161 Preliminary Report


The ODP Technical and Logistics personnel aboard JOIDES Resolution for Leg 161 were:

Laboratory Officer: Burney Hamlin
Marine Laboratory Specialist (Photography): Roy Davis
Marine Laboratory Specialist (Storekeeper): John Dyke
Marine Computer Specialist: John Eastlund
Marine Laboratory Specialist (Paleomagnetics): Edwin Garrett
Assistant Laboratory Officer (U/W Laboratory): Dennis Graham
Marine Laboratory Specialist (Thin Section): "Gus" Gustafson
Marine Laboratory Specialist (Yeoperson): Michiko Hitchcox
Marine Computer Specialist: Rick Johnson
Marine Laboratory Specialist (Physical Properties): Taku Kimura
Marine Electronics Specialist: Eric Meissner
Marine Laboratory Specialist: Andrew Mikitchook
Marine Electronics Specialist: Dwight Mossman
Marine Laboratory Specialist (Chemistry): Chieh Peng
Marine Laboratory Specialist (Chemistry): Phil Rumford
Marine Laboratory Specialist (X-ray): Don Sims
Marine Laboratory Specialist (Curatorial Representative): Lorraine Southey


The port call supporting Leg 161 was conducted at Naples, Italy from 3 May to 6 May, 1995. A bus took the technical staff and a few scientists from the hotel to the JOIDES Resolution, which was moored at the city's passenger terminal.

The movement of freight and cores was prompt and well coordinated. Moving the cores off the ship on 4 May took most of the working day. Chemistry laboratory training and curatorial preparation for the very close first site somewhat reduced the labor pool. The cores were shipped for archiving to the Bremen Core Repository, Federal Republic of Germany.

Keith Hall, a technical representative from GEOCAB NOR in the United Kingdom, conducted two days of training and service on the GEOFINA Hydrocarbon Meter (GHM), instructing the chemists on both crews.

VIP tours for 80 visitors were hosted by Dr. Jack Baldauf and Dr. Jamie Allan; general tours on Saturday for the public were guided by Italian scientists. Several hundred visitors were accommodated.

The ship sailed from Naples at 1815 hr, 6 May, for proposed site MedSap-5 (Site 974). The Spanish observer, J. M. Azanon, was unable to sail for medical reasons.


Navigation tapes were initiated as we left port, but watches were not formally begun, as Site 974 was only 8 hr out of port. The first beacon was dropped at 0345 hr, 7 May, at the GPS coordinate for the site; drilling activities commenced.

Regular underway watches began at 1930 hr, 12 May, initiating Line 2T. A strong weather front moved through the region as the ship passed south of Sardinia, resulting in some sharp rolls and uncomfortable motion. On 13 May, a 5.5-hr survey with one 80-in.3 water gun was made over proposed site MedSap-6A (Site 975), resulting in good seismic records.

On 19 May, Line 3T was made underway to proposed site Alb-2 (Site 976), beginning at 0330 hr. At 1530 hr, the ship arrived at the survey point. Some remedial work was done en route on the starboard magnetometer sensor. Water guns were rigged to use a 200-in.3 gun for one segment of the seismic and an 80-in.3 gun for the other segment. This survey lasted 8.5 hr, and good records were obtained. Several brief bursts of 60 Hz noise were noted on the flatbed recorders and the digital record; the reason for this noise remains unknown. This site, in the middle of the shipping lane of the Strait of Gibraltar, resulted in a steady parade of ships passing, with 200 radar contacts logged during the first day.

Line 4T to proposed site Alb-4B (Site 978) was made on 8 June, and a seismic survey using a 200-in.3 water gun was conducted. A 5-hr single line crossing of the proposed site was conducted, and a position just off the track was selected.

Line 5T to proposed site Alb-2A, conducted on 15 June, was a depth-only line, and Line 6T to proposed site Alb-3A on 21 June was a depth and magnetics line, both to GPS positions on previous seismic lines.

Operations at the last site, proposed site Alb-3C (Site 979), were concluded on 25 June. Transit Line 7T to Leith, Scotland, was conducted via a rendezvous way point off Malaga, Spain. Magnetics records were terminated in shallow water upon leaving the Bay of Biscay, and formal underway watches ended at 1800 hr, 29 June, in the English Channel.

Backup procedures for the navigation system were tested and written to be included in the laboratory procedures manual. A multi-segment feature of the latest version of the WINFROG navigation system was successfully utilized, allowing the graphics display to move automatically from one line to another. It is now possible to keep track of total distances. Also, procedures to produce color plots of the surveys and ship tracks were written.


