Thursday, 10 October 2013

Hi Everyone,

Luci typing here.

A few things to report since our cruise....

We have been busy in the lab analysing our cores, from our Arctic Marine Geology Module, for different things.... initially we have taken 15 samples from various points on each core (roughly each person then had three samples of their core) these were then weighed,wet and then dried over 24 hours and re-weighed to get the water content and also total mass weight.

The sediment was then re-hydrated, figure 1, to be sieved through 3 different sieve sizes for grains larger than 1mm, 125µm - 1mm, 63 -125µm and less than 63 could be calculated.
Figure 1 - Core HH13-18-GC being re-hydrated for grain size sorting.

Once sieved they were all re-weighed and then the percentage of grain size calculated - so for example: I was working on the bottom of my core; one of my three samples was taken from the 'bag' (which is any sediment that has fallen from the bottom of the gravity core in the cutter). This was mainly diamict and the grain sizes were:
>1mm 20%
125µm-1mm 17%
63 -125µm 13%
<63µm 50%

This analysis was done throughout the core in areas of interest or areas where transitions occurred into different sediment compositions.

Another lab we have done on our same samples is to look at each of the grain divisions and count the ice rafted debris (IRD) found, figure 2, - in the larger grain size divisions we also noted the type of sediments - e.g. metamorphic, sedimentary or igneous (although it was quite challenging from single crystals to tell if it was metamorphic or igneous!)
Figure 2 - Counting sediments!

We will also continue our analysis of these cores and go into looking at the Forams that are present.

Figure 3 - sediment load from Longyearelva 

We (Ribanna and I) have also done a couple of labs for Arctic Technology - Hydrology and Climate change module. One was looking at the amount of suspended sediment in the river systems around Longyearbyen. It consisted of filtering collected samples from various rivers at differing points - I picked the worse sample as it took over an hour to filter and was the last one there waiting even though i was one of the first to start!!! These were then oven dried over night and weighed the next day (filter weight known) and then the amount of grams of sediment could be calculated per liter of water (g/l) as we knew the sample volume of liquid. Mine obviously was the highest in the class - as the filter was so clogged and I had to use 2 in the end, figure 3 - at 4.8066 g/l from the Longyearelva close to UNIS.
We then had to work out the organic content within the sediment so ignited them at 480 degrees in a special oven for approx 20 mins, then put them in a desiccator for 15 mins so they wouldn't absorb humidity from the air on removal from the oven. Of the 4.8066g/l, 0.242 of my sample was organic matter - 5.03%

All interesting but quite alot of waiting for drying sediments!!

So that's the sciencey stuff right there!!!

Other fun things that have been happening is the SNOW has arrived and it has been beautiful, fig 4-8,

Figures 4-8 - mountains behind UNIS in the sunset!!

yet quite icy to walk on (entertainingly slippery, but the adrenaline shots in the morning sure wake you up) It hasn't snowed much since the first day but the temperatures have stayed pretty low and the sun doesn't get high in the horizon anymore so it looks like it could stick around now (YAY)!

Ribanna also lead the environmental group here, which i am part of too, and we got to organise the Flea market this year - which consisted of sorting through a ridiculous amount of clothing, baby stuff, toys, books and crap and making it in a display to sell for charity!! - it was incredible how much a small town could produce with the help from a bit of extra muscle to haul in the loads - thank you Allan, Greg, Michael, Tyler and the rest of the team .
Needless to say to make it more fun every 30 minutes or so we found a new outfit to try on, fig 9-10 or a cold beer to wash down the dust bunnies!!!

Figure 9 - Flea Market team

Figure 10 -sorting through everything!!
In the end it was very successful as we raised around 38,000 which is like £3,800!! Just from donated things/cake and coffee - not bad in 3 days work!! After the Fridays set up we continued to celebrate our hard work by a late night hot tub session under a clear night of stars! - It is not a bad life!

And the merriment will continue this week with the 20th anniversary of UNIS - which is very exciting! there is a lot of people coming and going with important titles! Being part of the Friday gathering group too (so many groups so little time) we have also been asked to prepare a Quiz for the big Friday gathering this week - where there will be around 300 people,speeches,reindeer soup, and free beverages!!!!

Also on the 18th we have the big student party to look forward too - Icebreaker - it is beach themed so I'm already getting my outfit together (pictures to follow) with the help from all the bargains found at the Flea market!!

I think that is all from me for now - hope your all enjoying following our time here as much as we are having it :)


1 comment:

  1. Not really sure why some of the writing looks highlighted .... sorry for that :D