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The Curatorial Manual is a guide for the IODP Marine Curatorial Specialist sailing on the research vessel, the JOIDES Resolution. This guide is a starting point.  Procedures should be modified as the need arises. The material included in the Curatorial Cookbook is drawn from a variety of sources including older versions of the Curatorial Cookbook, the Core Laboratory Cookbook, the Shipboard Scientist’s Handbook, the Sample Distribution Policy and old CURLOG entries stored on former Curatorial Specialist’s computer hard drives.

Important information before getting started

Before you head to the ship, make electronic copies of all sample requests, and additional documentation provided by the requester (e.g. Excel lists, relevant publications, etc). The easiest way to do this is by saving each request as a *.pdf file. Each request should have a separate folder. Set an account and password with the off-going Curatorial Specialist. It is mandatory that each oncoming curator obtain their own login for LIMS and Novell server. Ensure that you have access to the Curator folder on the ship. This folder can be found in Vol1(\\NOVARUPTA) (V:). This folder contains many useful documents, and resources. If you do not have access to this folder, contact a Marine Computer Specialist (MCS).


To familiarize yourself with the upcoming cruise do the following:

  • Attend Pre-cruise meeting
  • Obtain a copy of the Scientific Prospectus. It is assembled by the co-chief scientist and staff scientist of the expedition. This document will be available in the IODP website approximately three months prior to the cruise. It lists the scientific objectives, proposed sites, drilling operations, sampling strategy, and staffing for each expedition. To obtain the prospectus follow the link and click on your assigned expedition.

If you are a new Curatorial Specialist, please read The Core Laboratory Manual - This document describes Core Laboratory Procedures to new Marine Laboratory Specialists.  Become well acquainted with the latest version of Sample Distribution, Data Distribution, and Publications Policy  Once on the ship, review curatorial reports from previous expeditions, and of course, read this Curatorial Manual.  Approximately one month pre-cruise, meet with the Expedition Project Manager to review sample requests.

Port call

Port call is a very hectic and confusing time as everyone becomes oriented and adjusted to the ship.  As a marine specialist, in addition to your curatorial duties, your help may be needed when freight is loaded and unloaded. The Laboratory Officers,  Assistant Laboratory Officers and the Marine Logistics Coordinator direct port call activities. Talk to them to see what your particular duties will be.

There are many beginning-of-the-cruise curatorial tasks that may be tackled either while in port or during the transit to the first site. You may wish to schedule your activities according to the time available, but a good rule of thumb is "the earlier, the better." If your “To do” list  is too long and the port call too short, you can request the Laboratory Officer to excuse you from routine shipment handling to finish preparations for the first site.

Curatorial office

The Curatorial Office is located in the ‘Open Office’ on the port side of the Forecastle deck (F- deck) (Figure 1).

Figure 1. Map of the F-deck. The location of the Curator’s Office is shown in the yellow highlighter.


Crossover with your off-going counterpart, the Curatorial Specialist, during the port call. Together you should review the Curatorial Report from the previous cruise, and address any residual problems/projects you may encounter on your cruise. Remember to review any significant changes in the facilities: the Core Laboratory/Sampling Area, hardware and software of computers, and the Curatorial Cookbook. Also, make sure you set your username and password for the network drives, LIMS database and email. Most importantly, review handling of the off-going frozen samples, ambient samples, and core shipments with the off-going Curator.

Core shipment

In your role as Curator, you should take part in the off-loading of cores.  Make sure that the core boxes are handled carefully.  In consultation with the Assistant Laboratory Officer, you may choose to either direct unloading of the core reefer or to help with loading the containers on the dock.  Be sure that the containers are loaded safely and properly, with no more than 19 core boxes total on each pallet. The pallets are banded with steel banding, and wrapped in plastic wrap.  Keep in mind that it is not necessary for the core boxes to be kept sequential during transit to the core repository. However, the working and archive half boxes should not be mixed on an individual pallet. Each pallet should contain the working halves only or the archive halves only.

Frozen and refrigerated sample shipments

These are the steps for packing frozen shipments, divided into tasks for the off-going and on-coming Curatorial Specialists.

Off-Going curatorial specialist tasks
  • Provide the Assistant Laboratory Officer (ALO) with a list of names, addresses, and sample codes for all frozen samples. Use an estimate of 13 kg (28 lb.) dry ice per cooler. World Courier system replenishes dry ice in route.
  • The Curatorial Specialist and ALO should review the locations of all frozen and refrigerated shipment.

If possible, prepare all frozen and refrigerated World Courier boxes and/or coolers in advance with the proper shipping labels.

Frozen shipment requires the following labels:

  1. Black and White Hazardous Material Label for dry ice (Figure 5)
  2. Keep Frozen label (Figure 5)
  3. Up arrow labels (Figure 6)

Refrigerated shipment requires the following labels:

  1. Keep Refrigerated labels (Figure 6)
  2. Up Arrow labels

Figure 5. Here are examples of two labels that should be placed on every frozen sample box for shipping.

The estimate for the dry ice weight is 13kg. Write this estimate on the  el above.

Figure 6. Up arrow label and keep refrigerated labels

Enframe each label with filament tape. The own adhesive on these labels is not durable enough for the shipment. The final product is shown in Figure 7.

Figure 7. Example of a cooler with refrigerated sample ready for shipping.

  1. Very quickly, wrap the World Courier box with the frozen samples (either regular frozen

–20oC or deep frozen –80oC) in 2 clear plastic garbage bags. Do this to prevent contact between sample bags and dry ice that will be added later. The ice can rupture the bags causing cross-contamination of the samples. Tie the bag with a knot and wrap a gas bottle tag writing the sample code in it.  Avoid using tape (e.g. polyethylene, duct) because it does not work well at –80oC.

Oncoming curatorial specialist tasks


As the oncoming Curator, you will be responsible for the previous cruise's frozen shipment. Usually the Laboratory Officer, ALO or the IODP Logistics person will inform you the arrival time of the dry ice.

When the dry ice arrives, take the pre-weighed and double bagged samples from the freezer and put them in the World Courier shipping container. This is a cardboard box with a styrofoam insert shown in the Figure 8.

Figure 8. Example of a World Courier box with a styrofoam insert filled with bagged samples in a plastic bag to protect from dry ice.

  1. Cover the bagged samples with a sheet of bubble Leave the container 1/3 empty to ensure space for dry ice. World Courier will refill each package with ice while the shipment is in transit.

  1. Dry ice could arrive as blocks or Handle blocks with goggles and gloves. Break dry ice carefully into large chunks using a heavy hammer and place them on the top of the bubble wrap. Handle pellets with a large scoop for the same purpose.

  1. Label the container with an IODP shipping label and shipping Place tape over the label and papers. Ensure that the World Courier box is taped and secure for shipping.

  1. Immediately after packing is complete, ensure that the shipment is delivered to the dock The Marine Logistics Coordinator will be on the dock to ensure that the boxes are loaded onto the truck for delivery. It is necessary to confirm that all shipping documents are accurate.

Dry ice properties and handling


Dry ice needs special care in handling.  Keep the following security protocol in mind:

  1. Do not handle with bare hands; it can cause Use heavy gloves, tongs or cloth.
  2. Do not taste or put in
  3. Do not place in tightly sealed Dry ice makes CO2 gas as it sublimates. It may cause sealed container to explode.
  4. Do not Work with dry ice in adequate ventilation; heavy CO2 vapor maycause suffocation.
  5. Short-term storage: wrap in brown paper in a heavy plastic bag, then in a
  6. Longer-term storage: place wrapped dry ice in Do not place in freezer or refrigerator!
  7. Disposal: Unwrap and leave at room temperature in a well-ventilated  It will sublimate from a solid state to a gas.

Dry ice chemical formula: CO2 – inorganic chemical family


  • Name: Carbon Dioxide, synonym: carbonic anhydride
  • Temperature: -78.5oC (109.3oF)
  • DOT Shipping Class: ORM-A UN-1845 Pkg. GROUP 111 Class 9
  • Non-flammable Gas: UN2187

Physical Data




Molecular Weight


Density Liquid

63.69 lb/ft3@ 0oF

Density Gas

0.1234 lb/ft3 @ 32oF

Triple Point

-69 oF, 75.1 PSIA

Critical Temperature

87.8 oF

Critical Pressure

1066.3 PSIA

Critical Density

28.9855 lb/ft3

Latent Heat of Vaporization

122 BTU/lb @ 0oF

Viscosity Gas

0.015 Centipoises @ 32oF

Viscosity Liquid

0.14 Centipoises @ 0oF

Solubility in H2O

1.79 ft3 CO2 gas/ft3 H20 (32oF)

Table 1. Physical characteristics of dry ice-refrigerated shipments

Off-Going Curatorial Specialist Tasks


Some samples require refrigeration immediately after collection and during shipment (e.g. studies of microbiology, chemistry, pore water physical properties whole rounds).  The following are the off-going Curatorial tasks for packing refrigerated shipments

  1. Provide the Assistant Laboratory Officer and Laboratory Officer with a list of names, addresses, and sample codes for all refrigerated shipments.

  1. At a mutually agreeable time during the final transit, the Curatorial Specialist & ALO should team up to review locations of the refrigerated shipments. On that day, obtain a World Courier box shipping container from the Hold

  1. Non-whole rounds - The smaller samples are typically boxed in standard IODP personal boxes (13”x18”x7”). The box is then put into a plastic bag inside of a World Courier insulated box or Igloo
  2. Pore-water in glass ampoules – Protect ampoules with foam and pack them in a standard IODP personal Next, put the box in a plastic bag inside of a WC box. While packing, keep the samples upright in the box.

  1. Physical properties whole rounds – Onboard, the waxed whole rounds should be stored upright in a seawater-filled Igloo container inside the core For shipping, the whole round requires special packaging. Take the whole rounds out of the seawater and place them in zip top bags with moist sponges. Stand them upright in an Igloo cooler (preferably a 5-day cooler). Surround them with plenty of packing material.

  1. Label the cooler with the sample Place cooler in the core refrigerator until it is ready for shipment.

On-Coming Curatorial Specialist Tasks


As the oncoming Curator, you will be responsible for the previous cruise's refrigerated shipment. Usually the Laboratory Officer or the person in charge of IODP Logistics will contact you to inform you when the shipment leaves the ship.

  1. When ready to offload, place a sheet of bubble wrap on top of the bagged samples and add a generous amount of blue ice on World Courier will replace the blue ice during transit. Leave space for an analog temperature data logger.

  1. The analog temperature chart recorder (Figure 4) is a disposable device that usually has a 20-day recording time since the plastic tab inserted in the box is

  1. Place a data logger letter to the scientist (inside of a zip top freezer bag) in the The letter instructs the scientist to read the temperature chart and notify the Supervisor of Technical Support if the shipment was not kept cool.

  1. Place and tape an IODP shipping label and shipping papers on the outside of the Wrap the cooler and the lid with filament tape to keep it from opening.

  1. Immediately after packing is complete, hand the shipment over to the Laboratory Officer/and or the Marine Logistics Coordinator who will send it to the

Under way/pre-site

Underway geophysical watch

The Curatorial Specialist may be required to stand up to a three-hour watch in the geophysical laboratory each day while the ship is in transit and streaming gear. The Laboratory Officer will schedule the watches and should provide training.  If you are unsure about how things are done do not hesitate to ask the MLS Underway Geophysics for help. If your scheduled watch conflicts with the shipboard scientist's meeting, or some other important event, arrange to swap schedules with another curatorial specialist.

Pre-site preparation

As soon as you get settled on the ship, ask the Staff Scientist to email you any last minute sample requests which have been submitted by oncoming scientists and/or provide the Staff Scientist  and Co-chiefs with last minute requests which they do not have.  Remind those scientists who have not submitted the requests that they must do so before arriving at the first site. Find out the

schedule for all science meetings concerning sample requests or sampling. You should attend as many meetings as you can.

Sample Allocation Committee (SAC) meeting


Request a meeting with Sample Allocation Committee (SAC, the Staff Scientist, two Co-Chiefs, shipboard Curator) before any scientist-involved sampling meetings takes place. The objective of this meeting is to provide  a general idea of the sampling strategy that the Co-Chiefs have in mind. It is also an opportunity to discuss any issue with sample requests.

First scientists meeting


Use the first science meeting as an opportunity to introduce yourself, and start being familiar with locations and office hours. Mention briefly the current IODP sampling policy and the concept of permanent archives. Let them know that they will be asked to do sampling shifts (for sediment cruises), and that the staff scientist will be in charge of making up the shifts.  The first science meeting may also be a good time to talk about the general sampling strategy, or you may want to save this discussion for the shorter sampling classes. Encourage everyone who has not submitted requests to do so before the first site.

Additional sampling meetings


The SAC usually holds at least one meeting with all the scientists groups (sedimentology, pore water, isotopes, biostratigraphy and structure) to talk about their requests, overlaps, or possible col orations. On most cruises the scientists are asked to break into groups to discuss in detail their request. If one group has an inordinate number of conflicts, then usually the Staff Scientist/Co-Chiefs ask them to meet again looking for a final resolution. You can attend these meetings or talk to scientists individually asking them about important details (e.g. samples per core, volume, geological time, frequency of shipboard samples). It is also an opportunity to talk about the frequency of shipboard samples. Some examples of shipboard samples include those taken for paleomagnetic measurements, physical properties measurements, paleontology, and X- Ray Diffraction.

Back to the drawing board


After all the meetings and the one-on-one discussions with the scientists, update the information for each request in the Sample and Data Request system (SaDR). Print out the first Site Sampling Plan after the changes.

