Seeking mud- Part 1*

On many research cruises, the first few days are spent troubleshooting equipment. Well, our cruise is only 3 1/2 days long, so we don’t really have much time to spare. Everybody was feeling a little nervous when the very first deployment went awry. The multi-corer, an instrument that collects 8 simultaneous core samples of bottom sediments, fired somewhere above the bottom, and collected only water. Travis Washburn  is looking for small animals (mostly worms!) that live in the mud around methane seeps in this area. Fortunately, our second attempt at collecting mud for his work was successful! As I am writing this, he is coring at a second site, and we are all hoping for the best! I am off to bed now- though it’s only 18:00/ 6:00 pm, I’ve got to wakeup at midnight for my own sampling (more to come soon!).


Harbor mouth on our way out to sea. It is a stunning day- sunny and clear.

corer_water                  corer_mud

First multi-corer deployment coming up empty.               Second try: This is more like it!

travis_CoreTravis is happy!


Scooping mud into bottles. The mud is preserved in formaldehyde, so Travis can examine preserved critters back on stable ground in the lab.


* We’ve got a lot of sediment fanatics on this trip, so I’ll tell you more about what the rest of these mud lovers are up to in upcoming posts.



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