drill again next year. This is an important week for the Cape Roberts Project!

In the meeting Peter Barrett talked about how much drilling time was left before the ice would become unstable and unsafe. They think that two more weeks is the maximum time left. It still takes awhile to get the cores into McMurdo and sampled and things wrapped up. With the amount of drilling that has been accomlished so far, they are still expecting (and hoping) to get to 600 meters of core. But…drilling is a day-by-day event, so who knows! No core samples were flown to McMurdo last night because of bad weather. That gave us time to catch up on measuring in the paleomag lab.

I spent some time today measuring the magnetic susceptibility of the samples that were taken yesterday. I had to measure all samples on low and high frequency. This is a rather quick procedure, but involves lots of little steps. I have included some photos to give you an idea of what this machine looks like.

After dinner I walked back to Crary Lab to work with Fabio and Gary. Fabio worked on measuring samples with the spinner magnetometer and I used the same samples on the Molspin demag machine. We traded the samples back and forth…as I increased the level of demagnetization for the group of samples, Fabio would go back and measure the levels of magnetization. This went on for several hours, and I finally finished in the lab about 1:00 AM. (We did take about a 45 minute break at 10:30 PM and ran over to Gallagher's for 3 games of foosball with Giuliana, Sonia, and Jason…other CRP people. So, it wasn't work all night!)

All in all, a nice slow (but long) day. A welcome change from the hectic pace we've been keeping lately. Hard to believe it's been a week already since our field trip to the ice caves. Time is flying by for me! Talk to you tomorrow!

Betty :)

This photo shows one of the little plastic bags that we keep our samples in. Notice that it has a lot of information printed on the label...to give scientists as much information about the sample as possible. Tom (one of the curators) prints these labels for all Cape Roberts scientists every time new core arrives in McMurdo. Remember, the scientists "flag" the spot where they want their sample taken.

This might give you an idea of how many little bags of samples we have right now. The samples are set out to dry, and then we do our measuring. Later, (when we le ave Antarctica) the samples will be stored back in the bags, and kept in someone's lab for further study.

I'm measuring the magnetic susceptibility of the samples.

Here's what the samples look like after they are labeled and set out to dry.

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