Our morning began with sunny skies and dolphins swimming alongside the R/V Pelican. With only two full workdays left, the science party had a very busy day in store. To begin, we cast the multi-coring device twice, both times with unsuccessful results. However, we continued to make adjustments and ran a trigger test on deck. While waiting on sediment samples, we cast our last CTD. I have very much enjoyed harvesting water samples, so the last time came with mixed emotions.
After lunch, the day continued in an upward direction as we collected our first four beautiful, full mud cores. After extruding each core, two were packaged for science departments on land, one was sliced into packets by depth, and one was used to extract pore water. We will analyze our mud samples at Dr. Leila Hamdan’s lab at GMU for properties like dissolved inorganic carbon, polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbon (PAH), etc.
Personally, it’s been an enlightening experience learning from scientists from many departments and contributing to their projects. A researcher from the Naval Research Lab at the Stenis Space Center, Dr. Allen Reed, is collecting both sediment and water samples in order to characterize sediment behavior and acoustic properties. Onboard the R/V Pelican, Allen brought CELIS, a particle size analyzer in which he inserts seawater and sediment samples from the sea floor. He will use this data to help his project in understanding sedimentation. I met Allen on the last research cruise in July, and I was ecstatic to work with him again. All scientists here have been a pleasure to work with. Once again, it’s been a remarkable experience doing science at sea!