Since returning from Dominica, there has been plenty of work to do! As the semester started, work on the core samples began. The first steps including labeling and sorting them into small aluminum boats to dry and weigh each one. They were then washed over a sieve to remove the mud fraction, dried, and re-weighed.
Then, each sample was examined under a microscope. This initial observation gave insight into what samples, and therefore what core locations and depths, contained foraminifera. This process also revealed some odd finds. For example, one sample contained what looks like ants, but it is from a layer over 1 meter down!
While examining each sample, they were each described by their foraminiferal content. This ranged from none to abundant. Simple core diagrams were then drawn in order to better evaluate the change downcore as well as make comparisons between the core sites.
The next steps include picking out the foraminifera and identifying them to estimate the conditions at the time the sample’s layer was formed. I hope that by investigating the substrate, foraminiferal content, and the amount of abrasion we will be able to pick out storm deposits in these records. Stay tuned for another update!
- Stephanie Hibberts
Clemson Geopaths Intern