Site 2!

So things are busy here on the Chikyu – we’re now at our second site. This one is a little further off the flank of the volcano on the seafloor. Our hope is that this site is not quite as hot as the last one (we’d like to stop melting the plastic core barrels!). We’ve drilled two holes so far and have seen very nice sulfidic sediments. That suggests there’s an active microbial community, but we’ll see how deep these sediments go.
I’ve been busy preparing samples for density analysis…here’s a picture of the pycnometer (pycno is the greek root for density)! They also have this cool system of paired electronic balances…it’s hard to weigh things at sea because the rolling of the ship affects the weight on the balance. With two balances, you can compare the difference between the two of them more accurately (essentially you assume the role of the ship affects them both equally) and do some averaging to get pretty good mass estimates.

There’s more cores on deck so it promises to be busy for the next day or so!