Compile one copy of notebooks with sample requests. This will be used during the first few science meetings when sample strategy is discussed with the scientific party. Arrange a meeting

with the Staff Scientist and co-chiefs to discuss sample requests, conflicts, and the operational plan for the upcoming sites.

Be sure to address the status of requests submitted by shore-based participants. As soon as possible, the approval status of requests by shore-based investigators should be sent to the Curator on shore.  The Curator will contact the investigators with their approval status.

Sample shifts (sediment expeditions)


The Staff Scientist is in charge of assigning scientists sample shifts. . Scientists usually work in pairs for two hours a day. This is especially important if you are expecting high load of shipboard sampling. Review the schedule for possible conflicts.  For example, avoid having two micropaleontologists on the same shift or a sedimentologist working at the sample table during the major midnight and noon changeovers. It is also a good idea to consider pairing native and non-native English speakers.

Sample classes for scientists


In order to train a new crew of sampling assistants, you need to hold orientation sessions at the beginning of the cruise. As soon as possible, post a sign-up sheet for scientists to take the sampling class. Observe and avoid conflicts of schedule. Each session should include 4 to8 people, and last about a 1/2 hour or so.

Core Laboratory Orientation for scientists and new technicians


Core Receiving Platform



Figure 9. Core Deck Layout showing the distribution of catwalk and core  oratories.

Begin each sampling session with a catwalk/core laboratory tour (Figure 9)  discussing core handling and flow (Figure 10).  Starting on the catwalk, discuss core-handling procedures of particular interest to the scientists: whole round sampling (interest of chemists and physical property specialists); core catcher sampling (paleontologists), and the hydrocarbon monitoring procedures (chemists). You should also stress security measures around the rig floor when core is being handled.  While in the core entry area, discuss how the core data is entered into the Sample Master/LIMS entry station database.

Figure 10. Crew holding the core in the Core Receiving Platform

Core Entry/Splitting Room


In this section, first introduce the core entry whiteboard (Figure 11).  Make sure the scientists are aware of the way of numbering and labeling scheme of the cores.  If you are on a hard rock expedition, discuss the orientation and labeling of the core pieces.  You may want to have a separate meeting with just the structural geologists for this purpose.  Scientists should be reported briefly about the whole-core measurements performed in the Core Laboratory.  They may also visit the splitting room to see how various types of cored material are split (Figure 12). Discussion at the description table should cover the proper treatment of archive halves and handling and storage of the smear slides. Also cover sampling at the end of the tour.

Figure 11. Example of Core Entry Whiteboard

Figure 12. Splitting room

Sample Table


At the sampling table, scientists should be introduced to the IODP curatorial sampling application: Sample Master. Allow them to enter, save data and print   labels on the TEST expedition (Figure 13). Discuss sampling tools, techniques, volumes, the whiteboard, and review the Sample Distribution Policy.

Figure 13. Sample table. Sampled cores flagged with codes.

Remind the scientists that no gold, platinum or other precious metal jewelry may be worn at either the sampling tables or anywhere else in the lab. This policy has the objective of reducing the potential of Rare Earth Element contamination (e.g. Iridium content at the K/T boundary).

Other topics to cover might include: thin sections, re-sampling, labeling d-tubes, and your hours of availability. Ask them to be on time and to announce core that is ready for sampling over the PA system (e.g. Core 12 is on the sampling table, please come and select your samples). Be sure to mention that if a request requires flagged intervals, rather than assigned intervals, the investigator needs to designate a 'buddy' on the opposite shift to look after his or her interests.

Ask the photographer/imaging specialist to meet with each sample session group to collect special requests for core imaging.

Set-up and supplying the core laboratory                              and sampling area

Before arriving at the first site, you need to be sure the sampling area is ready for the flurry of activity about to begin. In addition to restocking sampling supplies and gathering your sample tools, there are a few other tasks to take care of:

  1. Label sample bins - Once sample codes have been assigned you can label sample bins with their corresponding sample

  1. Sample Code Flags/Dots are used on the core material to identify - If you are in a sediment expedition you should print up about 50 sample flag labels for each code. You can print these by yourself using designed files folder labels (e.g. Avery 5266) or you may want to ask each scientist to make his own set of flags by hand – make sure you include the  shore-based requests. Place the coded flags in the flag tray constructed with 10cc sample tubes and stored in the Curatorial Supply Cabinet in the Core Laboratory. Set them on the sampling table or place them at the base of the whiteboard. For the routine samples it is helpful to put colored dots containing sample codes on the core material (See Figure 13 and 14).

Figure 14. Sample dots used for hard rock core material.

Core Laboratory   supply locations


Here is general list of core laboratory supplies and their location on the ship (Table 1). Please remember to check out all supplies on the inventory checkout sheets located in each storage area.



10% HCl


Desk supplies: pens, rulers, etc…


Glad Wrap cut into thirds (for AMST)


Glass sample vials with snap lids (16mL & 8mL)


Gloves (for those w/ jewelry)


Miscellaneous glassware


Mounting media (Norland Optical Adhesive)


Nalgene bottles


Smear slides, coverslips & labels










Paper towels






Core box staples


Core boxes




Filament tape


Polyethylene tape


d-tube end caps (red)


Permanent markers (red)


Shrink wrap


Utility knives






d-tube end caps (black)


Permanent markers (black)


Core box staples


Core boxes




Filament tape


Foam sponges


Polyethylene tape


Utility knives


SAMPLING TABLE SUPPLIES                                                                                         LOCATION

10cc scoops


5 and 10 cc sample tubes


5-10cc ethafoam sample plugs


Ethafoam rods


Kapak bags


Pop-top vials


Sample bags



HRS - HOLD REFRIGERATOR              UTPS – UPPER TWEEN PALLET STORES                                                                            STORES


Table 2. List of core    supplies and their location on the ship

Reference Tables


Reference tables are also useful at the sampling station. In particular, help the samplers to locate a list of conversions (length to volume), sampling tools, sampling guidelines, and a summary of the Sample Distribution Policy.  The sampling-watch schedule and a list of sample codes/request names should also be posted for quick reference. A copy of all sample requests should be available  for the scientists to solve questions when you are not around.

Sample Table Supplies


You are responsible for keeping the sample table area sufficiently supplied during the expedition (Figure 15). Supplies can be obtained from Upper Tween, and Hold stores, and Hold Refrigerator. Please remember to check out all supplies on the checkout sheets located in each storage area. The checkout sheets are located on the same deck where the corresponding supplies are stored. You should also make a point of trying to re-supply the area for the oncoming Curatorial Specialist at the end of your cruise.

Figure 15. The storage area for sample supplies is located in blue plastic bins underneath the sample table.

The bins under the sample table should be stocked with:

  • 5 and 10cc tubes and scoops
  • 5 and10cc foam plugs
  • pop top vials
  • sample bags
  • foam rods
  • other supplies as labeled

The core rack area and drawers under core section entry station should be stocked with:

  • "Kapak" bags (for frozen/organic samples)
  • black d-tube end caps (in bins)
  • black permanent markers
  • core boxes
  • d-tubes
  • Ethafoam rod
  • filament tape
  • polyethylene tape
  • sample bags
  • shrink wrap

  • utility knives
  • “Ziploc” bags
  • office supplies
  • black ball point pens
  • permanent felt tip markers
  • "Avery" colored dot labels (for easy identification of igneous/metamorphic rock, critical boundary cores, critical material, dropped cores, and hard rock sampling parties; see Section on Core Storage System/ Labeling D-Tubes).
  • hard rock labeling supplies (including red/blue grease pencils, epoxy, mixing sticks, Brady thermal adhesive labels and ribbons, and glass scribes

The curatorial supply drawers, located in the core splitting room, beneath the rock saws, should be stocked with:

  • sampling tools (spatulas, hammers, and chisels)
  • extra utility knives
  • Epoxy supplies: Epoxy, applicator tips, Epoxy guns, wood sticks
  • Extra hook blades and wire for core splitter

Stock both the core entry and sampling computer stations with bar code labels and ribbon.

Description Table Supplies


The Marine   Laboratory Specialists working in the core laboratory (including the Curatorial Specialist) are jointly responsible for maintaining the description table supplies (Figure 16).

Figure 16. Description Table

The core description area should be supplied with:

  • glass slides
  • toothpicks
  • mounting media (typically Norland Optical Adhesive - for ultraviolet curing- but sometimes Canada Balsam, Permount and Piccolyte)
  • coverslips
  • smear slide cases, smear slide  labels
  • glass sample vials with snap lids
  • miscellaneous glassware
  • Visual Description Forms (the scientists will usually know which ones they need; if not, ask the Staff Scientist)
  • Desk supplies: pens, pencils, Liquid Paper, rulers, etc.
  • “Glad Wrap” cut into thirds for the Note: based on geochemical testing it was determined that “Glad Wrap” brand is the only IODP acceptable brand of plastic wrap that can come in contact with the surface of the cores.

Catwalk Supplies


The marine technicians, among them the Curatorial Specialist, are jointly responsible for maintaining the stock of catwalk supplies. These include:

  • 4" stainless steel spatulas
  • acetone in red squirt bottles (with “acetone”  label)
  • china markers for hard rock and marking liners on wet days
  • chisel and mallet for harder sediment and hard rock
  • clean, absorbent rags
  • clear, blue, and yellow endcaps
  • cutters (for core liners) with good blades
  • hammer, hacksaw, plunger at core catcher bench
  • hearing protection (bin by catwalk entry door)
  • liner puncture tool
  • air drill to drill liner when recover gassy sediments
  • wooden meter sticks (cut to 149cm)
  • nitrile gloves, various sizes (bin by catwalk entry door)
  • permanent red and black markers
  • safety glasses (bin by catwalk entry door)

As a curatorial specialist, you should be especially aware that these supplies must be clean. Meter sticks should be trimmed slightly short (149cm) to yield 150 cm core sections.  Rusty tools should be cleaned or replaced - a small amount of rust can ruin core material for paleomagnetics and geochemistry studies.

The chemistry specialists provide their own supplies for taking headspace and vacutainer samples. Interstitial water (IW) samples require no special supplies besides yellow end-caps. You should work with the shipboard scientists to maintain required supply for any special catwalk sampling.

Sampling plans


Pre-Cruise Sampling Plan


The Pre-Cruise Sampling Plan (PCSP) is typically a spreadsheet (Excel) that is assembled on shore by the Shore-based Curator and the Staff Scientist.  Before leaving for sea, you should receive an electronic version of this document.  This PCSP will be your primary resource to post a well-assembled subsequent Site Sampling Plans in the laboratory.   In the early stages of the cruise, the PCSP is a dynamic document that can quickly change based on the resolutions of the scientist’s sampling meetings. Make notes of these changes for incorporating them into your posted sample plans.

If you do not receive an electronic copy of this plan with your sample request package, ask the Staff Scientist for a copy (or email the Curator on shore). The PCSP format includes:

  • Request number and request part
  • Request name
  • Request status - new, approved, rejected, revised, deferred, decision deferred, decision pending
  • Sampling frequency
  • Whole round lengths
  • Sample volumes
  • Comments related to sample handling or placement Here is an example of how part of a PCSP might look (Table 3):

Table 3. Example of Pre-cruise Sampling Plan (PCSP)

Site Sampling Plans


On soft sediment cruises, in addition to the cruise sample plan, you might also want to prepare a

Site Sampling Plan (Table 4). This document maps requested sample intervals or lithologies at a given site.

Table 4. Example of Site Sampling Plan

Just as the PCSP, the Site Sampling Plan is the basis for the plan posted on the whiteboard. Unlike the Final Cruise Sampling Plan (FCSP) (see next section), the site Sampling Plan is for shipboard use only, and is not returned to the Curator at the end of the cruise.

A number of variables, such as type of drilling, type of request, and purpose of request, should be considered when plotting the sample intervals on your sampling plan. The type of drilling determines the degree of disturbance in the core, constraining the amount of core usable by certain investigations. In hydraulic piston coring (APC) for example, the top 30-40 cm of the core is often disturbed, precluding this interval of core for paleomagnetic or physical properties sampling. Rotary or extended core barrel (XCB) drilling commonly yields disturbances from drilling artifacts, known as biscuits, which often are surrounded by churned up sediment, or slurry.  In these types of cores, the ideal sample interval is a location of least disturbance, usually found in the more consolidated material.

There are important considerations about routine samples. When choosing sample intervals, remember that routine IW whole rounds samples normally eliminate some fraction of the core (usually the bottom 5-15cm of sections). For the remaining routine samples, first check with the shipboard scientists if any of the investigations requires samples at or near the same interval.

Secondly, some investigators may be seeking high resolution samples, and may require sampling intervals spread evenly throughout the core.  A typical example would be fulfilling three nannofossil requests, each requiring 2 cc per section. Plotting these samples at or near the same interval would duplicate the results of the three investigators. Separating the samples at approximately equal distance across the section, say at 40 cm, 90 cm and 150 cm might give the desired resolution.  Similar interval selection may be appropriate for routine samples as for inorganic carbon or other paleontology investigations.

The plan should be shared among the scientific party and Staff Scientist for comments or corrections. Before arriving on site, the final plan should be simplified and posted on the whiteboard next to the sample table.

The Whiteboard


The posted whiteboard plan (Table 5 and Figure 17) is the streamlined sampling guide for the scientific party during their individual two-hour sampling shifts.

Table 5. Example of Whiteboard spreadsheet *.xls file

Figure 17. Handwritten sample whiteboard

A few points to keep in mind when making the whiteboard plan are:

  • Emphasize that all written changes on the whiteboard should only be made by the Curatorial Specialist or Staff If the desired change is small (e.g. increase sample volume from 5cc in calcareous material to 10cc in siliceous material) the investigator can verbalize the request to the specialist. In case of significant changes (e.g. unexpected occurrence of porcellanite leads investigator to request all such occurrences) the investigator must submit a written statement to the Co-Chief Scientists for approval.

