Coming soon: A video of core coming on deck. The drillers transfer the core directly from the drillrig floor to the ALOs (Assistant Lab Officers) on the CatWalk. They prep the core for sampling then take it inside for microbio sampling.
<-- Here's what a typical core from this borehole looks like. Dark fractured basalt with some glass and some alteration (though you can't see it in this shot.) After we microbio folks have had our choice of samples (with approval from the petrologists) then the coreliner is cut and the core is cut, imaged. The petrologists go to work describing every last detail, from the color of the rock to thepercentage of alteration they have. Every day when we cross over (change shifts), we have a sampling meeting. At sample meetings, we all gather around, discuss the core description and decide where to take our shipboard samples
Once we get our samples to the lab, we sterilize our tools and go to town sampling our rocks. Then check out what we do with our rocks after we're done!
In case you can't see the video, here are some pictures we took.
Beth, Jim and I handle all of our samples in this aluminum rock smashing box (so that we don't contaminate the microbiology living on them). We use sterile chisels and gently chip at the rock using a hammer. We always wear safety glasses just in case a piece of rock flies off heading for our eyeballs.
Our rock smashing box.
And this is what we do to our rocks when we're done sampling them! We flame sterilize it. Now, don't try this at home - We had to have special permission to even have fire inside our box! Don't want to be burning down the boat or the house now, do we?