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IODP Expedition 336

Mid-Atlantic Ridge Microbiology

Daily Science Report for 30 September 2011

LOCATION: Underway toward the northeast of North Pond to avoid tropical storm Philippe

SCIENCE UPDATE: Today we made multiple course changes designed to position the ship so that we could safely return to the North Pond area as soon as possible after tropical storm Philippe passes over the our North Pond drilling area. ETA to return on site is now 1200 on 1 October. We plan to install a CORK observatory with microbial, geochemical, pressure, and thermal experiments 50 m west of Hole 395A. This will target uppermost basaltic crust. Scientists met to discuss the research plan and associated sampling plan for basalt to be recovered at our next site.


Daily Science Report for 29 September 2011

LOCATION: Underway toward the northeast of North Pond to avoid tropical storm Philippe

SCIENCE UPDATE: After securing the ship for transit, we started heading to the northeast of North Pond to avoid tropical storm Philippe, which is predicted to pass almost directly over the our North Pond drilling area on 30 September. Current ETA to return on site is 0600 1 October. CORK scientists met with operations and engineering staff to get an update on the Hole 395A CORK head failure. We are still in the process of gathering all of the available information, including the drilling parameters, pressure sensing data, recovered parts, and videos. Our aim is to document what happened, determine what we can alter to increase our chances of success in subsequent installations, and start to identify potential future actions at this hole (during/after expedition).


Daily Science Report for 28 September 2011

LOCATION: Hole 395A, North Pond (22.756°N, 46.081°W, water depth 4484 mbrf).

SCIENCE UPDATE: After lowering the CORK into Hole 395A, we inflated the packers and installed the ROV platform. Our initial attempts to release the CORK running tool were not successful so we retrieved the camera system to remove the ROV platform deployment slings that prevent the camera system from being able to get a close-up view of the CORK running tool. While retrieving the camera, we lost weight on the drill string and thought that the CORK running tool had released from the CORK. When we lowered the camera system back down, we observed the CORK head still attached to the CORK running tool but offset from the hole. The CORK head had broken off from the rest of the CORK remaining in the hole. We retrieved the CORK head and running tool back on deck at the end of the day and started to inspect the retrieved hardware to determine the cause of the failure.


Daily Science Report for 27 September 2011

LOCATION: Hole 395A, North Pond (22.756°N, 46.081°W, water depth 4484 mbrf).

SCIENCE UPDATE: After installing the 530-m-long internal instrument string consisting of microbiologic, geochemical, and thermal experiments into the CORK, we lowered the entire CORK observatory to the seafloor. We reentered Hole 395A and successfully lowered the CORK completely into the hole.


Daily Science Report for 26 September 2011

LOCATION: Hole 395A, North Pond (22.756°N, 46.081°W, water depth 4484 mbrf).

SCIENCE UPDATE: Today we finished assembling the upper portions of the CORK and lowered the top of it just below the ship. At the end of the day, we prepared to install the internal instrument string consisting of microbiologic, geochemical, and thermal experiments.


Daily Science Report for 25 September 2011

LOCATION: Hole 395A, North Pond (22.756°N, 46.081°W, water depth 4484 mbrf).

SCIENCE UPDATE: After successfully logging the hole with the new in situ tool for detecting microbial life in ocean floor boreholes - the Deep Exploration Biosphere Investigative tool (DEBI-t), we lowered the logging bit to 600 mbsf to check that the hole is ready to have the 532-m-long CORK installed. Then, we retrieved the drill string, prepared the rig floor and moon pool for assembling the CORK, and spent the last half of the day assembling the lowermost part of the CORK.


Daily Science Report for 24 September 2011

LOCATION: Hole 395A, North Pond (22.756°N, 46.081°W, water depth 4484 mbrf).

SCIENCE UPDATE: Today was spent logging the hole with a new in situ tool for detecting microbial life in ocean floor boreholes - the Deep Exploration Biosphere Investigative tool (DEBI-t). The tool could not pass below ~186 mbsf (~74 m below casing). After lowering the logging bit below this zone, the DEBI-t successfully logged the hole to 600 mbsf.


Daily Science Report for 23 September 2011

LOCATION: Hole 395A, North Pond (22.756°N, 46.081°W, water depth 4484 mbrf).

SCIENCE UPDATE: Hole 395A was first drilled in 1975, and today, we successfully retrieved the CORK observatory that was installed in 1997 on ODP Leg 174B (14 years ago). Once the CORK was secured on board, we pulled out the internal string composed of a data logger, pressure sensors, and the 600 m long thermistor string that was in open hole in the oceanic crust. The pressure and temperature data were downloaded, the thermistors cut out of the string, and samples of the string were sampled for microbiologic analyses. At the end of the day, we began preparing to trip back to the sea floor to log the hole with a new in situ tool for detecting microbial life in ocean floor boreholes - the Deep Exploration Biosphere Investigative tool (DEBI-t).