  • If necessary, a second overflow whiteboard can be This is useful for large number of samples or samples that require higher levels of information.

Make sure that the scientists have representatives who look after their sampling requests on all shifts.

  • If you make any changes to the whiteboard be sure they are very noticeable because people have a tendency to memorize the whiteboard and may not look too closely from day to

  • Special handling requests should also be noted on the whiteboard (e.g. Kapak bags for organic geochemistry, double bagging and refrigeration of samples).

  • When creating a whiteboard plan, divide the board into sections:

  1. Routine Samples: Samples that the watch crew can take easily (e.g. assigned intervals at a constant volume).

  1. Flagged Samples: This type of sample can be based on lithology (calcareous siliceous, organic rich, ash layers, contacts, etc.); structure (e.g. microfaults); or age dependent (e.g. Maastrichtian – Campanian). In the case of age dependent samples, because age is determined by paleontologists through the analysis of the “PAL” core catcher sample; it is helpful to flag the beginning and end of samples that are age dependent.

Chemistry Laboratory Sampling Plan


Before reaching the first site, meet with the Chemistry Marine Laboratory Specialists to discuss the sampling plan for the expedition.  Provide the chemistry technicians with copies of each request associated with the chemistry  laboratory and with a list of sample codes to be used in Sample Master during the expedition:

IW                   Interstitial water sample

IWP                 interstitial water sample stored in a plastic container (may be IWP1, IWP2 ...  if sufficient sample)

IWG                interstitial water sample stored in a glass container (may be IWG1, IWG2 ... if sufficient sample)

IWS                 squeeze cake - residue from squeezed IW sample IWT                        trimmings - from IW sample

IWPA              acidified IW residue left after pH analyses (should have amount of acid added noted on container)

Verify that chemistry technicians know how to use the Sample Master application, and help them if they have questions or problems.

Also, verify that chemistry technicians are aware of curatorial policies and procedures regarding IW whole rounds, Head Space (HS) gas samples, and carbonate (CARB) sampling. Chemistry techs and scientists who have sailed before will be able to suggest the most sensible procedures to the Curatorial Specialist and the scientific party. It is also important to work with the chemistry technician and shipboard chemists how to split IW pore waters for shipboard analysis and personal sampling. down-hole Curatorial Specialist   Keep in mind that you are responsible for ensuring that current sample  policy is followed.

Final Cruise Sample Plan


The Final Cruise Sample Plan (FCSP) is the grand summary of all the procedures regarding sampling during a cruise. A copy of the FCSP should be sent via email to the GCR Superintendent (                             The FCSP is the reference document for the Curator, Staff Scientist, Co-Chiefs, shipboard science party, and repository staff for at least a year after the cruise. Therefore, it is important that it is as accurate and clear as possible.  The guidelines for creating a FCSP are:

  1. Have the scientists revise their sample requests online using the Sample and Data Requests (SaDR) Check the following items:
    • Request Numbers are assigned automatically by the SaDR system. In case of new requests that are submitted during the cruise, scientists should outline the purpose and sampling requirements of the request.
    • Sample It is assigned by the Curatorial Specialist. The code is usually the first four letters of the investigator's last name.
    • Type of All requests received and processed during the expedition are considered “Shipboard’, even if the request is from a shore-based participant.
    • Request Status: When a scientist submits a sample request, the SaDR system assigns the request a status of ‘submitted’. However the status of a request can change throughout a The following is a list of options in the system to change a requests’ status.
·       Submitted
  • Revise
  • Approved
  • If a request is rejected include a brief explanation of why the request was rejected in the SaDR system.
·       Completed



  • Retired
  • Request Name. Includes the names of all of the investigators requesting the Unless otherwise indicated, the principal investigator is listed first and all correspondence and materials are sent to the principal investigator. The only exception is when someone other than the Principal Investigator is a member of the shipboard party. The Request Name should coincide with the original Sample Request and the Final Cruise Sample Plan.
  • Shipping Used not only by curatorial personnel, but also by the ship's storekeeper and by Publications and Database groups. Included in the address are the full first and last names of the sample recipient, business address (with street if appropriate), phone, and e-mail address. The Assistant                                                                                    Officer (ALO) will make updated address information available near the end of the cruise.
  • Purpose of This two to lines sentence describing the study is obtained from the original sample request.
  • Site(s). Often investigators will list the sites they want samples If this information is not provided, you may ask them. Often investigators want material from all sites, only specifying age or lithology. By the time the FCSP is completed at the end of the cruise, all pre-sites cited in the request should be replaced with their corresponding actual sites.  The pre-site/actual site conversion should be listed on the first page of the FCSP.
  • Age/Depth Range/Lithology. This refers to the lithology and geological age of the requested This information may be gleaned from the sample request or by talking with the investigator on board.
  • Frequency. This refers to the frequency of sampling This information is usually modified by the shipboard party to optimize sampling efforts and objectives.
  • The volume of a sample measured in cubic centimeters.
  • Shape/Tool. Type of sample requested (e.g. cubes, quarter rounds, mini-cores, half rounds or whole rounds).


Core recovery - catwalk

With the call of the first "CORE ON THE FLOOR!" you assume your primary duties as Curatorial Specialist.  During the cruise it is your responsibility to ensure that every core is handled according to IODP policy and procedure. Although the marine technicians generally receive, measure, section and cap the cores, your participation in catwalk activities will facilitate the proper handling and   labeling of the cores. Pay special attention to unusual core conditions such as voids, poor recovery, or expansion in cores.

IODP Core Naming

IODP has a specific convention to name cores, data and samples. The name follows this identity array: expedition number, site number, hole letter, core number, core type, section number, which half (working or archive). Here is an example for a core:  203-U1243B-6R-5 W




Figure 18. Example of half section label

Core Types


The following is a list of all the valid core types and their code. In bold are the most commonly used types:


RAB-C, resistivity at the bit to log while coring


Bit Sample


Center Bit Recovery


Positive Displacement Coring Motor (PDCM)


HRC or Hyacinth Rotary Corer recovered under in-situ


Ghost cores, re-drilled intervals


Originally referred to as Hydraulic Piston Coring now called Advanced Piston Core (APC)




Originally called Navi-Drill Core Barrel (NCB), now replaced by MDCB (Motor Driven Core Barrel)


Pressure Coring System (PCS) or Pressure Core Barrel (PCB)


Rotary Core Barrel (RCB)


Side Wall Sample


Vibra Percussive Corer (VPC), not a viable coring system anymore


Wash Core Sample


Extended Core Barrel (XCB)


FPC or Fugro Pressure Corer recovered under in-situ pressure


Originally called Diamond Coring System (DCS), now replaced by ADCB (Advanced Diamond Core Barrel)

Table 6. List of Core type nomenclatures

Designating Permanent and Non-permanent archives


After core is drilled, depending of percentages of recovery, type of core material, number of holes per site and length of drilling, the archive halves are designed. Archive halves can be permanent or non-permanent.

When a single hole is made by site, the entire half of this core is designed as permanent. On the other hand, when a site has multiples holes, permanent archive can be designed from the deepest hole or a combination of holes. Overlapping also can occur in the latest. (See Figure 19)

Figure 19. The entire half of the core is designated as permanent when a single core is recovered (A). A combination of holes is used as a permanent archive when there is more than one hole per site (B).

A third case (C in Figure 20) ……

Figure 20. Permanent archive designed for single (A) and multiple holes (B). A third case of designed permanent archives is showed in C.

Core handling

After the liner is removed from the core barrel (Figure 20), the liner is placed on the catwalk holders (Figure 21) with the double line or working half side up. The liner is temporarily capped at both ends to prevent sediment from falling out during the initial handling stages.

Figure 21. Removing liner from core barrel

Figure 22. Receiving core in the catwalk after it was removed from barrel

Full core barrels are usually 9.5 meters long. The consecutive cores taken from a single hole are numbered sequentially from top to bottom.   In the same way, each core is divided in sections.

This is done in the catwalk by the curator. The curator marks each core diving it in six sections of 150 cm, a seventh section that is usually shorter, and a core catcher.  These marks made in red (Figure 21) are coincident to the places where the liner should be sectioned later.

Figure 23. Marking liner at each 1.5 meters of core.

Recovery of material in the full capacity of the core barrel (9.5 meters) is considered 100% recovery.  The length of the recovered material however, may differ from the length of the core barrel interval.  Recovery less than the cored interval may occur as well as an apparent greater recovery. The last occurs because of gaseous expansion of the sediment.

In this way, when full recovery is obtained, the core sections are numbered from 1 to 7. The last two sections (6 and 7) are usually shorter than 1.5 meters. When sampling hard rock, material recovered in the core catcher is included as the bottom of the core and therefore, the bottom of the last section. On the other hand, when coring sediments, the core catcher sample is extruded and placed in a short piece of plastic liner, and is treated as a separate section below the last core section.

When sediment recovery is less than 100%, whether or not the recovered material is contiguous, the recovered sediment is placed at the top of the cored interval and then 1.5 meter sections are numbered sequentially, starting with section 1.  Sections are cut starting at the top of the recovered sediment and the last section may be shorter than the normal 1.5 meter length (Figure 24). To measure sections properly on the new Natural Gamma Ray (NGR) machine, the last two sections of the core must be greater than 60 centimeters.

Figure 24. Core recovery

Next, the Curator and the technician measure and   el the ends of each section with number of the core, the core type, number of   section and an arrow pointing 'up'. It is also useful to mark

the interval and sample type (e.g. IW) on the whole round sample. Also, whole round samples are marked on the liner with an asterisk (*) above where the sample is taken.

The liner is cut at the section breaks with a circular cutting tool (Figure 25) and the material belonging to each section is well separated with a spatula.  If the material is well lithified a hacksaw (or hammer) and chisel is used to section the core. The next step is to take samples in the whole round sections (AKA catwalk samples, see next section). Once the whole round and headspace samples are removed from the catwalk, the rest of the core may be capped and glued with acetone. Blue end caps are placed at the top of each section, clear end caps at the bottom. In case that a whole round sample was taken in a particular section, a yellow end cap it is placed at the bottom instead of the clear cap. The asterisk helps technicians recognize where to put yellow end caps. Once   labeled, sectioned and capped, the core is taken to the Core                                                                                                     for processing.


Figure 25. Circular cutting tool

Soupy Cores


The first few cores at the top of the holes tend to be soupy.  To enhance biogenic resolution within the cores, a special tool was developed on Leg 144 to drain some of the water out of cores. Called piglet or piggy this tool is a cylindrical, green, scrubby pad object that fits nicely in the core liner. When the core barrel first comes up on deck, the core technician should drop the piglet in the top of the barrel. The disposable, green scrubby-pad inside the piglet will strain the upper layer of soupy sediment as the piglet itself falls gently to the water/sediment boundary.

When the barrel is laid on the rig floor, the water will flow out from the top of the barrel, leaving behind a core of better consistency than before. The piglet is then cut out of the liner. The scrubby pad should be removed and replaced, and the piglet returned to the Rig Floor for the next sampling. Currently, at the start of IODP, this tool is not available but can be fabricated by the Core technician if requested.



Cores may contain void spaces, typically because of gas expansion.  If voids are forming because of gas expansion, first allow the Chemistry  Laboratory Specialist to take a vacutainer sample,

and then puncture the liner along the cut-line between sections with air-powered drill to vent the gas. Close the voids. This can be done in two ways: a) while the core is still in whole round, cut the void liner sections out. Empty sections does not need to be preserved (preferred) or b)

While the core is still in whole round, punch a hole in the liner at the void and push the pieces of sediment together with a plunger stick, avoiding compaction of the core. Closing a void should only be done when it can be accomplished without harming the core. If the core is being damaged, simply cut the void liner section out or gently push the pieces back together after the core has been split. Closing of voids in lithified sediments and in igneous and metamorphic rocks is done routinely and does not have to be noted in Sample Master.

If you know that a void is caused by a gas hydrate (crystalline water-based solid that physically resemble ice) or a washed out sand layer, it should not be closed.



If there is evidence that core sediment is expanding on the catwalk, puncture the length of the liner ideally on the split line using the air powered drill (Figure 26).  Allow the core to degas.  Be sure that the drill holes are not made in a straight line because the liner may crack or shatter explosively along these lines, deteriorating the integrity of the liner.  As always, be sure  everyone is wearing safety glasses when handling expanding cores (Figure 27).

Figure 26. Drilling holes in liner

Figure 27. Face mask with mud

While dealing with expansive cores, delay measuring and cutting of the cores sections as long as possible to allow degasification. Additionally, you can slit or puncture or simply delay the placement of end caps of the sections the core is ready to be split. Resting time eliminates the need of handling excess of material that expands beyond the cut section lengths. The delay time varies depending of gas content and the core recovery rate.

If these steps are not possible because of catwalk sampling, or if the core continues expanding, then sections may also be cut shorter than the standard 150 cm length (140 cm should be sufficient).  Attach pre-made ~15cm liner patch extenders with acetoned end caps to the bottom or top of the liner to accommodate the excess of sediment, creating a 150 cm or less section length. Note: the end cap may be fastened securely to the INSIDE of the liner patch with the aid of a small slit in the side of the end cap. Handling expansive cores in this way avoids ending up with over-sized sections.  In case of that more expansion needs to occur, keep the patch loosely on the core without acetone until the sections are ready to be split.  Once ready to split, the patch can be permanently acetoned and sonic welded in place. If the length of a section changes due to expansion, the curated length should be updated in Sample Master and depths recalculated.

