The second round of videos are available now:
Longitude & Latitude – download or stream
Core Sampling – download or stream
We enjoyed the video, we could see what was happening, and want to know what the mud smells like. Then we read Mr. Blatnica’s blog, what is squid jigging?
Squid jigging, which will be in the upcoming videos, is where we drop large glowing lures into the ocean with lots of heavy hooks on them, in hopes that a large squid will attach itself such that we may collect it. It should be in tomorrow’s video so stay tuned =)
I enjoyed the videos a lot, they were very informational. I can’t wait til the next one.
P.S – Hi Mr. Blatnica, hope you’re having a fun time.
Hi, I am. We’ll be sending more videos. Stay tuned.
Awesome videos. It’s cool to see what you guys are doing out there. Keep up the good work!
have you guys found anything yet from the core sampling thing.
We have seen lots of cool organisms so far! The most exciting part of the cores so far has been the clearly marked sediment layers that enables us to date the cores back thousands of years! Keep checking out the pictures for more.
Is there a tool that can calculate both of them at once, if so, how do you use it?
I mean latitude and longitude.
The crew uses directions along with GPS to calculate our location in latitude and longitude. Computers are a great time saver for navigation!
Are people on the research vessel friendly?
Generally, before their morning coffee, there are some unfriendly faces, but after that first cup everyone is chipper and helpful! 🙂
Every scientist loves to talk about what they’re interested in.
It seems as though everyone on the cruise is very knowedgable about the research they’re doing. They all also seem very passionate about their line of work. I found it interesting how they were able to take the sediment from the ocean floor and then make a time line to see how old the sediment is.
How does the coring machine work, and how long does it have to be to reach the bottom of the santa barbera basin?
The coring machine travels down to the bottom at approximately 30 m per minute. At our current boat location, the basin is approximately 580-590 m deep. It roughly takes 45 min to an hour for the core to make its way to the bottom, drill out the core sample and travel back to the surface.
I thought it was really interesting n howthey explained how they find where the boat isusing lattitude and longtitude. But my concern is, is there any way that they can find he exact pinpoint location of this boat using this strategy. I know the coordinates say the general area of where the boat is, but is it very difficult to use thi trategy based on my assumtion?
The longitude and latitude coordinates are specific that it can get a general location. They use minutes to get more specific than latitude and longitude alone.
In latitude and longitude, there are degrees (which do cover a pretty large area), but there are also finer scale parts of degrees (called minutes and seconds). It is possible to be pretty precise in calculating your position based on these things. However, in the 21st century, we rely mostly on GPS and computers to determine our exact position.
Cool! Do you like being a geologist? What is your favorite aspect of your studies?
I like being a detective without the blood and gore. To study the past from sediment, you have to use all kinds of different pieces of evidence (fossils, sediment types, layering, chemistry, magnetics) to reconstruct the past world. I’s like being a detective and using footprints, blood spots, tire tracks and other evidence to figure out “who did it”. Dick Norris
How can you tell what year the sediment is from?
The sediment layers come from annual deposits on the ocean floor. They build up over time. All researchers have to do is count back the number of layers. It does get a bit more complicated then that, but that’s a general explanation of it.
Many organisms live only during specific times in the earth’s past. We can look for those organisms to help us figure out where we are in time. In the Santa Barbara Basin there are shells of organisms that lived at distinct times, so we know what time we are looking at when we find those shells! A lot of geology is secretly biology!
I think it is pretty cool how they put a pipe like thing into the ground and get dataupon ho long the ssediment has been deposite there.My concern is how they decide whether it is accuratedataor not. If waste had been put in that general area where you are digging, couldn’t that flaw the data?
Generally there is very little dumping of sediment off the coast by humans, but we do have to watch out for natural changes in the sea floor. There are submarine landslides and underwater currents that can move sediment from one place to another. These usually disturb the really finely laminated (layered) sediment, so we can tell when it’s been moved. One nice thing about this sediment is it’s very easy to tell when it isn’t layered like it should be!