A rendezvous with the vessel Christina was effected on 23 May, allowing the two-person French film crew to depart and a replacement Spanish observer, Dr. Juan Soto, to join the scientific staff.

Captain Oonk observed that the Christina would not be suitable for the rendezvous proposed for 23 June, as there was no deck space on which to land the planned freight. Two DHL packages were received.

A second rendezvous was effected on 25 June, with the M/V RESE as a way point on the transit to Leith, Scotland. Two members of the ODP staff joined the ship with materials for office remodeling. A crate of special drilling tools for the ALVIN Project was offloaded.


Leg 161 was a heavy-recovery leg and was complicated by several special sampling and handling programs for sapropels, gypsum, frozen WHO ephemeral organic samples, and hard rock (continental basement).

The first site was so close to port that no sampling classes could be scheduled, and around-the-clock "on the job" training was conducted.

Many of the cores were gassy, providing an opportunity for the assistant curator to review curatorial procedural guidelines for "closing up voids" and policies on "curating gas voids." A mud-line depth error at Site 978 resulted in record corrections for 53 cores.


Our resources became strained due to a preference for using plastic wrap on all cut cores measured with the color scanner. Warnings from the previous leg dictating the use of Saran wrap vs. Handiwrap (with no documentation) resulted in a shipboard test of the products that satisfied these users. The analysis supported the use of Saran wrap as a preferred product but vindicated the use of Handiwrap if it were needed. The results are included with this report.

The incandescent track lamps over all core laboratory work areas were replaced with halogen fixtures. Initial placements over the description and auxiliary tables proved to be too bright; one fixture from each track was removed, and the others were repositioned.


The cryogenic magnetometer was in use continuously during the entire leg, a situation that resulted in regular use of the troublesome MOLSPIN spinner magnetometer for discrete samples. Mechanical fixes kept both units functional, but problems with the interface boxes and control software mandated that they be used in manual mode only, a slow and tedious process. The problem was studied on the transit to Leith, and the results will be submitted to the laboratory working group.

Problems persist with weakly magnetized material being overprinted by drilling operations.


Few problems were associated with the equipment in this laboratory. A replacement pycnometer proved trouble-free, although it was a little more complicated to operate. The MST was used heavily with no problems attributed to the drive mechanism, computers, or sensors. Maintenance of the other laboratory equipment was routine.


Two of the days during port call focused on training and servicing of the GEOFINA hydrocarbon meter, leaving only 2 days to prepare the laboratory for the first site. The poor functioning of several instruments was attributed to work and repair inexperience.

The chemistry laboratory supported an aggressive high-resolution carbonate and interstitial-water sampling program associated with the sapropel recovery. Gas monitoring for safety and for science was also conducted.


XRD and XRF analyses were routine and trouble-free, although the workload was high. This was the first opportunity to use the NT-2100 XRF bead maker. For the most part, problems associated with learning the idiosyncracies of a new piece of equipment and of analyzing continental rock types were surmounted. Operational notes were added to the Japanese manual, and procedures were established for future specialists.


While the laboratory was very busy, with four paleontologists and a heavy workload of samples, there were few notable problems. Replacement computers with video-capturing capabilities were installed. The FOSSILIST database functioned more successfully than during previous legs, and suggestions for improvements were documented.


A major hardware upgrade to the Macintosh component of the computing system was accomplished, replacing the Mac IIsi's and Iix's with nineteen Power Mac 7100's. Few software incompatibilities were observed; some potential problems were addressed by installation of updated software versions. A major effort was made to update the hardware and network databases to reflect the changes and accommodate the components that will remain on board. Also, two SUN workstations were installed, one in the Co-Chiefs' office and the other for use by the system managers.

NOVELL and cc:MAIL were installed during Leg 160, and testing and assessment of the systems continued during Leg 161. cc:MAIL files are transmitted one at a time and are mostly small, thus never allowing the modems and satellite links to achieve the faster data transfer rates that are possible. Archiving of the WORM data onto magneto-optical disks continued.

A new systems manager, Rick Johnson, was introduced to the computing environment on board JOIDES Resolution.


Besides configuring the microscopes to meet the needs of the scientists, two video imaging systems and capture boards were added to the laboratory computers. This system allows the scientists to reference photomicrographs for inclusion in the 4th Dimension FOSSILIST database. The two replacement Mac 7100's serviced this database. The original imaging system was retained.

Several items in need of repair were prepared for shipment, and several objectives were returned to ODP Science Operations for use ashore.

Operations and support in the Photography Laboratory were routine.