If, after the core is curated on the catwalk, the Core Technician brings you a piece of cored sediment found in the pipe, find out its specific location, create a new section and make the appropriate changes in the Sample Master and on the whiteboard.  Be sure to notify the rig floor of the new recovery number.

If the sediment does not expand on the catwalk but does so after the core is brought into the Core Laboratory or after splitting, do the following:

  1. Acetone or weld a liner patch to the split core at either end of the The end cap may be fastened securely to the INSIDE of the liner patch with the aid of a small slit in the side

of the end cap.  The cap can be acetoned and sonic welded on.  Be sure to change the curated length of that section in the section entry application.

  1. Since d-tubes can only contain a section of up to 155cm, further expansion of the core implies the creation of additional sections or of sub-sections. Subsections should be created dividing section into two pieces of roughly 75 to 80 Label the sub-sections as A and B. Number them as one section. The curated length in the Sample Master will be the sum of the two sub-sections lengths. Store sub-sections in individual d-tubes. Make sure that he number of sections created match in the archive and working halves.

If sediment oozes out of the top of a core before it is cut into sections on the catwalk, section 1 should begin at the top of this overflow material.

Place a “caution” sticker on the end cap of expansive cores using the words “expanding”.



Some recovered shales begin to disintegrate as soon as they dry.  To slow the process, ask the scientists to keep them covered with Glad Wrap while they are working in description of the samples.   When they are ready to put in d-tubes, it’s always helpful if they are shrink-wrapped. Also, these cores should not be exposed to strong, direct light, since this will hasten the drying process.

Split Liners


Cores are often recovered with split, shattered or crushed liners. Depending upon the severity of the damage, the liner may need to be taped, liner patched, or material transferred to another liner.  In anticipation of this situation, Marine Specialists can prepare a supply of split and capped liners to replace damaged liners.

Patching or transferring material is done after sectioning, and should preserve the original orientation of the whole round core. Extract cores from damaged liner carefully because they are very sharp.

If liner patch is used to repair a damaged liner, it should be cut to just short of the liner's end, to allow an end cap to fit on. Patch may be secured in place with acetone or with the sonic welder. Remember that cores fitted with liner patch sometimes cannot be run through the MST..

Shattered liner cores are generally not desirable for whole core measurements, so inform the Physical Properties scientist about your intentions to liner patch the core. They may not want to run the core anyway.

After the damaged liner is repaired, it may be   labeled and engraved in the usual manner. Remember to put “Caution” stickers on damaged cores with a brief description of the damage and procedures. Also, include these notes in the Sample Master.

Critical Intervals


Critical intervals are special guidelines to handle and sample cores. Important stratigraphic boundaries, structural phenomena, key macrofossils, rare volcanic glass are examples of this category. Specific examples are:

  • Cretaceous/Tertiary boundary (K/T boundary)
  • Paleocene/Maastrichtian
  • Eocene Impact (NP21)
  • volcanic glass
  • Cenomanian/Turonian Boundary Event (CTBE)
  • Mediterranean Messinian/Tortonian boundary
  • Oligocene/Miocene
  • Eocene/Oligocene boundary
  • Late Paleocene Thermal Maximum (LPTM also called the PETM)
  • sediment/basement interface
  • salt cores
  • sulfides
  • sapropels
  • evaporites (anhydrites, halite, gypsum)
  • soil horizons

If an interval is deemed 'critical', it is prudent to exclude all personal sampling 3 meters above and below its boundaries.  Selected shipboard sampling, as approved by the Co-Chiefs, should take place to define the nature and limits of the interval. Sampling of the critical interval can either take place later in the cruise or may be deferred to shore.  On shore, investigators will have sufficient time to assess their sampling needs, and to work out cooperative studies to     maximize the science gained from this unusual material. For additional information about critical intervals, see the IODP Sample Distribution Policy.

Cores containing Hydrogen Sulfide


Hydrogen sulfide (H2S) gas may be found in cores in which microbial sulfate reduction is occurring or in cores from hydrothermal vent areas in which seawater sulfate has reacted with high-temperature intrusions. H2S is a highly reactive, toxic gas, which is normally at negligible concentrations by rapid reaction with iron or other metals present in the sediment.

In some cases, however, cores are taken from iron-deficient carbonate sediments or areas with presence of gas hydrates or sulfate-rich brines. In these cores, H2S concentrations may be sufficient to cause a toxic gas breathing hazard, especially when cores are being handled in confined or poorly ventilated areas. If you smell H2S gas, alert the                                                                                                     Officer or Assistant Officer. He/she will ask you to monitor the cores with the handheld “Packrat” H2S gas detectors (Figure 28).  The drill crew on the rig floor should also be measuring the gas with the packrats.


Figure 28. Packrat H2S gas detector

The JOIDES Resolution is equipped with permanently mounted H2S sensors on the rig floor, the core-receiving platform, and in the interior core-handling areas. H2S levels of 10-20 ppm should activate audible and visual alarms. H2S odor is apparent at levels below those detectable by sensors or analytical instruments. If H2S presence is suspected, the hydrocarbon monitoring techniques should include analysis by thermal conductivity detector gas chromatography (NGA) to provide concentrations values in cores.

Operating Procedure in Core Laboratory for H2S Alert


Official procedures for responding to an H2S alert are fully described in ODP Technical Note 19, revised in 2002, the H2S Drilling Contingency Plan (Foss and Julson, 1993).  Here is a brief summary from a curatorial standpoint:

After receiving a core on the catwalk, the first section cut should be monitored with the handheld “Packrat” detector (Figure 28). If the H2S level is over 10ppm, all core-handling personnel

(microbiologists and geochemists included) should use self-contained breathing apparatus (SCBA, Figure 29 and Figure 30). Non-essential personnel should stay clear of the catwalk.  If time permits, the core should de-gas on the core holder on the catwalk for a period (~20-30 min) before capping and scribing. When the core is ready to section, turn on the large hanging catwalk fan to disperse the gas as cuts are made. The outside core rack should be set up on the aft end of the catwalk so the cores are downwind of the living quarters as they de-gas. All scribing should be done outside.  Core should remain outside until splitting takes place.

Figure 29. Self-contained breathing apparatus

Figure 30. Drill crew with SCBA

When a core is ready to be splitted, the Marine Specialist should do a SCBA in the splitting room (Figure 31), cut the section and immediately place it under a split piece of rubber ducting (1.5m long) that feeds into the H2S suction system. Letting the core sit under the ducting for about 10 minutes should yield acceptable H2S readings.  The core can then be safely given to the scientists in the laboratory

Figure 31. H2S core splitting

The fact that cores with H2S are stored in an unventilated and confined space in the refrigerator can make for a potentially dangerous situation.  Be sure that the H2S monitors are working properly whenever operating under an H2S alert. If you have any concerns, bring them the attention of the Laboratory Officer as soon as possible.

Slowing Oxidation in Sulfide-Rich Cores


  1. Rinse each section (working and archive) with alcohol to remove Allow a few hours to pass for the interstitial water to evaporate.

  1. Place the section in nitrogen-flushed shrink tubing

  1. Place the wrapped section in a silver tri-laminate Kapak foil These bags have a polyethylene inner layer and a polyester outer layer.

  1. Place desiccant in the Kapak Note: the need for prepackaged desiccant should be identified and ordered pre-cruise by the Staff Scientist or shore-based Curator.

  1. Purge Kapak foil tube with nitrogen gas to expel all

  1. Evacuate the tube and heat seal with a high-temperature hand held heat sealer.

  1. Place in cold storage

  1. The bag should be an extra 5-10 cm longer than the section so that it may be sealed at the outer edge, and re-opened and re-sealed several times without bag

Handling Radium-Bearing Rocks


The Staff Scientist, Curator, and Laboratory Officer should be aware pre-cruise that there is a possibility of recovering radioactive samples, especially when drilling in hydrothermal vent areas. Proper handling procedures should be discussed and necessary precautions should be in place before actually recovering this type of material.  If you have any concerns about preparedness after reading the Scientific Prospectus, contact the Staff Scientist, Curator, and/or Officer with your concerns.  The following is the procedure for handling possible radioactive materials (USGS - Francis, 1991):

Identify the samples that contain the radioactive material with a survey instrument.

All samples identified as being radioactive should be sealed in plastic bags and marked with "Caution! Radioactive Materials".  During this operation, personnel should wear plastic or rubber gloves.

These samples should be kept separate from other samples to avoid contaminating non- radioactive samples.

In the entrance to the laboratory it should be posted: "Caution! Radioactive Materials--No Eating, Smoking, or Drinking Allowed--Wash Hands Before Leaving".


Allow the built up radon to escape opening the samples in a well-ventilated area before any work is to be done with thesamples. Samples should only be manipulated remotely, i.e. gloves and tongs.

Any operation that requires cutting or grinding of these samples should be reviewed on a case- by-case basis. All cutting operations should be conducted in water to ensure that no dust is generated from the material. Wash the sampling area carefully after handling the cores.  On the

shore , any wastewater generated from these activities must be disposed in accordance with Nuclear Regulatory Commission (NRC) requirements for radioactive waste.

Sonic Core Monitor/Hard Rock Orientation


The sonic core monitor (SCuM) is used in conjunction with a tensor tool to position hard rock cores.  Three sharp edges built in to the core catcher (CC) scribe lines along the pieces long enough to be oriented in the core.  These three planes of orientation are similar to the orientation used on IODP liners.  For curation purposes, the middle orientation line corresponds to the single line along the archive half of the liner.  Please be sure to let the structural geologists on duty know that the major scribe line must be in the archive half of the core and oriented perpendicular to the cut face. Cores should be photographed as whole rounds for archival/demonstration purposes before they are split.

The SCuM was not in use during the last few years of ODP due to difficulties in obtaining accurate results but is scheduled for resurrection in Phase II of IODP.

Catwalk sampling of whole rounds

In addition to the usual hard rock/soft rock sample requests, biologists and chemists take real- time samples on the catwalk. Because most of these analyses are sensitive to the geochemical nature of the material, it is important to keep the catwalk area acetone-free until the shipboard scientists have finished taking their samples. All samples taken on the catwalk should be entered into Sample Master.

Paleontology Samples (PAL)


A small amount of core-catcher material is removed immediately on the catwalk and taken to the paleontology laboratory for age determination.  Generally a 5 cm whole round is sufficient, but in case of the presence of unfossiliferous material a greater volume may be required. This sample typically comes from the bottom of the core catcher but scientists may request the most suitable material from the top or middle of the core catcher.  Most of the time, the paleontologists use all the sample given to them, but any residues can be checked out by the scientific party or returned to the Repository.

After the PAL sample is taken, the core catcher is placed in plastic liner, capped and glued with acetone, and  labeled with black marker.  The location of the PAL sample is marked on the outside of the liner with permanent marker. Back in the laboratory, this sample should be recorded as a sample code PAL in the Sample Master.  After splitting the CC, an ethafoam spacer marked with the text “PAL” is inserted into the void (Figure 32).

Figure 32. Example of Paleontology spacer in a split core

Head Space/Gas Analyses (HS, VAC)


The Shipboard Chemist or Chemistry Technician will take at least one 5 cc sample for analysis of composition and concentration of hydrocarbons.  These include a sediment sample for headspace gas analysis (HS) and, if present, free gas samples (VAC or Vacutainer Samples).

These samples are immediately analyzed to determine if it is safe to continue drilling.

HS samples are taken from the top or bottom of a freshly cut section, usually adjacent to the interstitial water whole round sample (Figure 33) and depending on the condition and lithology of the core. The pencil-size cylinder used for headspace sampling removes material from the working half of the core. In the case of lithified sediments, scrapings or chips are sampled.  The code used for these samples is HS in the Sample Master system. It is also ok if the Chemistry Technician prefers to enter the sample from the Chemistry Laboratory  sample station.

Figure 33. Example of Headspace gas sampling (HS)

When gassy voids are present, the chemist may need to take free gas samples using a puncture tool and a vacutainer (Figure 34).  Shipboard scientists may take as many vacutainer gas samples as desired for immediate or later analysis. Documentation is not required; however, the location of each sample can be entered in the Sample Master system with the code VAC.

Figure 34. Free sampling with vacutainer (VAC)

Interstitial Water Samples (IW)


Interstitial water for geochemical analysis (IW) are taken from the whole round samples removed on the catwalk (Figure 35). In softer sediments at the top of a borehole, IW samples are generally 5 cm long (176cc).  The size of the sample (10-15cm) may be increased as the sediment becomes more lithified with depth. The Curator and the Chemistry Techs work together to devise an IW sampling plan that best meets the needs of the shipboard science party.

Depending on the preference of the Curator and Chemistry Techs, the IW sample may be recorded at the core entry computer via Sample Master or in the chemistry laboratory  by the Chemistry Tech. Since January 2013, this information has been primarily logged by the Curator at the core entry station.

Figure 35. Example of cutting an IW sample

Whole round sampling is often suspended when core recovery is less than two sections. Although there is not an official limiting amount of whole-round sampling, the co-chiefs and staff scientist along with the Curator define appropriate limits on whole round sampling to safeguard the scientific interests of the cruise.  Marine Laboratory Specialists should always get the Curator’s authorization (or his/her representative) before cutting IW samples.

After the whole round and chemistry samples are removed from the catwalk, the core remainder is capped and glued with acetone.  Blue endcaps are placed at the top of each section, clear end caps at the bottom, and yellow end caps at the end of any section from which a whole round sample was taken. Once labeled, sectioned and capped, the core is ready to be brought into the Core laboratory for processing.