I think it would be hard to adjust to using latitude and longitude for direction. It is hard to use a ton? Does it get tiring?
I thought it looked like a rough job drilling. When you get a sample, what do you do with, after you study it?
One nice thing about computers is they can do a lot of fine adjustments for us when we are finding latitude and longitude. The drill ships that drill for a living have extremely advanced systems that can hold them over the same tiny spot on the ocean floor even in pretty rough seas!
Drilling can be tough, but there are so many rewards! Once a sample has been recovered, it can tell us a lot. First we usually scan it with a machine called an XRF, which stands for x-ray fluorescence. This machine can help us determine the concentration of different elements in a core without having to take a single drop of mud out of it! Nest, biogeochemists often look at the organisms in the core by taking a sample of mud and washing it through a sieve, collecting all the tiny hard-to-see shells of plankton. These can be used to look at climate. In a core like the Santa Barbara Basin cores, we can look at changes in organic carbon as well, which can tell us about productivity in the water above the sediment.
The cores are then stored in the core locker and kept nice and cold so they don’t grow any mold or break down too quickly. As people invent new ways to study them, they can lead to whole new insights!
What was that metal tool that he used in the latitude and longitude video?
what was the tool that Dr. Norris was using in the video to measure the longitude and laditude with?
I thought that the videos were both cool but I would like to know if their is simpler way to find latidude and longitude. What i mean is instead of using meter stick can you use something else?
Is there any other way to find exactly where you are on a map?
There are a lot of different methods of finding your location on a map. An older form of breaking down a map breaks them into townships and ranges.
At sea we generally rely on GPS, so the ship communicates with satellites. When a ship needs to know exactly where it is, they can put a transponder on the ocean floor and use that to find the same place on the ocean floor.
i like the video on how to find your position. you can find both at one time.
It seems ike you are doing a dirty job. But, is all you are going to be researching is sediment or are some maine animals involved?
We are studying geology and biology! The biology focused videos will be out later this week so keep checking back!
OKAY!!! I’m excited to see them!
Both. There are animals in that thar mud! Dick Norris
That seems like it would be very cool to learn about new things in the sediment layers of the ocean. What big discoveries have been made through gathering this information?
One of the most exciting discoveries we made with ocean cores was finding the impact material that was ejected when a large asteroid hit the earth around 65 million years ago, killing the dinosaurs. That core is stored in the Smithsonian in Washington D.C.
In Santa Barbara Basin, there are distinctive layers in the sediment and we can look at things like fire history because the ash becomes part of the layers in the mud. There are also records here that show there was a shift in organisms from cooler water organisms to warmer water organisms in the 1970s.
What is a Paleobiologist? What do they do?
To Mr. Blatnica:
Have you jigged a squid yet?
Paleobiologists look at ancient life. They are interested in learning about what changes have occurred to them.
I was watching some squid jiggging last night, but tonight we are on night watch so I’m hopeful. I will let you know.
We study ancient life–fossils–and try to figure out how they lived, evolved, and died out over time. Paleobiologists can study fossil ants, animals, and microbes. I like being a paleobiologist because I get to study living animals as well as fossils. The living ones offer examples that help me figure out how the fossil ones worked. The really neat thing is to see how life has changed over time. I get to play in mud AND watch stuff crawl around…heaven! Dick Norris
Thank you Mr. Norris
and Mr. Blatnica
I would like to know, how do you calculate or figure out when the rocks are from?
How do you determine what exact year of when the rocks are from?
Pretty neat, huh? One way to date the exact year is to look for historical events preserved in mud. A neat example comes from when the missionaries came to California. They brought along various European plants. The plants produced pollen and the pollen got blown into the ocean. So when we first find the European plant pollen in the mud–that dates the exact year when the missions were established in this area. Dick Norris
I thought that it was very interesting that there are many different methods of core sampling. Are there any more not mentioned in this video?
See a sample of various coring types at:
The different cores collect somewhat different kinds of data so different cores are useful for answering different questions.
why are maps called charts on the boat?
