22 July. The further, the more!
The first full working day of this last leg brought us a lot of amazing surprises. First of all, from the very morning, instead of the usual wake up time at 7:30, I heard a phrase: “Ship time is 7:40, it is time to wake up”, therefore all participants were happy to sleep 10 minutes extra. Rested and pleased from the sunny weather, all participants met for breakfast. Today were served our “old friend ” semolina (i.e. porridge) and scrambled eggs.
All the fresh and inspired students and supervisors went to their laboratories waiting for the planned gravity core from the Saint-Petersburg II structure. Although the structure shares all the characteristics of a mud volcano, instead of mud breccia the corer collected mostly sand. Team leaders continued to look at their laptop screens and detected the mistake. Due to invaluable experience of our supervisors, mud breccia came in the next corer together with sand and gas hydrates, as was expected.
But even here we had some troubles: the gravity core got damaged to the large amount of gas hydrates locking and bending the core cutter.
That is why, there was a problem with standard sampling of the core liner, and we had to promptly revive the core without mixing sediments. While geologists were nobly extracting the silty-clay sediment, all participants anxiously watched the process. Eventually, hands of a master rescued the core and also a piece of gas hydrates.
Talking about gas hydrates, yesterday was a present for the newly arrived marine geology students: Gul’naz, Anna and Vladimir.
After all, was decided to change the sampling plan and go to another region named Khuray. On the way to the canyon geophysicists didn’t give any relive to the profiler device collecting reflected acoustic waves from the bottom of the Baikal.
Khuray canyon presented us typical thick turbiditic sediments, so the students were busy with the descriptions for all the day.
And the end of the evening was unexpected and very good. Dmitry Korost the main adjuvant onboard, organized the auditory on the front deck. Students and teachers enjoyed listening the “fresh air” lecture under the stars and watched a film about gas hydrates discovery. Both were prepared by Lake Baikal sensei, Oleg Khlystov.
Yes, geology is a very romantic profession.
Photo Svetlana Bubnova