163 Preliminary Report


The ODP Technical and Logistics personnel aboard JOIDES Resolution for Leg 163 were

Laboratory Officer: Bill Mills
Marine Laboratory Specialist: Matthias Börner
Marine Laboratory Specialist (Photography): Roy Davis
Marine Laboratory Specialist (Storekeeper): John Dyke
Marine Computer Specialist: Cesar Flores
Marine Laboratory Specialist (Paleomagnetics): Edwin Garrett
Marine Laboratory Specialist (Chemistry/Underway Geophysics): Dennis Graham
Marine Laboratory Specialist (Thin Section/Downhole): Gus Gustafson
Marine Laboratory Specialist (Yeoperson): Michiko Hitchcox
Marine Laboratory Specialist (Physical Properties): Kevin MacKillop
Marine Electronics Specialist: Eric Meissner
Marine Electronics Specialist: Dwight Mossman
Marine Laboratory Specialist (Chemistry): Chieh Peng
Marine Laboratory Specialist
(Assistant Laboratory Officer/X-ray): Don Sims
Marine Laboratory Specialist (Curatorial Representative): Lorraine Southey
Marine Laboratory Specialist (X-ray): Joel Sparks
Marine Computer Specialist: Barry Weber


The JOIDES Resolution docked in Reykjavik, Iceland, on 3 September 1995, ending Leg 162. On the same morning, the Leg 163 crew arrived and began crossover activities. Besides our usual logistical work, we also off-loaded Leg 162 cores , cleaned our foul-weather gear, and conducted tours for a small group of Icelandic geologists and drilling engineers.

At high tide on 7 September, we cast off lines and were underway for the east coast of Greenland with a crew of 111 (including 48 scientists and technicians). On 9 September we returned to Reykjavik to affect repairs to the top drive dolly, damaged when the drill string parted. After3 days in port the repairs were completed and we again departed for the Greenland sites. Prior to departing port, ODP's public relations officer and the Dallas News reporter left the ship.


Technicians routinely collected bathymetric, magnetic, and navigational data on all transits.
The seismic equipment was not used this leg. The sites were surveyed using the 3.5-kHz depth recorder to correlate with preexisting seismic lines and to determine the drilling locations.

Some problems were encountered with the WINFROG "calculation" display, but overall, the data were acceptable, and definitely better than the old system. The recent upgrade of the WINFROG PC hardware allowed automated backups of the data files to be performed daily.
A "Remote Station WINFROG User Manual" was written.

During the storm all systems were powered off, except the GPS, to avoid potential fires. Dynamic positioning (DP) requested that WINFROG be brought back up so they could see a visual image of the ship's heading and track. Of course, this was done, but it points out a weakness in our system. In an emergency situation (such as we were in) the bridge or DP should have the master machine.


Our second severe gale developed on 28 September, and by the morning of 29 September, it had grown into a full hurricane. Winds over 100 kt with seas running at 60 ft or more forced the ship to give ground. At first, the northeasterly winds drove the ship toward the shore (15 nmi to the west) until they shifted to the north. This allowed the ship to give way to the storm in a southerly direction that was parallel to the coastline.

During the height of the storm, the ship's thrusters were our only means of holding the heading. At the same time, we used the thrusters to move the ship eastward to clear the coast and icebergs hidden by the heavy seas. Understanding that our situation depended on the thrusters is why we responded so quickly when the bridge port-side window was smashed by a wave, flooded the bridge. The seawater not only knocked out the ship's radar but also threatened the DP computer that controlled the thrusters.

When the window broke, a damage-control team of Sedco and ODP employees was quickly organized. Using materials from our wood shop, the damaged window was covered in minutes and fully secured within 30 min. To effect repairs, members of the damage-control team had to work outside, in front of the bridge, exposed to the adverse weather. Fortunately, none was injured in the efforts to save the ship.

Throughout the day, the technical staff stood by to lend assistance as needed. The laboratories were secured, power was turned off to all equipment to reduce the threat of fire, and around-the-clock watches were maintained in the laboratories. Because of these measures, no personnel were injured or equipment damaged.

By the afternoon of the following day, the storm had abated enough to allow us to turn safely and head for Halifax. Because of the damage sustained and the deteriorating weather and ice conditions off East Greenland, the remainder of Leg 163 drilling operations was canceled. It was estimated that it would take 3 weeks to repair the damage to the ship.


Only basaltic lavas and breccias were recovered this leg. Even though the breccias were "sediments" all pieces were labeled as hard rock because description and sampling would require handling them in a similar manner.

Shipboard sampling was managed by the Curator. As no sediment was recovered, no sampling shifts were established.

As suggested and approved in the Pre-Cruise Sampling Plan, a few oversized basalt samples (100 cm3) were collected from a thick unit of good recovery for interlaboratory standards (Hole 989A). Each investigator who expressed an interest will receive a split of the homogenized powder (to be ground on shore).


