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IODP Expedition 330 Louisville Seamount Trail

Daily Science Report 14 -- Saturday, 25 December 2010


Site U1372 on 26.5°S Guyot 26° 29' 35.9988" S, 174° 43' 45.0012" W
Louisville Seamount Trail
0 m above sea level

Cores U1372A-13R (90.1-99.7 mbsf), -14R (99.7-109.3 mbsf), -15R (109.3-119.0 mbsf), -16R (119.0-128.7 mbsf), -17R (128.7-133.4 mbsf), and -18R (133.4-138.2 mbsf) were drilled with an average penetration rate of 2.4 m/hr and retrieved a volcanic lava succession with an average recovery rate of 50%. The recovered rocks are variable altered portions of amygdale lava flows including small intervals of brecciated material cemented by a highly altered, greenish matrix. Downhole, the recovered rocks become more brittle, which hampers core splitting and sample handling. The paleontologists are still investigating the carbonate matrix in Cores U1372A-4 to -8 to further constrain the deposition age of the volcaniclastic breccia. However, the identification of one small Inoceramus shell fragment (a clam that became extinct at the end of the Cretaceous) and the occurrence of the foraminifer genus Heterohelix, confirm our initial assumption that these breccias were formed during the late stage of the seamount (eroded island?) in the mid to late Cretaceous. In the afternoon, all activities came to a halt when Santa Claus entered the ship and all well-behaved expedition participants received their presents. The ships catering crew provided an overwhelming spread of delicatessen food that surpassed even the wildest expectations.