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2016年3月14日月曜日

Great Zambezi River

We arrived at 4th drilling site, near the mouth of Zambezi River.

The water depth is only 400 m, so the coring process is so fast! We obtain a new core every 15 minutes! We arrived here yesterday but have already drilled two holes.
We are describing cores while writing the site report of the previous site.

Sedimentation rate of this site is amazingly high, which is about 1 meter per thousand years (1 m/ka). It is about 30 times faster than the pelagic site (2,000 m water depth).
Main composition of the sediment is quartz and clay minerals transported by Zambezi River. We can also see some remains of plants (e.g., fragments of trees and leaves).

I have never seen riverine sediment cores, thus I enjoy seeing a lot variety of minerals originated from the continent (e.g., zircon and hornblende)
More than 95% pf sediment is consist of terrigenous materials and biogenic ones such as foraminifera, coccolithophore, and diatoms are very rare.

I miss forams so much...

Soon after we finish drilling the 3rd hole, we will leave for the next drilling site, Limpopo River. It takes only 2 days from here to the next site, thus we again will be busy preparing for presentation and writing the site summary.