Meanwhile,  the Chemistry Technician collect the interstitial water squeezing the IW whole rounds (Figure 36 and 37).  Water derived from the whole round is used for shipboard analyses and sample requests. While there is no official limit on the amount of water that can be given to an investigator, most studies can obtain results using 10 ml or less. Water not apportioned for shipboard analyses or sample requests is archived in sealed glass ampoules (IWG) or plastic tubing (IWP).  Water remaining after the shipboard alkalinity analysis is also archived (IWPA). The squeeze cake (IWS), retrieved from the press when the squeezing is over, is also preserved, often distributed among the chemists as part of their sample request.  The Chemistry Technicians sort and label the IW subsamples, and enter the appropriate data into LIMS.

Figure 36. Process of scraping from side, putting the pressure vessel and attatching the syringes for posterior squeezing of samples to take the interstitial water from them.

Figure 37. Carver press to squeeze interstitial water

Core handling in the laboratory

Inside the Core Laboratory  , the marine technicians laser engrave working (double line) and archive (single line) side of the liners with the standard IODP identifier following the sequence: "EXPEDITION-SITE-HOLE-CORE-CORETYPE-SECTION" (e.g. 180-1108A-1H-1, W) along

with an 'up' arrow (See Figure 36). This ensures that each section is permanently and uniquely distinguished.  The engraving should be as clear as possible and the blue end caps of each section should be marked with the core, core type and section number as shown in Figure 38.

Figure 38. Sketch of an engraved core. The half core with double lines is assigned as the working half. The single line corresponds to the archive half. .

After the labels are placed, the Curator or technician enters the data into the Sample Master system.  Sample Master generates 3 copies of the 2D bar code label for each section. Two labels will be used for the d-tube and end cap. The third is place directly on the liner. Working half labels are place on the side with double lines, while archive half labels are placed on the single line 180 degrees from the double line.

One copy of the report is left in the Yeoperson’s office. Other copies are brought to the sampling station, the photo table, and the core description table.  Three sets of labels (archive and working) are printed, one for the core liner, one for the d-tube and one for d-tube cap. A fourth set of archive labels is printed for the Section Half Imaging Logger (SHIL) (Figure 39). The number of copies of reports and labels needed for the   oratory will depend of the needs of the technical staff, scientists, and the Curator.

Once properly  labeled and recorded, the sections are left in the rack to reach the room temperature before they are measured on the Whole Round Multi-Sensor Logger (WRMSL) (Figure 39) and measured for thermal conductivity (Figure 40).

Figure 39. WRMSL Multisensor track

Figure 40. Thermal Conductivity Measurement

Physical Properties Whole Rounds


If physical properties (PP) whole round samples are requested, the scientist chooses samples after the core is run through the WRMSL.  PP whole rounds samples are generally 10-15cm in length.  The Curator or Physical Properties technician will cut the whole round on the catwalk and then seal the samples in wax as soon as possible.

To produce a wax with the right consistency for sealing PP whole rounds samples, mix 5 parts of beeswax with 1 part of paraffin in a large crock-pot. Add a small amount of Vaseline to the mixture until it reaches a tar-like consistency. When dipping the sample in the wax, care should be taken to ensure that the wax does not obliterate the sample's identification. Secure the  el with polyethylene tape before immersing it in wax. Watch your fingers! Record the sample in the Sample Master and print  els and new tracking sheets. After waxing, take the sample to the core refrigerator and store upright in an Igloo cooler filled with salt-water.

Splitting the core


After whole round measurements have been made and all data uploaded, the sections are transferred to the splitting room. Note: It is very important that you check that all whole round data is uploaded into LIMS before splitting the core.

Sections are split longitudinally from the bottom of the section to the top using the core splitter with either the wire (for soft sediments) or the supersaw (for lithified material). Delineation follows an axis halfway between the double line and the single line scribed on the liner (Figure 38).  In case of extra soft or sticky cores, drag the wire twice or use the cheese cutter that is stored in the drawer beneath the rock saw table. Splitting of soft and lithified sediment cores is done from bottom to top of the stratigraphic sequence to prevent downward contamination.

Biostratigraphic ages are based on the youngest fossils present in a sample.  If the core is split from top to bottom, pieces with younger fossils could be moved downward contaminating older age material.

Note that the lithified cores that were split with the supersaw have melted plastic on the edges of the section.  Cut the sharp plastic off for safe handling and to ensure good quality photographs and digital images. Supersawed sections are gently rinsed to remove the cutting slurry before leaving the splitting room.

Archive Half


The archive half of the core is placed on the description table in the Core Laboratory.  The sedimentologists describe the core in detail, making smear slides and examine them under the microscope.  The sedimentologists also run the sections through the Section Half Image Logger

(SHIL, Figure 41 and Figure 42). The Paleomagnetists will pick up archive halves, one at a time, to run through the Cryogenic Magnetometer.

Figure 41. Section Half Imaging Logger (SHIL)

Figure 42. Section Half Multi Sensor Logger (SHMSL)

After finalizing the measurements made in the Cryogenic Magnetometer, the archive halves are placed in d-tubes and put in the archive core rack.  The technicians will check if a request of a close-up photo exists. Sections with close-up requests are marked with a yellow dot on the end cap.  The section stays in the laboratory until all the close-ups are completed by the photographer. When you are sure the scientists finished all descriptions (including structural with often lag behind lithology descriptions) and analysis, you can authorize boxing the cores (see section on Core Storage System).

Working Half


The working half sections are taken one by one to the sample table.  First, PP measurements (Figure 43) are made and the PP scientists take samples (Figure 44). Once PP is done, the sections remain on the sampling table where a rotating team of scientists takes shipboard samples for the science party. Once the core is sampled, the scientists will put the cores in d- tubes and place them in the working half rack. If possible, it is best to wrap the working halves in Glad Wrap before placing them in the d-tube.  It is a good idea to prepare a few cores worth of d-tubes in order to stay ahead of the scientists.  The Curator supervises sampling activities during his/her shift, but during off-hours, it’s very helpful to have one or two experienced technicians (preferably the Assistant Laboratory Officer) to check actions at the sample table.

Figure 43. Sonic velocity and Shear strength instrumentation

Figure 44. Syringes used to sample for moisture and density. Next to them are the properties beakers

Sampling guidelines


Before describing in detail sampling procedures and techniques here are a few useful reference tables.

Sample Volume


According to the Sample Distribution Policy, the following are typical sample volumes by sample types:

Sample Type


Thin-section billets (TSB)

Standard: 10 cm3

Thin-section billets (TSB)

Oversized:  50 cm3

(for large-grained plutonic rocks)

Alkenone (Uk37)

5 cm3

X-ray diffraction (XRD)

5 cm3


10 cm3

Carbonate (CARB)

2 cm3

Paleomagnetism (PMAG) – cubes

7 cm3

Paleomagnetism (PMAG) – minicores

12 cm3

Paleomagnetism (PMAG)- U- channels

600 cm3

Moisture and density (MADC)

10–20 cm3

Grain size

10–20 cm3

(depending upon coarseness)

Planktonic foraminifers (FORAMP)

10 cm3

Benthic foraminifers (FORAMB)

10–20 cm3

Nannofossils (NANNO)

2 cm3

Diatoms (DIAT)

5–10 cm3

Radiolarians (RAD)

10 cm3

Palynology (PALY)

10–15 cm3

Organic samples

20 cm3

Interstitial pore waters whole rounds (IW)

5–20 cm long

(based on water content)

Inorganic geochemistry

10 cm3

Organic geochemistry

10 cm3

Sedimentology (SED)

10–20 cm3

Slabs (for laminae studies)

25–50 cm3

(depending on s lab length)

Slabs (large grained plutonic rocks)

50–100 cm3 (often shared by scientists for multiple analyses)

Stable isotopes (C, O)

10–20 cm3

Table 7. Samples types and their respective volumes

Sampling Tools


The tools and procedures that help the Curatorial Specialist sample efficiently are:

Curatorial Specialist





sample tubes, small*

2-5cc tube

A single punch fills the tube halfway (~3 cc) and a second punch fills it (~5cc). The interval between samples is given by how the first and second punch are arranged when inserted: Horizontal side by side = 1cm, Vertical side by side = 2 cm.

soupy or consolidated sediment

sample tubes, large*

10 cc tube

A single punch fills the tube halfway (~10 cc), a second punch fills it (~20 cc). The intervals are given by the size of the sample:

10 cc sample = 2 cm, 20 cc sample =5cm

soupy or consolidated sediment

plastic scoops**

5 cc and 10cc **

Small scoops are useful when trying to preserve 2/3 of the core for later high-resolution sampling. Note that there is some contamination on the edges of these samples.

soupy or consolidated sediment

stainless steel scoops***

20 cc, 40 cc, 100cc

The larger metal scoops are sturdy and can be used for organic geochemistry sampling when the use of plastic is not desirable. They can also be gently pushed or hammered into semi- lithified sediment instead of a using a hammer and chisel

soupy or consolidated sediment; can be used in semi- lithified sediment also.

plastic sample cubes, standard

2" x 2" x 2” (same in all dimensions, AKA “French” cube) -

The bottom of the pmag cubes are pre-drilled and pre-marked with directional arrows. The standard IODP cube volume is somewhere between 6-7cc but is recorded in LIMS as 7cc. The cube is placed open side down, with arrow pointing to the top of the core. It is then pressed on with both thumbs, applying equal pressure across its surface. The sample is then removed from the core with spatula(s), trying not to disturb the material in the cube. Gently scrape or break the material off from the bottom of the cube with a clean spatula. Clean the cube and cap. Always place a handwritten or printed  el on the cube itself and not the cover. Cover the cube. Putting the label over the hole in the lid is a good idea to slow evaporation from the sample.

Pre-drilled and pre-marked sample cubes are also used to take fabric study samples (physical properties type samples) in soft sediment. Hand el fabric study samples in the same way you hand paleomag cubes. Place cube in a sealed

Paleomagnetics samples and fabric studies

pop vial. Place the pop vial and a moistened sponge in a 4 x 6 sample bag with a computer- generated  el. Refrigerate the sample.

plastic sample cubes, small

1cm x 1cm x 1cm

Generally used for sampling across magnetic transitions and for high-resolution sampling. The Paleomag MLS should prepare the plastic cuvettes. The cuvettes must be cut down to 1 cm cube, the burrs cleaned off, and a tiny hole drilled in the bottom.  A slip of parafilm is used to seal the sample inside the cube.

paleomagnetic high resolution sampling



In harder materials, paleomagnetists often prefer to take minicores, cylindrical samples taken with the drill press. All drilled paleomag samples should be marked with a directional arrow before drilling. Slice off the bottom of the paleomag minicore using the rock saw.

Return the slice to the core. It is not  uncommon for scientists to request minicores for geochemical or petrological studies. Place all drilled samples in pop vials. Vials should be taped and have a computer generated label on the outside.

paleomagnetic (and sometimes geochemical/ petrological) samples

vertical minicores

30-50 cm3

These are generally requested for sonic velocity measurements. It is important that the samples are cut in materials that do not contain fractures or veins. Samples should be oriented with respect to the top of the core. At times, vertical minicores can be requested from whole rounds. In this case, each sample must be pre-approved by the SAC in the same way that a PPwhole round needs the SAC approval.


parallel bladed saw


Make sure that the sample is marked with a directional arrow. In lithified sediment and basalt, sonic velocity samples are often cut on the parallel saw.

sonic velocity and paleomagnetic samples

hammer and chisel


Metal hammer and chisels can be used in almost all samples. Check for each case. Always use a plastic chisel at the K/T boundary and other geochemically significant (as defined by the SAC) locations.

lithified sediment, igneous and metamorphic rock

rock saw


lithified sediment, igneous and metamorphic rock

*Note for plastic tube (5 and 10cc) sampling: A ridge on the inside wall of either size sample tubes may be used to orient the sample up-core, if desired. If either tube is pushed in twice always scrape off the bottom of the sample after pushing it in the first time. This removes any contamination, which is always found next to the liner. To get away from this problem simply do not push to the liner the first time.

**Note for plastic scoop sampling: The leading edge of the scoop is set down at the interval to be sampled, oriented parallel to the length of the core. The outside, flat surface of the scoop should be facing away from the sampler.  To take the sample, press straight down on the rounded handle of the scoop until it hits the bottom of the liner; then scoop it toward you until the leading edge clears the top of the liner.

Table 8. Table types

LIMS Sample Types, Tests, Request Codes, and Request Numbers


When a split core is placed on the sample table it is just about ready for sampling. Before sampling can occur, all approved sample requests must have assigned a LIMS sample Type, Test, and/or Sample Request Number/Code. Sample Type is an identifying string of character in the LIMS database. The database then automatically attaches a number to the end of the Sample Type. The result is a Text ID. The Text ID is the unique identifier for each sample in the database.

There are two types of sampling that can occur, shipboard and personal. Shipboard sampling should have assigned both Sample Type and Test. Test number is assigned with the shipboard measurements made on the sample. Personal samples should have assigned Type, Sample Request Code, and Sample Request Number. The Sample Request Number is assigned by the SADR system when a scientist submits his/her sample request. Sample Request Code is linked to the LIMS Request number. It is assigned by the Shipboard Curator via the Request Code Management application. Sample code naming is often derived from the first four letters of the primary investigators last name. Each sample request should have at least one sample code associated with it.  When an investigator has more than one sample request for the cruise or a variety of sample types for one request, individual codes should be assigned.  Often a sample request is submitted jointly by more than one investigator; despite this, choose only one sample code to be associated with that request.  Finally, assign a sample code for samples taken for all approved shore-based requests.

Tests are permanent fixtures in the LIMS Sample tables. If a new test needs to be created, request it to the shipboard developer.  Document the laboratory code addition in your Curatorial Report.  Here is a list of standard laboratory codes for shipboard analyses or routine archiving.