Nautical charts are far more detailed than a regular map. They are meant to be actively used to plot navigational courses. They also show hazards to navigations such as sunken ships and large rocks protruding up. Most maps do not have that level of detail and give no safety information.
I liked the videos i learned a couple new things. But i still dont get how u are able to tell how old the rock is by just the layers?
I hope you find some awsome things in that sediment deposit. The age of that stuff is surprising to me. I can’t wait till you guys do some Quid Jigging.
We’ve been jigging for squid every night but no squid have been caught… They seem to be someplace else!
I was wondering how you can find your postion on the chart when your on the sea?
Also is it hard to find your location on the map ?
I would like to now how the coring machines work and how you can tell the year from the sample.
How deep do you drill during core sampling and is that the farthest the machine can go or withstand or do you have a specific target area in the depth you go to.
Certain cores go to certain depths of the sediment.
On the Kasten core, which you saw on the video, you could see that it can go into the sea floor about 10 feet. That’s with a good core. It just so happened that the cores on Sunday were great. The researchers were very pleased with the samples.
I think the coring is really cool and i just wanted to know about how deep the coring machiene will go?
I would like to know how you figure out what year the sediment was formed?
We can date the sediment at least three ways. 1. we can use C-14 dating that give us a direct date on fossils preserved in the sediment. 2. You can look for historical events of known age. An example would be submarine landslides that formed during earthquakes of known age. Another would be to look for something like the abundance of lead in the mud. People used to put lead in gasoline to keep the engines of cars from “knocking”. Leaded gasoline was outlawed in the 1970s. Hence we can measure the amount of lead in the mud and get both a rough idea of the sediment age based upon the concentration of lead form air pollution produced by cars. If there is no lead in the mud, either the mud is younger than the early 1970’s or it is older than the introduction of leaded gasoline. 3. we can “correlate” events of known age from one place to another. So , if I have dated an event offshore San Diego and find a similar event off Santa Barbara, I can hypothesize that the two similar-looking events are the same age. For example, people have looked at the pattern of droughts and rainy years preserved in tree rings from S. California mountains. It turns out that we can see the same climate pattern in marine sediments. More sediment is washed from land during wet years than during dry ones. We get thicker sediment layers during wet years than during dry ones. Hence, we can correlate the age of tree-ring-derived droughts from land to the ocean! Dick Norris
What was the metal tool that he used in the latitude and longitude video?
It was cool how you could see the sediment from hundreds of years ago. The equipment looked super fancy. Did you guys get sea sick because it looked like a bumpy ride.
p.s. I love how Mr. Blatnica is just standing there staring at the dude do something like at 3:20.
The videos were really interesting! Its like a part of science I’ve never been introduced to before. I was wondering if there’s a safer sampling technique?
Sometimes what you’re researching is difficult to get at. In that case the techniques to get at it are dangerous if proper precautions are not taken. Luckily, the crew on board is prepared to help keep everyone safe.
What does a paleoclimatologist do? Also, when are you going to play with squids?
Whenever you see the word paleo, you will know that the person is interested in studying the past. Whether it’s paleobiologist, paleoclimatologist, paleobotonist, paleogeologist. They all study the past history.
We got some great animals last night in the midwater trawl including a cool octopus and a bunch of flashlight fish. We even get cool critters in the toilet! It turns out that the toilet water is just sea water pumped in from the ocean. If you go in the bathroom and turn off the light, the toilet is full of little sparkling lights caused by the bioluminescence of microscopic plankton. I love this stuff! But I also like paleoclimatology and paleobiology–pretty neat to play detective and figure out what Earth’s climate and life was like thousands or millions of years ago. Dick Norris
With these core samples, are you planing to find more about what happoned in the earths history, or are you trying to get a good picture of what could happen in the future?