The core laboratory ran smoothly and in a normal manner for a hard-rock leg. The sonic welder was reinstalled in the core-splitting room and housed in a splash-proof metal enclosure.


The hard-rock cores had very intense magnetization. This made it difficult to measure the sections on the cryomagnetometer, as the high signal overflowed the counters, even after demagnetization. But the instrument worked better on minicores, as the sample volume was low enough that the instrument could handle the high intensity.

The spinner magnetometer had numerous problems and was not functional for most of the leg. Some of the problems were mechanical and could be fixed, but others were due to software and electronics failures and could not be adequately repaired on board.

The SC IM-10 impulse magnetizer and the Kappabridge KLY-2 magnetic susceptibility meter were used extensively this leg. The Kappabridge was used in range 9, so the ship's movement did not affect the instrument. Scientists were checking for anisotropy and comparing their data with the multisensor track (MST) magnetic susceptibility data. The Schonstedt demagnetizer was used frequently. However, the scientists recommended purchasing a tumbling demagnetizer, which would eliminate much of the repetitive manual labor involved in demagnetizing samples.


Methods B and C were used to calculate the index properties for Sites 988 and 989. Wet volume and wet weight were the only measurements made on the minicores from Site 990; therefore, only bulk density was calculated for samples from this site. The physical properties specialist determined that oven drying the samples altered their structure to the degree that post-cruise velocity measurements on oven-dried minicore samples would differ significantly from shipboard velocity measurements made prior to oven drying. Measurement of dry volumes proved difficult with the pycnometer.

Half-space thermal conductivity measurements were made on seven samples representative of the lithology at Sites 989 and 990. It was determined that the results differed little between polished and unpolished samples.

Measurements were made at discrete intervals on split cores with the Hamilton Frame (DSV 3). These were based on calibrations derived from a new polycarbon and ionized aluminum standard.
Also, a load cell was installed so that consistent pressure could be applied to the sample during analysis. This removed variance in the data produced by the application of different pressures, and should extend the operational life of the P-wave transducers.


The Reykjavik port call went smoothly, even with the incredible amount of core to off-load. Four containers were loaded within 2 days of arrival. A TV winch reel and a pallet of K-boxes were included in the surface shipment. Shipment # 0521 (hand-carry items) needed to be processed after the Halifax port call.

During the second port call (when the ship returned to Reykjavik for repairs) two DHL shipments were sent from the ship.

Modifications were made to the MATMAN sysyem to reflect new items and changes in usage. Also, a physical count and reorganization of the Hold Store was completed.


No chemistry samples were collected during this cruise. Four XRF samples were run on the CNS for sulfur determination. Routine maintenance was performed on equipment and instruments in the laboratory while time allowed.


A total of 59 thin sections was produced this leg. Twelve of the sections were East Greenland basalts collected prior to the leg by Co-Chief Scientist Bob Duncan during recent field work. The slides and billets will remain with the ODP collection for this leg. The 47 sections produced from Leg 163 drill sites are basalts, altered basalts, gabbros, conglomerates, and breccias.


The XRF and XRD both ran well despite two power cuts and being shaken by the adverse weather.

Six fused discs were made of interlaboratory standard BAS-140 using the NT-2100 (and the new flux #6). These disks were run 6 times on the XRF over a period of about three days. The results were that five of the six disks were all within analytical error, and the sixth was just slightly outside normal error. The small error was probably due to weighing. This exercise showed that for major element runs we should increase the number of digits reported for Mn, K, and P from two to three. Given the level of precision on the ship, the extra digit would be significant.

Refinements to the XRF procedures documentation continues. The sample preparation documentation is nearly complete, and the "XRF Operational Guide" is half finished.

The NT-2100 Bead Sampler was tested. It was found that disks could be easily and reliably made if a releasing agent (LiBr) is added to the flux/sample mixture.

A Fisons service call was scheduled for 28 October. Discussions centered around the possibility of using AX-06 and InSb analyzing crystals to improve intensities for Na, Mg, and Si.


All the new axioplan and axioscope microscopes were set up in the Paleontology Laboratory, for use on this predominantly hard-rock leg. Two objectives on one of the axioplans were from the older SV-8 stereoscope. A new light base was received for the SV-11 stereoscopes to provide more light when viewing thin sections.

Operations and support in the Photography Laboratory were routine.


Six more DEC Celebris XL590 PCs were received for this leg to finish the year's upgrade. In addition, 10 new 17 in. SONY monitors and 2 HP scanners were installed. There are now 15 Pentium PCs and 19 PowerMACs on board the ship. Bill Mills did extensive work this leg transferring the functionality of our old MST setup to one Macintosh. The new software was well received by the scientists.