LIMS Type List (as defined in the LIMS database)






Bead-Bead pressed from a powder



Squeeze Cake-Solid fraction remaining after forced expulsion of interstitial fluids from a source sample; typically has the shape of a cylindrical disc




Chemical Fraction-Parts of a parent sample separated chemically


Culture-Biological material cultured in geological material


Core-Long cylindrical cores, or fist to sand-sized fractured pieces of such cores


Cube-equidimensional prism of material


Cuttings-Loose, coarse, unconsolidated material suspended in drilling fluid


Cylinder-Cylinders of material


Gas-Any gas


Hole-Spot on the ground below which material is drilled out. Origin sample for most of LIMS


Half Round-Half-cylindrical products of along-axis split of a whole round. Cross-sectional radius is nominally equal to that of the parent whole round


Liquid-Any liquid


Mechanical Fraction-Parts of a parent sample separated mechanically




Piece-Material occurring between unambiguous [as curated] breaks in recovery. (Curator note: basement/hard rock only)


Powder fine-grained (<62 micron), dry, granular material


Quarter Round-Quarter-cylindrical products of along-axis split of a half round. Cross-sectional radius is nominally equal to that of the parent half round


Section-Arbitrarily cut segments of a "core"; if the core is < length of a typical section it becomes a section without further sampling


Section Half-Half-cylindrical products of along-axis split of a section or its component fragments through a selected diameter. Cross-sectional radius is nominally equal to that of the parent whole round.


Rectangular prism of material where one dimension is significantly shorter than the others


Sub-Piece-Unambiguously mated portion of a larger piece noted for curatorial management of the material


Specimen-Material of any shape or form selected for specific characteristics of interest


Smear Slide-A toothpick sample suspended in liquid and fixed on slide




Sedimentary Thin Section


Toothpick-Minute amount of material taken for observation


Thin Section. A sub-millimeter thick slice of material mounted on a glass slide


Thin Section Billet


U Channel-Long rectangular prism of material


Wedge-Sample form factor named for the tool used to extract it. Typically 5-20ml in volume


Whole Round-Cylindrical segments of core or core section material. Typically includes the core liner.

Table 9. LIMS Type List

LIMS Test List






Biostratigraphy,  taken on catwalk from cuts between sections


Carbonate analysis


Abundance of microbial cells per cubic centimeter of sample based on SYBR Green 1 staining


CHNS Analysis




Container: record mass + volume                                                                                 


Diatoms: sample for paleo microfossil processing and analysis


Dinoflagellates: sample for paleo microfossil processing and analysis


Clay swelling tests for down-hole logging


Foraminifera: sample for paleo microfossil processing and analysis


Benthic foraminifera: sample for paleo microfossil processing and analysis


Planktonic foraminifera: sample for paleo microfossil processing and analysis


Head-space  method  for  determining  dissolved  hydrogen  (H2) concentration in sediment plugs




Analysis of headspace gases, taken on catwalk


Inductively coupled plasma


Whole round for interstitial water, taken on catwalk


Prepare sample for loss on ignition (LOI) analysis


MAD analysis version A (no PYC)


MAD analysis version C and D (PYC and MAD_MASS)


Method  D  analysis  (cube):  CALIPER,  MAD_MASS  and  PYC analyses


Whole round microbiology, taken on catwalk


To be filled in per curator


Nannofossil biostratigraphy


test list used for standard creation ONLY


Ostracods: sample for paleo microfossil processing and analysis.


From core catcher for biostratigraphic dating,taken on catwalk


Palynology: sample for paleo microfossil processing and analysis.


Analysis of PFT gas in headspace, taken on catwalk


Oriented sample taken for paleomagnetic analysis


Whole round taken for physical properties analysis, cut from whole rounds after MSTing


Radiolarians: sample for paleo microfossil processing and analysis.


Routine microbiology sample


Cut face scrapings from sections (used when material is especially critical, e.g. K/T boundary)


Sedimentology Routing Code


routing code for the SRM


Oriented samples taken for structural analysis


Refined (more quantatative) method for total dissolved and adsorbed methane in sediment plugs


Total organic carbon


Thin section slides, entered by Curator after TSB is made into thin section slide


Thin section billet




Analysis of gas voids, taken on catwalk


P-wave velocity


X-ray diffraction analysis


X-ray  fluorescence  analysis  (XRF  machine  no  longer  on-board JOIDES Resolution)

Table 10. LIMS Test List

Sampling Guidelines for Sediment


Once the whiteboard plan is posted, the sample codes entered into LIMS and the core is split, it is time to take samples. Use the following as a general guide for sampling sedimentary cores. Improvise as needed to get the best quality samples. Note: During the initial training period (i.e. the first few days of coring), the Curatorial Specialist (or his/her representative) should be present as much as possible to guide the sampling process.

  1. Physical properties sampling (Moisture and Density, MADC). After splitting, the core is placed on the sampling The physical properties scientist measures shear strength (shear vane) and sonic velocity on each section (Figure 45). After that one or two 10cc samples per section are removed from the core for moisture and density (Figure 46).

Figure 45. Sonic velocity and shear strength measurement

Figure 46. Sampling for index properties

  1. Paleomagnetics sampling - Next, the paleomagnetist is called to take Shipboard paleomagnetists normally deal with two categories of discrete samples: shipboard samples and personal samples.  Most of the  paleomagnetics (pmag) samples taken are for shipboard analysis.  After preliminary measurements are done on the discrete samples and archive half core, the paleomagnetist may request higher resolution sampling at interesting paleomagnetic transitions. Orienting and removing the samples properly requires care and time. Shipboard paleomagnetists (rather than the paleomagnetic Marine Specialist) are responsible for taking all paleomagnetic samples, or for training other shipboard scientists in the proper techniques.  In softer sediment, 2”x2”x2” paleomagnetics cubes are used for sampling.  When

the material gets more indurated, minicores are required.  When the paleomagnetic sampling is complete, the cores are moved to the main sample table for the next sampling.

  1. Sediment sampling for shipboard analysis and personal studies using flags - Scientists working their 2 hour sampling shift should make an announcement over theA. stating: “Core X is on the sample table. Please flag your samples”. Guided by the whiteboard plan, the requesting scientist or his/her representative, takes a sample flag (attached to a toothpick, see Set-up and supplying the core l and sampling area section) and places it in the working half core material. (Figure 46).  Flagging for shipboard analyses (e.g. XRD, CARB, TSB, etc.) needs to be done too.  Often the responsibility for flagging these samples falls by the wayside. It is the Curatorial Specialist’s job to ensure that these samples get flagged.  If you notice that all requested shipboard analysis samples are not being taken, ask the Staff Scientist to assign the task to someone. Often a good choice is one of the sedimentologists on watch.

Figure 47. Flagging the core samples

  1. Data entry into One scientist on shift (or an available technician) stands in front of the core and calls out the sampling information (usually going down the length of the core one section at a time. The other scientist enters the data into Sample Master. It is good practice to enter sample data one section at a time.

Print labels and trackingCheck if the bar-coded labels are printed properly.  If there are mistakes, ask the scientists to notify you or the ALO on duty to correct mistakes and reprint the label. If it is an entry to be deleted, ask them to write ‘delete’ on the label and post it on a clipboard near the core entry or sample station. The incorrect sample entries are then deleted by the curator or on shift ALO.

  1. Labeling the bags - Peel and stick all labels to sample bags, keeping things in order by

  1. Remove samples from First crosscheck – This is a two person job. To reassure that the sample interval correspond exactly to the one being recorded in LIMS, check each sample removed against the corresponding labeled bag.  This check is the single most important step in sampling, because at this point the exact identity of the sample is known with complete certainty. Confirm that the sample location matches the sample ID marked in the bag. Finally seal and place the sample bag in the properly marked sample bin.

Note:  It is important to double-bag any samples to be frozen because the labels do not always stick to the plastic bags when stored in freezing conditions. It may also be necessary for muddy material, if the bag does not seal completely.

  1. Second crosscheck - After all of the samples have been taken, a second check should be Are there any flags still standing?  This indicates that a sample may have been mistakenly omitted from the database.  Or are there labeled bags leftover?  This indicates that a sample was not taken. An investigator may retract of taking some material already entered into LIMS, and simply forget to tell the samplers in watch that he/she withdrew his/her flag).

  1. Plugging the holes - After all sampling is completed the holes and voids left behind are filled with ethafoam sample plugs, available in 5cc (1/2”diameter) and 10cc (1”diameter). Quarters or slices of IODP standard 2.5” diameter ethafoam rod can be cut to fill odd shaped In cases that more than half of the working half core has been taken, after the approval of the IODP Curator, mark the dedicated interval with ‘depleted’ using a permanent marker or using a tape in the top of the ethafoam.

Interstitial Water Subsamples


Some IODP recovered materials (usually pore-water) are assigned codes based on their origin. These are not always core samples per se; sometimes they constitute material that is archived separate from the core. Nevertheless, they are entered in the LIMS Sample database and thus require a sample code. Here are some standard interstitial water subsamples from sediment whole rounds:

IWP(#)                                    interstitial water stored in plastic IWPA                        acidified interstitial water stored in plastic IWS     sediment squeeze cakes

#  Denotes container/squeeze number if excess is squeezed and/or indicates which investigator received the sample

Scientists request personal samples from the routine IW samples as well as other materials recovered by special tools. These personal samples should be assigned a hybrid code that consists of: the first two letters ’IW’, followed by a third letter that indicates the type of sample (‘S’ for squeeze cake, ’P’ for water stored in plastic, G for glass ampoule, etc.), and a fourth letter indicating the last name of the scientist.  For example, Miriam Kastner might take 10ml splits of the IW water stored in a glass ampoule.  The sample code would then be IWGK.

Rhizon Sampling


Rhizon sampling for pore waters have become more common since 2009. Rhizon samplers extract small volumes of pore water from sediment cores without removing entire whole round pieces of core material (i.e. traditional whole round IW sampling). Sometimes holes are pre- drilled in the end caps so the Rhizon sampler can be inserted in the bottom of the section.

Another method used is drilling holes down along the split line at desired intervals and offsets (Figure 48).

Figure 48. Example of scientist collecting IW through rhizon sampling.

Water Samples collected during logging tool runs


There have been times where scientists have requested water samples to be collected during logging runs. For detailed descriptions of special tools, refer to Technical Report #31, Overview of Ocean Drilling Program Engineering Tools and Hardware. A web version is available at  Here are the naming conventions for water derived from logging tool runs.

Kuster tool


Packer subsamples




PPA#            Acidified packer water stored in plastic

RFT tool








Fissler Tool Runs



When tools are run only once in the hole, the sample can be uniquely identified by their corresponding core number; a run # isn't necessary.  If multiple runs of the tool in the same cored interval should occur (revisiting 504B for example), then a run number must be designated in the record, otherwise samples receive the same ID.  Note the run number in the Comment Field in JANUS Sample.  By using the above codes, there are still plenty of characters available for both investigator and multiple splits. In the few cases where there is only one character field left,  enter the split and the run # both in the comment field.

A depth interval must also be assigned. The WSTP penetrates from 0-50cm into the first section of the next core. The Fissler Tool penetrates from 0-100cm. A comment in JANUS Core should also be made to indicate which sections were disturbed by the tool’s probe.

The Los Alamos Water Sampler


The Los Alamos Water Sampler is an unusual logging tool that samples water from different locations in the borehole.  Because there are no core numbers to coincide with the actual sample depth, the following convention has been devised to enter the sample data into JANUS Sample so it will make sense.

Sample Codes:

The Pressure Core Sampler


The pressure core sampler (PCS) can recover gas, liquid, and solid samples (Figure 49). Gas samples are not easily archived in a useful condition for scientific purposes.  Gas samples (and clathrates) may be consumed by scientists who have an approved sample request.  The liquid samples that are recovered by the PCS are categorized into the same Interstitial Water (IW) sampling program.  Any solids recovered in the PCS are sampled under the IODP sampling policy.

Figure 49. Pressure core barrel staying in ice container

PCS samples are labeled as follows:

Gas Hydrates


Gas hydrate are ice-like solids in which water molecules trap gas molecules in structure that resemble a cage known as a clathrate (Figure 50).


Figure 50. Clathrate Examples

The location of a clathrate sample in a whole core can often be detected with the use of an infrared camera (Figure 51).

Figure 51. Infrared Camera for detecting clathrates

Use the following sample codes for gas hydrates:

Smear Slides


Smear slides are used for core description and biostratigraphic age dating.  Smear slides made for description are typically archived at the repository. Smear slide data is recorded in LIMS by core describers.  They appear in the sample database as Type: SS, Test: SED.  Smear slides are considered residues and as such, they can be distributed to scientists who request them at the end of a cruise.  Any remaining slides should be sent with an inventory to the repository.   Smear slides should be stored sideways in plastic slide boxes for shipment to scientist or a repository.

The plastic boxes should then be secured with filament tape and bubble wrap.



Residues are any residual material derived from the processing and/or analysis of a sample.  If a sample is returned unprocessed and not analyzed, it is considered a "pristine residue".

All IODP residues must be identified with the standard Expedition/Site/Hole/Core/Core Type/Section/Interval identifier.  If a residue's parent sample was taken using the Sample Master Database program, the sample type used to identify the parent sample is usually used to identify its daughter residue(s).  Samples are taken from IODP cores in order to support studies identified in investigator-submitted sample requests and/or for standard IODP shipboard analyses.

Samples taken on the ship for routine IODP shipboard analysis and the sample types that have traditionally been assigned to them are listed in the Observer/Sample Type section of the cookbook.

