Downhole Measurements Lab
The Adara temperature tool was used extensively at four site locations. The Davis-Villinger temperature tool was used twice at one of the locations after the formation became too hard to use the Adara tool. The water-sampling temperature probe (WSTP) tool was used to collect near bottom seawater samples at one location before spudding the hole. An Adara temperature tool was used with the WSTP.
Various sediment types as well as expanding cores and some shattered liners tested curatorial skills. In the glacial tills (diamict) from the shelf sites, often only large cobbles were recovered. These were handled similarly to hard-rock cores: we cut individual rocks in half (archive- and working-half pieces) and placed plastic spacers between each rock. Core flow through the lab was routine with a higher number of requests than usual for close-up photos. Many of the cores were redescribed and sampled a second time.
The JANUS Curation Application was used throughout the cruise but needs several new features to fulfill the needs of the shipboard staff. In particular, the Core Log Tracking Report needs to have output fields for core comments, section comments, catwalk sample intervals, and volumes.
The leg progressed smoothly as far as the hardware was concerned. There were some problems with the software for the magnetometer and with the new Cryoedit program used to upload the data to JANUS. These problems have been reported. The thermal demagnetizer, the D Tech alternating field demagnetizer, and the impulse magnetometer were used and functioned without problems. The Tensor tool was used once and failed. It is the same unit that had similar problems during Leg 177 and is being returned for repairs.
In addition to routine interstitial water analysis, solid core samples were analyzed for inorganic and total carbon. Real-time monitoring of volatile hydrocarbons in the sediments was provided. A high-resolution interstitial water-sampling program was requested at one of the Palmer Deep sites (Site 1098).
The HPChemStation upgrade is still in progress. We verified Leg 177 findings that the spare oxygen supply for the carbon-nitrogen-sulfur (CNS) analyzer was contaminated with nitrogen. It was necessary to conserve the remaining good bottle of oxygen by keeping the valve closed when the instrument was not in use. An intermittent problem with the atomic absorption unit was fixed by replacing a control board. After 13 yr the unit is showing signs of wear, and replacement parts may be hard to find.
Physical Properties Lab
Core processing through this lab was fairly routine and equipment problems minor. The susceptibility, gamma-ray attenuation porosity evaluator (GRAPE), P-wave logger, and natural gamma ray (NGR) data were uploaded into JANUS without difficulty, with the exception of a user data entry error. A small percentage of GRAPE control files was not successfully uploaded. Pore-water sampler and moisture and density (MAD) data had to be transferred from the DATA1 drive to a local computer drive in the computer user room and uploaded from there. A new NGR/GRAPE standard was brought on board in Punta Arenas to be tested. These results, as well as the dimensions and calculated density values for the current GRAPE standard, were sent to shore.
The X-ray laboratory equipment operated without major problems. There were a total of 56 X-ray fluorescence samples taken from sediments and prepared for shipboard trace analysis including loss on ignition calculations. These will be run on Leg 179. X-ray diffraction (XRD) analyses were run on 333 samples and standards. The new version of MacDiff was used to interpret XRD data.
Assistance with sample preparation was provided to the shipboard paleontologists for much of the leg. Maintenance included repairing the sink and dishwasher, restoring cabinets and bookcases, and fixing the broken backs of reference books.
Underway Geophysics and Fantail
Navigation data, as well as 3.5-kHz bathymetry data, were routinely collected during transits. In addition, the 12-kHz precision depth recorder on the bridge was used during the Palmer Deep survey. Magnetic data were also collected most of the time with some exceptions resulting from equipment problems, shallow-water maneuvering, or ice concerns. Both magnetometer levelwinds were troublesome and have suffered from moisture damage to circuit boards and components. Essential spares have been ordered. A new version of Winfrog was installed, and it was found to have several unacceptable "bugs." There was no request for seismic work other than for vertical seismic profile logging, for which a Generator Injector (GI) air-gun, supplied by a third party, was used.
Thin Section Lab
There were 11 requests for thin sections. Maintenance included the replacement of a vacuum pump valve and the repair and calibration of a motor-speed controller.
Photography Lab and Microscope Services
The lab was busy with an average core recovery plus a large amount of close-up core photo work, all within a short 5-week period while on location. There was a lab stack water heater problem that resulted in steam flowing through cold-water lines in the lab. This caused a film processor flow meter to crack and several flexible hose lines and connections to either burst or leak. The only special project was to get some public relations photos; this was accomplished from aboard both the Polar Duke and JOIDES Resolution.
Microscopes required only cleaning and aligning. They are configured the same as the last leg. Only one roll of photomicrographs was taken.
Systems management for Leg 178 was mostly uneventful. The NetWare servers were fairly well behaved with no sudden crashes. They were shut down three times during the leg under controlled circumstances. JANUS also worked well, with most problems arising from human error. Scientists and technicians made extensive use of PC, Mac, and Unix workstations during this leg. Most support time was spent on routine Mac troubleshooting and maintenance. There was very little trouble with the PCs and almost none with the Suns, although these are used less than Mac computers.
Excess overstocked powdered chemicals have been identified for disposal. Marine emergency technical squad (METS) participation in weekly drills was limited. Three of the four METS team members were full-time staff; the other was temporary. Early in the cruise, we identified a need for additional small-size survival suits to properly fit the smaller women participants. They have been ordered.
Dirty drill water continues to plague those lab stack sinks that are not presently hooked up to potable water. The incinerator is showing signs of wear and tear after two legs of almost continuous usage and appears to perhaps be inadequate for the task.
To 178 Laboratory Statistics
To 178 Table of Contents