Assistance and support were required for several laboratories. Chemistry equipment requiring electronics and mechanical repairs included the Rock-Eval, CNS, and one gas chromatograph. In the Paleomagnetics Laboratory, the MOLSPIN mini-spinner interface boxes were problematic, as were mechanical components in the unit. The GEOMETRICS magnetometer sensors were rebuilt when their signal became noisy. A device was built to enable the WINFROG navigation software to trigger the SUN seismic workstation, as well as the gun trigger box and the analog recorders, simplifying one gun operations. A means to let WINFROG access the magnetic values through the SUN workstation was also implemented.

The heat-flow objectives for the leg were met with ADARA tools in the APC cores and several WSTP runs in the deeper XCB portions of two holes. Temperature plots were provided.

Routine service and regular attention to the XEROX machines resulted in serviceable copies from both machines.


The shipment of supplies to Naples was received, and offgoing cores and freight were shipped during the first 3 days of port call. An express shipment was closed and shipped on the last day in port.

There were some modifications made to MATMAN to reflect new items and changes in usage. Physical counts were made in two storage areas.

A large shipment of frozen samples was prepared for shipment to the Bremen Core Repository in the Federal Republic of Germany; this repository will also receive the Leg 161 core shipment.


Refitting of the Co-Chief Scientists' and Staff Representatives' office was initiated during the transit to Scotland, displacing these personnel to the library.

Several long-standing requests for remedial work by SEDCO were accomplished during this leg, including catwalk maintenance, refrigeration manifold refurbishment, and carpet and plumbing replacements in a few of the living quarters. Components were replaced in the TRANE air handler. The port hose handler was relocated forward when the explosives locker frame was removed, and some vent and drain pipes were replaced on the lab stack.


While chemicals were being stored during port call, a 2.5-L bottle of methylene chloride was broken in the entrance to the refrigerated flammable liquids and solvents locker on the lower 'tween deck. The area was evacuated, then cleaned up by a team wearing respirators and protective clothing. Stored chemicals and the duck boards were removed from the locker and decontaminated. The spill was picked up with absorbent and then burned.

Manufacturers of these and other chemicals do not offer smaller packages, which makes them more difficult to ship and increases the chance of contamination for small-volume users and hazards during an accident.

There were two incidents involving the chemists working with the coulometer. In one instance, the individual became sensitive to the fumes associated with changing samples; the other was subjected to fumes while changing the solutions, making the individual sick. The unit was relocated into a fume hood as a precaution until procedures are reviewed. The unit has been in service in the chemistry laboratory for over 10 years.

Safety glasses were routinely used by the technical staff while working on the catwalk. There was routine ODP participation with the SEDCO fire team.


Some cases of dermatitis were treated during this leg. Typically, a few women become sensitive, but occasionally a man. Harsh soaps and cleaners, or incomplete rinsing, were singled out as the most likely cause of this problem. Bulk industrial soaps have been replaced by name brands, such as Tide, which was used during this leg. The problem persists with no direct cause and effect discovered. Requests for less soap or an extra rinse cycle when requestors' clothes were washed were accommodated.

Refurbishing of the forward tanks was begun during this leg. As this cutting, welding, and fitting are close to many of the main deck cabins and the pipes pass through the quarters, sleep became disrupted. Air and welding leads were fed to the work area from the main deck entrance to the galley and then down the S deck ladder. The replacement of the emergency generator silencer progressed into deck repair and drain-line refurbishing, and allowed access to a decayed drain vent in the Paleontology Laboratory. This effort lasted a week and disrupted personnel working nearby.

Sandblasting was initiated on the bridge wings; associated mess and noise, again all telegraphing to the F and M decks, resulted in disturbance to the scientists and technicians.


Sites: 6
Holes: 16
Meters Drilled: 738
Meters Cored: 4591
Meters Recovered: 3874
Time on Site (days): 44.04
Number of Cores : 505
Number of Samples: 19781
Number of Core Boxes: 574


Magnetics Laboratory
Half section measurements: 2500
Discrete measurements: 250

Physical Properties Laboratory
Index properties: 1285
Velocity: 2421
Thermal conductivity: 693
MST: 3101

Chemistry Laboratory
Inorganic Carbonates (CaCO3): 1441
Water Chemistry (pH, alkalinity, sulfate,
calcium, magnesium, chlorinity,
potassium, silica, lithium):143
Head Space Gas Analysis: 383
Pyrolysis Evaluation (Rock-Eval): 136

X-Ray Laboratory
XRD: 895
XRF: 12


Total Transit (nmi): 3060
Bathymetry (nmi): 1874
Magnetics (nmi): 1733
Seismic (nmi): 130
XBT's Used: 37

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