Distribution of Residues


Followed by the Co-chief approval, residues that are generated on the ship from standard IODP shipboard analyses may be redistributed to investigators on the ship.  They also can be transferred from one investigator to another. If the residues are to be processed/analyzed as part of the same study described in an investigator's approved shipboard sample request, residues are then included as part of that request. If the residues are to be used for a new and different study, the investigator must submit a new sample request.  Volumetric and quantitative sampling restrictions apply to these residues in the same manner as all IODP samples.

Procedure for Residues Handling Aboard Ship


Compile inventory lists of all end-product residues generated from standard IODP shipboard analyses that are to be shipped back to an IODP Repository and include these in the RESIDUE section of the Curatorial Report.  Residues that are consumed during shipboard analyses or that are used for additional shipboard analyses should also be noted in the Comments field of SAMPLE and included in these lists.

Sampling Guidelines for hard rock


Core Section 360o image analysis


The 360o images are taken from the outer surface of the core using the SHIL (Figure XX1) that generally is used for for section-half surfaces. This system was developed at IODP-Texas A&M University. The main element of this system is an aluminum frame that can simultaneously hold the cylindrical pieces of a single core section and rotate them in 90° increments (Figure xx2).

Four images of the core surface are later processed to simulate a continuous image of the unrolled 360° surface.

FigureXX. 360 Core Image

Figure XX2. Aluminum frame used for holding whole-round core pieces for imaging, Expedition 345. View of one end of the frame, with one of the four bracing strips removed, as would be the case while imaging the outer core surface.

The process for generating the simulated unrolled image includes the following steps:

  1. The vertically oriented pieces for a single section are placed at their curated-relative depths within the aluminum frame, with two of the aluminum strips in place to hold the core and two removed for
  2. After the frame is moved to the SHIL, three of the aluminum strips secure the core surface and one is removed to allow
  3. After imaging one surface, the aluminum strip is replaced, the section is turned 90°, and the next strip is removed to allow

This process is repeated to generate four images. The individual images are automatically uploaded to the LIMS database. The imaging specialist then downloads the images, aligns them visually, labels them by section, and makes them available to the science party.

Hard Rock Core Handling


When a hard rock (igneous or metamorphic) core arrives on deck, the liner is placed on the catwalk core holders by the Laboratory Specialists. If hard rock pieces are scattered along the length of the liner, the upper end is raised slightly to shunt the pieces to the lower end to provide a more accurate recovery measurement.  The sections are then measured starting at the bottom of the recovered material and working backwards (i.e. toward the top of the core).   Label sections in the correct order. The last section (i.e. Section 1) may be a very full section or it may only

contain a small amount of material. Estimate if you’ll need additional empty liners to give you extra space ‘to curate’ the core. To ‘curate’” a hard rock core means to add dividers between non-contiguous rock pieces. ‘Curation’ usually expands the length of a core. Once all the sections are numbered, measure the recovered rock inside the liner to get the total recovery.

Unlike sediment cores, hard rock cores do not always break at 1.5 meters. They are sectioned at fractures or other natural breaks as close to 1.5 m intervals as possible. Sometimes, pieces longer than 1.5 meters are recovered; then it is necessary to break the core with a hammer and chisel with a cutting as homogeneous as possible. Avoid, however, breaking of whole rock pieces.

Sometimes it is feasible to leave a long continuous piece sticking out of the original liner, and measure the full piece of rock. Soon enough it will be removed from this liner, and place into another.

Hard rock sections are carried into the core entry area and then entered into Sample Master and the record saved. The true ‘Curated Length’ will not be correct until the core is fully spaced-out (i.e. curated). Label and engrave an extra liner or two in case material needs to be transferred to the next section above.  Note that when working with hard rock, it is always helpful to have a plentiful supply of pre-cleaned and pre-split core liners on hand.  The core is brought to the splitting room where the liner of the first uncurated section of core is split on the core splitter with the wire removed.  During Phase II there have been many problems with the core splitter blade breaking during this step. To avoid this, the rock material is shaken out (from bottom to top) into the new scribed/labeled split liner. Starting from the bottom, mark with a china red wax the bottom of every oriented piece of the sections that is too long to have rolled into the liner.

The Physical Property Specialist may then select intervals to be sampled for sonic velocity and GRAPE measurements. The sonic velocity sample, also used for wet-bulk density and water content measurements, is taken before the cores begin to dry out.  This sample is stored in seawater for an hour to stabilize the temperature. Pieces of whole core chosen for physical properties sampling are marked by the sides with orientation arrows that point to the top of the section. Temporary Styrofoam placeholders of the same length are put in place of any removed pieces.  Both the removed pieces and the placeholders are given temporary labels indicating their position in the section.

With the help of the igneous petrologist or structural geologist (or both), broken or beveled rock pieces that have recognizable features (e.g. foliation directions, connecting veins) are aligned from piece to piece and fitted together (Figure 52). Ask the inspecting scientist(s) to mark a splitting line on the rock pieces (Figure 53). Sub-pieces that fit together should have hatch marks draw to help maintain connections between sub-pieces when cutting on the rock saw (Figure 54). Hard rock pieces which do not fit together are separated from each other in the core liner by IODP dividers.  Next, the dividers are acetoned (or sonic welded) in the split and labeled liners to match the spacing in the original liner. Once the pieces in each section are spaced out and the dividers attached, measure the curated length. Bin and piece lengths are recorded and uploaded into LIMS via Sample Master. Recalculate depths and print and distribute the Core Tracking Sheets and d-tube labels.

Figure 52. Piecing together hard rock

Figure 53. Hard rock ready for splitting line

Figure 54. Hard rock core with hatch marks

When split of hard rock core pieces is necessary, the process is made on the Felker saw in the splitting room. Cut the pieces along the splitting line marked by the structural Geologist or petrologist (Figure 55 and Figure 56).  Sometimes the supersaw is used to cut long, solid pieces that do not fit on the Felker saw. Similarly, a series of long pieces may be more conveniently cut on the Supersaw.

Before making any cuts, check again if the bottoms of all oriented pieces are marked with red wax pencil. Ideally, pieces are split symmetrically considering any contacts, veins or other special features, in a way to preserve part of the feature in each core half. This may not always be possible however, because cores should also be aligned based on structural trends.  Pieces which fit together or which have contiguous features are split along a single line drawn throughout all the pieces. Shattered rock that can be pieced together by hand may be held together with masking tape or shrink tubing and cut as one unit.


Figure 55. Rock saws


Figure 56. Hard rock split and ready for labels

Once split, the hard rock core pieces are returned to their respective liners and set flat side down.  They can then be air dried, dried with a heat gun (the heating element in the 'off' position), with compressed air or most commonly, using two small fans. Applying direct heat to the core can alter products and demagnetize the rocks. Therefore, always get the approval from the science party before turning on a heat gun, even though the heating element is in the off position.

All hard rock pieces are labeled with the IODP standard identifier (See Section IODP Core Naming). The labels are written using the hand held Brady labeling machine (Figure 57). Labels are affixed with epoxy resin parallel to the cut face midway between the bottom and the cut edge of the left side of the core. The result should be a label that it reads parallel to the lines of writing and with the orientation arrow pointing towards the top of the core (Figure 58). The label is then covered with more epoxy so it is completely sealed. The use of too much epoxy may cause drips and contaminate the surface of the core.  Finally, the pieces are rotated in the liner so that the split side faces up.  All oriented pieces should have arrows pointing “UP” core.  If there is any question whether a piece is oriented or not, do not put an arrow. As a general guideline, any unattached piece that is smaller than 6cm is probably not oriented.


Figure 57. Brady Printer for hard rock labeling

Figure 58. Gluing hard rock labels

Each piece should be numbered consecutively from the top to the bottom of the section.  Every section should begin with piece number 1, even if continuity is observed between sections.  Sub- pieces (i.e., the pieces which fit together between liner dividers to collectively form a completed piece), should be named in alphabetical order from the top to the bottom of the piece. In other words, when the CUT FACE of the WORKING HALF is facing up, the sub-piece to the right, relative to the stratigraphic top of the section, is the sub-piece A.

When it is not possible or desirable to glue labels to the actual pieces, the label should be affixed to the right side of the core liner. Some of the cases are:

  • Pieces which are too small to label (Figure 59 )
  • Rollers and rubble that, for convenience, are curated as one "piece", between two liner
  • Pieces which, if removed for labeling, would disturb the core (e.g., sediment basement contact which have been shrink-wrapped together, volcaniclastics interbedded with basalts).
  • Pieces very porous and wet in which an epoxied label will not


Figure 59. Examples of small hard rock samples that are labeled on the right side of the core liner because of their size.

Whenever possible, sections should be divided between pieces. Remember that curated section lengths may be shorter that the average 150cm length, however, the cut-liner should remain 150cm with the label ‘EMPTY’ written in the space left at the bottom of the sections.

Hard rock cores should be curated in a way that assigned piece and sub-piece numbers are the same in both the archive and working halves. If individual pieces break into sub pieces on both the working and archive half sides, then a letter is assigned to differentiate each sub-piece. If there is one piece in the archive half that has respectively broken into two pieces in the working

half, then, each unit in the working half would be assigned a single piece number (e.g. 1a, 1b, 1c…). Note that in this case, sub-piece letters are not assigned) (Figure 60).


Figure 60. Example of hard rock labeling

Hard rocks are sampled in a one fell swoop during the ‘sample party’, therefore do not box the working halves like you normally would. After enough cores accumulate, lay them out in the   . Marine Specialists will assist the Curator while drilling, sawing, labeling and bagging the samples. Both working and archive half sections must be shrink-wrapped prior to send them to the refrigerator. This ensures the pieces do not fall down or are damaged in transit.

Hard Rock Core Sampling


Once the archive halves of a core are described, samples can be selected and taken from the working halves shipboard analyses including paleomagnetism (mini-cores and cubes), physical properties (chips and cubes), geochemistry (XRD and ICP quarter core) and petrography (thin section billets, see next section for specific instructions).  Whenever possible, a cube can be shared for both paleomagnetism and physical properties description and analysis. In order for the pycnometer to work for physical properties, sample the test MADC is assigned to the cube. The container ID will be 1 for all samples.

  1. Sampling from routine assigned intervals using colored Guided by the whiteboard plan the routine assigned intervals need to be sampled. Different core description groups (e.g. Igneous Petrologists, Structural Geologists, Geochemists) place colored dots on the core material (or liner adjacent to the interval) they wish to sample.

Mark the samples with a wax pencil on the core (preferably in three dimensions)is also a great help to the technicians in charge of taking the samples.  All thin section requests should be accompanied by a corresponding thin section form that is filled out by the requesting scientist. This is applicable for high and low-resolution sampling for assigned intervals.

  1. Cutting samples with sample tubes, spatulas or Once the samples are flagged or dotted/marked, the sampling team of scientists insert sample tubes and technicians cut samples (with a spatula, chisel or rock saw) at the designated intervals. Once cutting is finished, samples should stay in place or be put back in their original position.

Although the responsibility of cutting the shipboard is flexible, the Curator should always follow the process closely. Sometimes, depending on the preferences, core recovery rate and experience of the Co-Chiefs and Staff Scientists, the Curatorial Marine Specialist may be asked to cut all shipboard samples while on shift, or perhaps, once a day.  On other cruises, shift scientists may be assigned the task of cutting hard rock shipboard samples as the cores are split and described. Note that personal sampling should not be done at this point.

Frequently, pieces and sub-pieces in the working halves are broken or cut into smaller pieces.  Of primary importance for shipping and long term repository preservation is to insert fitting ethafoam spacers in sampling voids properly. If there is sufficient time, pieces larger than 15cm3 (about the size of a mini-core) can be re-labeled. If time is limited, it is highly desirable to re- label oriented pieces so they do not get turned upside down after sampling.

After the cores have been described and sampled for shipboard analysis, the working halves are stored in d-tubes and racked in the Core Laboratory to await a sampling party for personal studies.

  1. Data entry into After all of the samples have been cut, sample information is entered into Sample Master. One technician cut the samples. The other technician records sample information on a printed sample sheet and next in the Sample Master. It is good practice to enter sample data one section at a time.

Thin Section Management


Scientists wishing to have a thin section made must first fill-out a Thin Section Request form. The Curatorial Specialist will then cut the billet and place it in the sample bin labeled TSB (Test for thin section billet) along with a completed and signed request form.  The curator usually uploads all TSB data into LIMS. The Thin Section Laboratory Specialist usually pick up fresh cut TSBs daily for processing in the Thin section laboratory (Figure 61).  Special instructions for orientation, impregnation, or other procedures are written on the thin section request form.

Unless otherwise requested, thin sections are polished and cover slips are not applied. A major objective of this procedure is to have a complete collection of sections ready for microprobe

analysis on shore.  Thin sections are returned to the Curatorial Specialist at the end of the cruise, but are available post-cruise by shipboard scientists from IODP/TAMU if requested.


Figure 61. Thin Section Laboratory

While cutting thin sections billets and recording data in LIMS, check the following:

  • Keep a supply of blank ‘Thin Section Request’ forms available at the sample

  • Billets should be properly labeled and marked with an orientation arrow if an oriented slide is

  • Standard thin section billets should be no larger than 1.5cm x 5cm in order to fit on a standard slide without being trimmed. Keep a plastic demonstration block attached to the rock saw for the scientists to use as a reference when cutting billets.

  • Cut thin section billets thick enough with the purpose of extracting two thin sections from the same These thin sections will be either a second shipboard copy in case the first slide is spoiled; a personal sample by a shipboard scientist at the end of the cruise; or an archive copy at the repository.

  • Make the saw cuts as cleanly as possible with the two faces parallel to each

  • The interval in the database (i.e. the label) and the interval on the handwritten request form should match

  • Piece and sub-piece should be recorded in LIMS for all hard rock thin section billets.

