December 1, 2011 Slideshow

Pushcores are clear polycarbonate tubes about 13 inches long and 2.5 inches in diameter. They work by being pushed down into the seafloor. When they are pulled out, a vacuum forms and keeps a “core” of sediment in the tube. These four photos were taken by Jason’s hi-definition science camera.

This sample was taken from an area of normal seafloor near the Urania Basin DHAB. The light brown color indicates that oxygen is present in the sediments.

Here’s a sediment sample taken from the halocline of the Urania Basin. The dark color of the top layer indicates that oxygen is not present there. These sediments are very stinky. The sulfide in them makes them smell like rotten eggs. The light brown layer beneath that indicates that when those sediments were deposited, oxygen was present.

Jason carefully places each filled pushcore into a plastic quiver for the journey back to the surface. To the left of the pushcores, you can see the large chamberpots that were filled with sediments scooped up by an ice scoop.

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