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
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
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
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.
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
Thermal conductivity: 38
Bathymetry (nmi): 2718
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