It is now two weeks since I arrived back in the UK from IODP expedition 318 Wilkes Land – time to summarize our findings and bring this blog to a close.
During our two months expedition we drilled at seven sites close to, and on the Antarctic Wilkes Land continental shelf, at water depth ranging between 400 and 4000m. Despite severe weather and ice (berg) conditions, we managed to drill 3200m of sediments beneath the Antarctic sea floor, with an average core recovery of 53%. Together, the cores represent ~53 million years of Antarctic climate history. They tell the tale of an ice-free, warm greenhouse world, the first cooling around Antarctica, the onset and erosional consequences of the first Antarctic glaciers, and the subsequent dynamics of the waxing and waning Antarctic ice sheet, all the way to the thick, unprecedented ‘tree ring style’ records with seasonal resolution of the last deglaciation that began some 10,000 years ago.
And here it comes – the ‘ocean man’ video featuring the ‘ocean man band’ with curator Chad Broyles, organic geochemist James Bendle, and the green guy (???). The partying crowd is made up by Expedition 318 participants (scientists, IODP staff, …). We had a really good time out at sea, and arrived on 8 March safe in the port of Hobart. I will post a summary of our expedition achievements as well as the final video episode in the next couple of weeks. All I need now is a few days of sleep …
It is officially done – the last core came on deck, the last samples were taken, and the last reports are now being written. Yesterday night we started our transit back to Hobart (Tasmania), where we will arrive next week. Everybody is tired, but happy about a tremendously successful expedition. We really deserve our beers in Hobart!
Enjoy below part six of the weekly video updates produced by Dan Brinkhuis (Zcene Moving Media Company). This week features paleontologist Catherine Stickley from the University of Trømso, Norway. The penguin TV actually took place in the chemistry lab !!!
A last weekly video will be finalized when we are back onshore, featuring the co-chief scientists.