Daily Science Report for 22 September 2011

LOCATION: Hole 395A, North Pond (22.756°N, 46.081°W, water depth 4484 mbrf).

SCIENCE UPDATE: After successfully repairing the camera system winch, we were able to locate Hole 395A and lower the CORK pulling tool over the existing CORK. The existing CORK is composed of the CORK head with an ~30 m-long stinger of drill pipe and an internal data logger with an ~600 m long thermistor string. The entire CORK system was pulled up ~7 m out of the hole and we lowered the coring line through the drill pipe to retrieve the data logger and thermistor string inside the CORK. After three unsuccessful attempts, we decided to retrieve the data logger/thermistor string along with the CORK.


Daily Science Report for 21 September 2011

LOCATION: Hole 395A, North Pond (22.756°N, 46.081°W, water depth 4484 mbrf).

SCIENCE UPDATE: Today we began positioning over Hole 395A. Our first operation is to retrieve the existing CORK and thermistor string from the hole. We spent the day lowering the CORK pulling tool to just above the seafloor which is at ~4482 m. We then deployed the camera system to locate Hole 395A and to allow us to latch onto the existing CORK. Unfortunately, the camera system winch encountered problems when it reached ~3700 m below the rig floor – it could not raise the camera system on its own. We spent the rest of the evening troubleshooting the winch. CORK observatory scientists and engineers continued preparing experiments and hardware for deployment. Assembly of the OsmoSampler instrument packages began. Meetings were held to plan rig floor operations as well as for introducing scientists to core description and physical properties.


Daily Science Report for 20 September 2011

LOCATION: Arrived at Hole 395A, North Pond.

SCIENCE UPDATE: CORK observatory scientists and engineers continued preparing experiments and hardware for deployment. CORK head plumbing for the pressure monitoring was pressure tested. Scientists were introduced to (1) the core analysis track systems, (2) what we need to produce on board and how we're going to accomplish it, and (3) our downhole logging capabilities and novel DEBI-t microbiology logging system to be deployed. We arrived at Hole 395A just before midnight.


Daily Science Report for 19 September 2011

LOCATION: In transit to Hole 395A.

SCIENCE UPDATE: CORK observatory scientists and engineers continued preparing experiments and hardware for deployment. Chief Scientists provided a seminar on the North Pond Expedition science and operational objectives to the science party and USIO staff. Scientists also attended a presentation regarding the wide range of education/outreach activities being conducted and opportunities to get involved. We anticipate arriving at Hole 395A in the late evening of 20 September.


Daily Science Report for 18 September 2011

LOCATION: In transit to Hole 395A.

SCIENCE UPDATE: CORK observatory scientists and engineers continued preparing experiments and hardware for deployment, pressure testing the geochemistry and microbiology CORK plumbing, reviewing plans for retrieving the existing Hole 395A CORK, and reviewing the final space out of the Hole 395A CORK. Scientists were given a science laboratory and ship tour as well as an introduction to CORKs. Atmospheric microbiology sampling experiments were set up above the Bridge. We anticipate arriving at Hole 395A in the evening of 20 September.


Daily Science Report for 17 September 2011

LOCATION: In transit to Hole 395A.

SCIENCE UPDATE: We departed Barbados at 0745 and began the ~990 nm transit to Hole 395A. CORK observatory scientists continued preparing their geochemical, microbiological, and pressure experiments for deployment. CORK engineers continued to prepare hardware and set up for deployment. CORK scientists and engineers met to review the plan for our first observatory installation. Meetings were held to introduce all science and IODP participants as well as to introduce the scientists to the shipboard computer systems. The captain held the first fire and boat drill. Currently anticipate arriving at Hole 395A ~2300 on 20 September.


Daily Science Report for 16 September 2011

LOCATION: Berth 2 South Bridgetown, Barbados.

SCIENCE UPDATE: Scientists, technical staff, and ship's crew boarded the ship - all hands on board. We continued preparing the scientific experiments to be deployed on the Hole 395A CORK observatory. Oncoming crew repositioned the Hole 395A CORK and umbilicals for the transit to the first site. Scientists attended presentations by the Captain (introduction to ship and safety) and by the Assistant Lab Officer (life on board the ship and lab safety; followed by a safety tour of the labs and lifeboats). Departure from Barbados to Hole 395A scheduled for 0730 tomorrow (17 Sep).


Daily Science Report for 15 September 2011

LOCATION: Berth 2 South Bridgetown, Barbados.

SCIENCE UPDATE: The IODP Mid-Atlantic Microbiology Expedition (336) officially began when the ship arrived Barbados at 0945. A few scientists and engineers, who boarded the ship in Curaçao, used the 2-day transit to Barbados to start preparing the CORK observatories and new DEBI-t microbiology logging tool. Scientists and crew are scheduled to board the ship on 16 Sep.




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Modified on Tuesday, 08-Nov-2011 08:48:25 CST.