Solaris 2.4 was installed on two of the shipboard Sun work stations this leg, a SPARC20 (Peary) and a SPARC5 (Ewing). The goal was to use Peary as the Sun shipboard server. Peary was configured to be the DNS/home directory server for most of the shipboard Suns.

Scientists in the Paleontology Laboratory used the digitizers this leg, which prompted the installation of a large external SCSI drive on one of the microscope MACs to store the image files.

The new version of the AppleShare server was installed in conjunction with the latest client software on all the MACs and PCs throughout the ship. The new system performed well and was much faster than the old Novell server.


Computer hardware and software was upgraded in the Yeoperson's office. The library received several new publications and reprints, and a comprehensive inventory was taken.


Assistance and support were required in several of the laboratories. The spinner magnetometers in the Paleomagnetics Laboratory required significant effort to keep them running, while the cryomagnetometer, also required some attention. In the Physical Properties Laboratory, work was required on the MST, sonic velocity, and thermal condutivity instruments.

Water was found in the weather systems antenna. The antenna was dried out and then sealed. What was thought to be interference caused by atmospherics, was in fact due to the new high-intensity light installed less than 1 ft from the antenna. With the light off, we were able to receive data from both the weather system and the Marisat. The computer for the weather system was destroyed during the storm. A new computer is on order. In the interim, a 386 computer was installed and the system brought back on line.

The new magnetometer was tested and seemed to work well. However, it was very difficult to tell for certain, because WINFROG was the only display device. Efforts were made to obtain the complete software package to enable troubleshooting in the event of magnetometer failure.

Routine service and regular attention to the Xerox machines resulted in serviceable copies from both machines. The gym and entertainment system were also kept in good working order.


  • New MST software and hardware were installed.
  • A pressure transducer was installed under DSV 3 (Hamilton Frame) to improve the precision of measurements.
  • The sonic welder was reinstalled in the core-splitting room and housed in a splash-proof metal enclosure.
  • A signal cable running from the Schlumberger logging cab to the Underway Laboratory was installed
  • The operating systems on the Sun work stations were upgraded to Solaris 2.4.
  • AppleShare network software was upgraded to version 4.0.2.
  • Six new DEC Celebris KXL590 PSs were installed.
  • Two new HP scanners were installed.


  • The thermal conductivity equipment is still plagued with problems, but was repaired once again.
  • The Stairmaster control panel failed. A replacement is on order.
  • WINFROG still fails to display the magnetometer trace.
  • Both copiers were barely operational during the leg. New copiers are scheduled for installation during the Halifax port call.
  • The Laws weather station computer and color printer took a direct hit from the seawater when the bridge window broke. A spare computer is currently in use and a replacement is on order.
  • The 2.1-GB network hard drive failed during the leg. A replacement is on order.
  • Some of the core-receiving platform tarps were damaged by the storm. They were repaired in Halifax and returned to the ship.
  • The 55-gal drum storage container was destroyed during the storm, and a drum of seismic streamer oil was lost overboard. A 35-gal drum of oil has been ordered.
  • The fantail work bench and tool cabinet were flooded with sea water during the storm. Tools and parts were cleaned, but we expect more corrosion damage in the future.
  • The deck under the aft port core laboratory door has rusted through into the X-ray Laboratory. A temporary patch was installed. New thresholds will be fabricated and installed on a future leg.


  • Completed Leg 163 science support.
  • Sandblasted and "hot dip" galvanized two gun carts and three tow fish.
  • Painted metal trim work throughout the laboratories.
  • Painted bridge and fo'c'sle decks and the stairwell landings from the main to the bridge deck.
  • Remodeled Physical Properties Laboratory. Including rack-mounting the VSR electronics.
  • Onloaded Leg 164 freight.
  • Prepared posters about the new MST and VSR software for the 5th International Conference on Paleoceanography.
  • Prepared ship for 4 days of Canadian public relations tours.
  • Repaired damaged tarps.
  • Started installation of Leg 164 H2S detection equipment.
  • Cleaned foul-weather gear.
  • Refilled liquid N2 dewars.
  • Thoroughly cleaned and reorganized both the Paleontology Laboratory and Science Library. Identification tags were added to the bindings to indicate "Property of ODP" and to which library they belong.



    Sites: 3
    Holes: 4
    Meters drilled: 186
    Meters cored: 294
    Meters recovered: 205
    Time on site (days): 16.7
    Number of cores: 46
    Number of samples: 750
    Number of core boxes: 38


    Physical Properties Laboratory
    Index properties: 102
    Velocity: 2191
    Thermal conductivity: 38
    MST: 171

    Chemistry Laboratory
    CNS: 4

    X-Ray Laboratory
    XRD: 78
    XRF: 39

    Thin-sections: 59


    Bathymetry (nmi): 2718

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