Sustainable Drilling

Latitude: 34.882º S
Longitude: 179.068º E
Days at sea: 12

The last few days were quite successful. We managed to drill more than 200 metres into the northwestern rim of the Brothers caldera and retrieved some wonderful cores. Fresh lava for us igneous petrologists and vocanologists, altered rocks for our alteration specialists and sulphides for our sulphide-lovers. And then suddenly, our drill bit got stuck in the hole. Obviously the upper part of the sequence, unconsolidated eruptive volcanic rocks, collapsed and filled the drillhole below the 100 metres of casing. Luckily our drillers managed to pull the drill string … Including the re-entry cone and the casing! This has never happened before but we recovered all the material deployed at the seafloor to re-enter the hole. Thus we decided to move to our second drill site right on top of the resurgent dome in the southeastern caldera. Currently we are dismantling the old casing and then will prepare the rotary-coring system for the pilot hole. In the mean, we are enjoying a few nice sunsets. This, however, only in the short breaks between describing and sampling the cores, writing and revising reports and keep the workflow running. Each shift lasts 12 hours, either from noon to midnight or vice versa. This also means that additional time is required for the crossovers in which we inform the incoming shift of the achievements of the day/night. This means that each of us is 12.5 or more hours a day ‘on duty’. The rest is busy with sleeping, eating, most of us do some sports in the well equipped gym of the JR and last but not least getting some sunshine out at the decks. We are excited by our first finding and look forward to drill into the heart of Brothers Volcano. Hopefully the volcano is willing to open its secrets … stay tuned!


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