Both. We use the past record to place the present into context and predict the future. For example, we know from the fish scales preserved in the mud that fish populations have grown and shrunk on a ~70 year cycle. The last big crash was in the 1930’s when the sardine canneries all closed in California because of a lack of fish to catch and can. Without the 2000 year historical record preserved in sediments we had no idea what caused the fish population to crash. Was the crash caused by something natural, or was overfishing to blame? The sediments show that the 1930’s crash was part of a natural cycle since we see the fish populations wax and wane repeatedly over the past 2000 years. Knowing that there is a cycle allows fisheries managers to better predict what the fish populations may do in the future and manage the fishery.
What was the name of the tool in the latitude and longitude video to help find their location.
A ten-point divider. The divider opens or closes keeping each of the 10 points equidistant from the others. That way you have ten evenly spaced points to pick the positions off of a map. Dick Norris
Its nice to see what you guys are doing and that your enjoying your time on the vessel. I hope that you’re finding all the information and organisms and such that you were hoping to find. Have a nice time on the rest of your trip!
I am very interested in the core sampling and please share your information ASAP. Hope your having a good research trip.
I enjoyed watching this video. I hope your research is going well, I’m really interested in learning more about the core sampling. Why do you use the core sampling if it is dangerous? Why don’t you use a more simple tool?
With danger comes great rewards! Seriously, the danger in minimal if you use caution and don’t put yourself (or others) in a bad position. We move slowly and deliberately and make sure nobody is in the way. The great thing is that the big equipment (like our various coring rigs) is the only way to get the long records or past history (as seen in the mud) of life in the ocean and on land.
How long does it take to use the rig to get the sediments?
That is really cool how you find out so much information from core sampling. How long does it take to get to the bottom of the ocean?
It depends how deep the ocean is and the type of instrument we are lowering. Right now we are over approximately 500 m of water. Here an instrument like the box core takes about a half hour to reach the bottom, but different instruments can take longer. However, there are many regions of the ocean that are 6,000 m deep or more! There it takes much longer to lower an instrument to the bottom. For example if the instrument is a CDT, and we are collecting water samples on the way back, the entire trip could take over 7 hrs!
I thought it was interesting how you get the core samples. This question is for Jesse: Have you found anything in the core samples that gives you any information in paleomagnetism?
Not just yet. When we get the cores back to the lab, we will take smaller samples of about 10 cubic centimeter cubes from each depth in the piston core. We will run these samples through our machines to test for various magnetic properties. Then, we will have results to answer our paleomagnetic questions. We will then be able to determine the amount and type of magnetic minerals in the samples, as well as the direction of the field in them. -Jesse
If a ship got lost how hard would it be to get back on course?
Hi Ben Fissel!
We saw you on the video with a hard hat on. Elliot loved that! We miss you! Have fun playing with the mud!
Hugs, love and kisses,
Kelly and Elliot
It’s cool how you get the mud and get to the core. Have you ever brought up animals from the ocean in the proccess?
i want to know with this big machinery for core sampling, how long does it usually take to get all the way down to the bottom of the ocean? And do you have to have somebody monitoring the machine so you know exactly where it goes?
It sounds like you guys are having a blast. I would like to know how you guys figure out how old the pieces of sediment are that you find at the bottom of the Santa Barbara Basin. Also, would it be easier to track your coordinates out in the middle of the ocean by using a computer along with the maps (chart)?
I thought this video was really cool. I think Marine Biology is really interesting. Did you get to work with the fossils they got from the coring, or did you just observe the things that they were doing?
How do you find out exactly where to put the indication of what period of time each part of the core sample is from?
I liked both the videos. I thought they were very informative and interesting. I especially liked the video on core sampling.
Do you notice if there is increase movement of certain fish during the nocturnal period, such as squid or sharks or such, just as there are animals in the desert that are more lively during the evening?
This is so interesting! How does one get into this kind of thing?
The graduate students onboard are all studying the ocean in some way, but from many different fields. There were chemists, geologists, economists, biologists, physicists, doctors, and engineers onboard. If you study any type of science and are excited about the ocean, you will be able to find your way onto a research vessel. Feel free to email email@example.com if you’d like to talk more about finding opportunities!
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