History Lesson in the Mud, by Shelley Glenn Lee-Education Coordinator

I am having so much fun!!! So far today we have sampled the seafloor four times. We first took two “Box Cores” that sampled the top meter of sediment. The mud feels like pudding but smells like rotten eggs. I’ve learned some interesting things about the basin, including unique filamentous bacteria and small worms are the only life we find on the bottom, and only at the very interface between the water and seafloor. As we go deeper into the mud, we have found some shells from clams and pteropods (sea butterflies/pelagic gastropods/swimming snails)–I found a very cute pteropod of my own, in the “Macoma Layer”–a layer of sediment deposited in 1840, characteristic because of the presence Macoma clam shells (quite a few actually—the geologists are stumped as to how they got there!) the invertebrate specialist on board helped me identify the species, and I found a picture of it in a book. Pretty cute. To top it off, in the third core we pulled (a “Kasten Core”) we went beyond the year 1840 and collected layers of earth back to 300AD!!!! The clever geologists flagged the layers with important events in history. Dr. Dick Norris exclaimed “I want to point out that I live for this stuff! This is every page in the book of history, laid out for us to read.” You will have to check out the pictures (follow our link to Picasa). I am looking forward to more discoveries later tonight…

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2 Responses to History Lesson in the Mud, by Shelley Glenn Lee-Education Coordinator

  1. Johnnie says:

    I can’t wait to see the mud you guys are pulling up!

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