Wednesday, 15 January 2014

Rising Tides - January Coring

Orkney - The Rising Tides Project

Its January and its Orkney - Coring on a new raft I have built in the Bay of Firth and the Loch of Stenness.  This is part of the Rising Tides Project, an archaeological study of how sealevel rise has inundated lost landscapes that were used by early settlers in Orkney during the Mesolithic and Neolithic.  

We have been working in Orkney for a number of years, as a multi-disciplinary team of archaeologists, geologists and geophysicists. For my part I have been acquiring geophysics of the sea floor and sub-seafloor sediments. Using this seismic information I am building models of submerged and buried surfaces that we will interpret as palaeo-landscapes once the others have done their work on the sediments.  Getting ground truth sediment has been quite a challenge but now armed with a new raft (a segmented, modular assembly from which we can operate a vibro-corer) we can acquire the necessary sediment cores to be able to analyse the environments that the geophysics has hinted at.  The cores are not only vital to interpretation of the geophysics but are a crucial step in trying to re-people the landscapes.  

So, first week in Jan and the raft arrives on site and is assembled.

Its all bolted together ad floated out.  Since its the maiden voyage a can of Guinness was sacrificed in the launch!

Out to site and the Vibro-corer is attached.

Perfect sediment record.

The whole exercise in both the Loch of Stenness and Bay of Firth caused a bit of a stir locally that prompted a Radio Orkney reporter to venture out

Its now back to the lab for core analysis of micro-fossils and sediment dating....more to report once all this is done

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