  • All billets for shipboard description should have the type and test TSB, never the requester’s personal sample

Well cut billets will result in faster and higher quality work by the thin section technician.  This way, less material is lost in lapping to a bonding surface and will allow even distribution of pressure during bonding. Exceptionally, oversized slides may be made from large faced samples in special circumstances (e.g. when crystal size is very large).

The average capacity of the thin section laboratory is 12 slides per 12 hour shift or six oversized slides. Typically, only one technician will be available to make thin sections and it is possible that he/she will be responsible for other laboratory functions (e.g. Core Laboratory and down- hole) as well. Please be especially aware of backlogs and time constraints towards the end of the expedition.  The time between receiving the requests and finishing the slides generally range from 1 to 3 days.  It can be longer if the billet requires special treatment (e.g. impregnation).

When the thin section is complete, the technician will put it in a slide case that remains in the petrology laboratory accessible to the scientists until the end of the expedition.  The curator maintains a labeling system inside the case.

End of Cruise Thin Section Requests


All thin sections are the property of the IODP.  Shipboard scientists may request to borrow thin sections at the end of the expedition as a part of a new- or pre-existing sample request. All slides, however, must first be sent to the IODP Shipboard Curator for cataloging. The Shipboard Curator will send the thin sections to the proper repository. Only after that, the repository will disperse the approved thin sections to requesting scientists.  The shipboard curator should provide the repository with the disbursement schedule for all thin sections. That is: where they go, how long the requestor should have them, and if they then need to be forwarded to another requestor upon return.

It is useful to send an email to the scientists at the end of expedition with an attached up-to-date ‘Thin Section Inventory, asking them to decide which thin sections they would like to request post-cruise.  Include your final updated ‘Thin Section Distribution’ list in the Action Items in the Curatorial Notebook. This facilitates sending thin sections to scientists as soon as they are cataloged at the repository.

Entering Thin Section Slides into the Sample Database via Sample Master


When the Thin Section Slides (Laboratory Code TS) data is entered into the sample database, a permanently archived is created for use on shore. Before starting, cross check your TSB data against the information written in the Thin Section logbook and on the thin section slides.  All TSB records should match the TS technician’s slides and vice versa.

The Thin Section Technician should first give them to the curator once they have been made.

Next, the curator enters each slide in the Sample Master system. Thin section slides are entered as “children” of the TSB. The following is an example of the parent child scheme for entering thin sections (Figure 62):

Exp-Site-Core/Type-Section-Section Half (A/W) Interval-Name 335-U1256-236R-1-W 0/4-TSB_Piece1

Choose Type: TS, Tool Name: SAW_ROCK, TEST: TS, Name: TS_#


Figure 62. Example of the parent child scheme for entering thin sections in the Sample Master

Shipboard Sampling Parties


During the sample party, scientists mark their desired sample interval with wax pencil (or masking tape if necessary) on those materials and  el the sample with an “Avery” dot  with their respective code (Figure 63 and Figure 64).

Materials available for personal samples include both working halves and residues of shipboard samples that have already been analyzed. If the number of sampling requests is focalized in one specific area as a result of low recovery or the presence of a critical interval (i.e. glass), the scientists should make a mark in the specific section where they propose to sample on a “Post- It”. This label should be placed next to the piece they wish to sample (Figure 65). This way, as other scientists add their choices, conflicts are quickly seen and can be resolved more easily.

Figure 63. Example of hard rock sample party stickers.

Figure 64. Example of hard rock sample party

Figure 65. Example of a heavily requested set of hard rock cores

After all the samples have been chosen, the members of the SAC go over the proposed samples sorting out any conflicts as they go through the cores. The Scientists are then required to fill out sample sheets detailing the sampling that has been approved. The Curatorial Specialist, with the help of marine technicians, cuts the samples using the two rock saws, the parallel saw, and one drill presse.  Asking the shipboard paleomagnetist(s) to assist with cutting cubes and minicores is acceptable, especially if the number of samples is great and time is short.

Pieces containing glass or other rare materials should be cut on the rock saw or the tabletop Varicut saw using a thin-blade.  Any glass fragments or other materials that break off should be stored in the working half with the sample using a labeled bag or pop-top vial.  Be sure to mark an “UP” arrow on oriented samples with a red china marker or a scribe.

Sample information is entered into Sample Master (including piece and sub-piece), bagged and carefully sealed.  The unused portion of the core is returned to the liner in its proper place and orientation.

Pieces and sub-pieces in the working halves that are broken or cut into smaller pieces during sampling require special curatorial attention. Of primary importance for shipping and long term repository preservation is to insert properly fitting ethafoam spacers in sampling voids. If there is sufficient time, pieces larger than 15 cm3 in volume (about the size of a minicore plug) can be re- labeled.  If time is limited, only re-label oriented pieces to ensure they are turned upside up after sampling.

Both working and archive sections must be shrunk with shrink wrap before they are directed to the core storage refrigerator. This ensures the pieces do not roll around or become damaged in transit.

The core storage system


Split cores are stored permanently in white plastic d-tubes.  Archive and working halves are distinguished by the color of their end caps. Working halves have black end caps while archives halves have red end caps. Working and archive halves are stored in separate boxes, on opposite sides in the ship core refrigerator.

After finishing sampling and describing of the cores, each section should be stored in a tube, putting attention that the bottom of the core is first. Close the d-tube with an end cap of correct color. Even if it is possible to fit multiple short sections in one d-tube, only one section goes inside of a d-tube. The only exception is the last section and the core catcher.

When storing the core catcher and last section together, put the core catcher into the d-tube first, making it be behind the section. If together, core catcher and last section length is less than 150cm, the Core Tracking Sheet will ask you to store both in one d-tube. Always check that the physical storage is consistent with the Core Tracking Report, and that the working and archive

halves are stored in exactly the same manner.  If you discover inconsistencies with LIMS or between archive and working halves after cores are boxed and you are not able to fix them, be sure to make a note for the repository Superintendent of the repository where the cores will be sent.

Labeling D-Tubes


Label by hand the top of each d-tube with a permanent marker using black for working halves and red for archive halves.  The label runs the length of the tube, reading:  EXPEDITION- SITE/HOLE-CORE/CORETYPE-SECTION à W (or A) with the arrow pointing to the top of the section toward the end cap (Figure 66).  Put one bar-coded core label (Figure 18) at the open end of the d-tube and a second bar-coded label on the end cap.

Figure 66. D-tube labeling by hand

Colored dots are used on d-tubes to indicate the following situations:

Dot Color

How to Interpret


entirely igneous or metamorphic section; blue color signifies no sponge

red glow

critical intervals


temporary dot used on ship to let photographer know that a close-up is being requested

Other dots are used on the beach, at the repositories


Permanent archive sections


APC (referred to as HPC, Hydraulic Piston Corer) sections recovered during last years of DSDP

green glow

“Geriatric cores” cores used in a core aging study (so-called “geriatric study”) back at the repositories


no sponge - expanding core

Also, yellow pre-printed IODP “caution” stickers in the end caps mark sections in which something unusual happened.  In addition to the caution label, it’s always helpful to write a brief

handwritten message on the top of the d-tube explaining what happened.  The message must be easily understood by the repository staff or visiting scientists a repository.  For example, if a section was dropped and aligning the pieces in the original position was not possible, write: "section dropped; 0-28cm out of order and not oriented".  In the same way, include these comments in Sample Master System.

General Guide to Core Boxing


Try to keep cores in the laboratory as long as possible before boxing to allow each crew of scientists the chance to view and/or sample material that came up while off shift.  When the core storage in the laboratory is full, sections are boxed and moved to the core refrigerator.  It is one of the Curatorial Specialist responsibilities to monitor core flow out of the laboratory. Talk to the Staff Scientist and science party to know when they will finish the work with specific cores. Let the other technicians know what cores should and should not be boxed. Develop a workable system to minimize conflict and maximize useful work.

Core Box Inventory forms are used to track the movement of boxed sections.  Keep one clipboard of blank forms for working halves and another for archive halves in the Core   . Update these forms whenever cores are boxed. Always use a black pen for working half forms and a red pen for archive half forms to differentiate them. These steps are important because in this way you can easily find needed sections later in the expedition and the unboxing at the repository is simplified   (Figure 67).  Whenever possible, the handwritten information should also be transferred to an Excel spreadsheet and stored on the curator’s laptop and on the ship server.  This form facilitates the job of unloading the cores at the repository. Form-versions of these spreadsheets are kept on the hard drive on the curator’s laptop.


Figure 67. Back at the core repository

At the end of the expedition, provide copies of the core box inventory to the Laboratory Officer/Assistant Laboratory Officer, the on-coming Curatorial Specialist, the Curator’s copy of the Curatorial Notebook (original handwritten inventory) and the repository’s copy of the Curatorial Notebook.

Finally, one copy of the core box inventory form should be attached and taped to one of the core box before shipped.

Since d-tubes in the laboratory are reopened frequently to have second look at cores, taping of the end caps should be done just before the cores are ready to be boxed.  When ready to box, seal the d-tubes with archival quality polyethylene tape (3M brand is preferable), extending the tape from the top to the bottom of the d-tube, covering both computer labels. Get a four-wheeled cart to stack the core boxes on as you are packing them and to transport the full core boxes to the  core refrigerator.  D-tubes are placed in wax core boxes that hold 10 sections (Figure 68).  When you have 4-8 full core boxes stacked on the cart, take them to the core refrigerator for storage until the end of the cruise.


Figure 68. MLS boxing core

Core Boxing Instructions


Instructions for properly assembling, packing, marking, and closing core boxes follow.  Copies of these instructions should remain posted at both ends of the core laboratory.

Fold rear of box and insert cores in a way that the lowest core/section number is in the upper left, and the highest core/section number is in the lower right (Figure 69). It is easier to fill the box by starting in the lower right with the highest core/section number and working backwards to the upper left. Sometimes, however, it is easier to fold the front of the box and insert the cores top- first into the open rear end of the box, so the top of the section goes inside first.  The lowest core/section number should still be in the upper left and the highest core/section number should be in the lower right.

Figure 69. How to box a core

  1. Record the pertinent data on the Core Box Inventory

  1. Mark boxes containing working halves with a black permanent marker; mark boxes containing archive halves with a red permanent Mark bottom (BOT) at the rear of the box, both on the flap and top surface, and TOP on the front flap and top surface.  At both ends of the box, on the top and flap, write the expedition number and the box number (as listed on the Core Box Inventory) followed by a W or A for working or archive. Circle the core box number and letter (Figure 70).

Figure 70. Example of a core-box end labeling

Core Storage in the Refrigerator


Boxes are stored in the core refrigerator in different places. Working halves are on the port side while archive halves are on the starboard side of the refrigerator.

Be sure to push core boxes as far back into the racks as possible to save space in the expeditions with On an extremely busy expedition, when the core refrigerator is nearly full, talk with the LO about clearing out space in the Hold Refrigerator or the Upper Tween landing area to fit adequately all the cores.

Re-sampling and re-describing cores

Re-sampling cores that already are stored can occurs but try to minimize it by keeping the cores accessible in the Core                                       racks as long as necessary and possible.                                       Scientists wishing to re- describe or re-sample boxed cores must get approval from the Staff Scientist and then contact the Curatorial Specialist who determines when, where and how the activity is to be undertaken.  The more core boxes are opened and re-stapled, the more they begin to resemble soggy graham crackers. This weakens the boxes and obscures their labels. Curatorial Specialist

Investigators wishing to access boxed cores may be asked to do the legwork themselves, after consulting with the Curatorial Specialist. The investigators retrieve the desired material and then pack, staple, and shelve the boxes just as they found them or this can be done by the Curatorial Specialist and a few techs, whatever method works best. Depending on the number of    samples, sections, boxes, etc., the actual re-sampling and re-describing may be done in the refrigerator itself.  Sample IDs can be recorded by hand on the sample bags and the data should be entered later at the Sample Master sampling station upstairs.  An alternate method used on Phase II is to set up the mobile sample table (Figure), a hard shell (Augmentix) laptop, and a Zebra printer in the reefer for sampling. Sometimes, especially during drilling breaks or transits, it is easier to take the cores back to the laboratory.

For safety reasons the old staples should be removed prior to re-stapling.  Old staples have caused scrapes and cuts. Keep a pair of needle nosed pliers in the refrigerator for this purpose. Toward the end of the cruise, it is generally not possible to access boxed cores. The final date for re-sampling and re-describing will be included in the "End-of-the-Cruise" schedule devised and distributed by the Laboratory Officer. The Curatorial Specialist should inform the Co- Chiefs and scientists that after this final date, re-sampling and re-describing will need to be performed at the repository.

Between sites

Between site tasks for the Curatorial Specialist include:


  • Clean up and restocking the laboratory, especially around the sampling

  • Update Excel Core Box

  • Make corrections to the sample database using Sample

  • Box and bag all the previous site's samples and take them to the On busy cruises, it is a good idea to keep those samples in the Hold Refrigerator to maximize space for the next core boxes loading.

  • Prepare the sampling plan for the next

  • Cross check the core photos with Sample Master curated lengths to make sure they Make updates in Sample Master as necessary and recalculate depths for those particular holes.

End of expedition activities  Final Curatorial Report

The compilation of all documents reporting events, problems and activities of a cruise is used post-cruise by the Curator and repository staff. All this information is stored electronically in the Curator folder on the shipboard server VOL1(\\JR1)(T:). It is also sent electronically via email to the Repository Superintendent and the Curator.

Contents of the Curatorial Final Report


The contents of the Curatorial Final Report will vary according to the cruise.  Nevertheless, certain documentation is nearly always required. Add any other information you think may be useful.

  1. Participant list - You can get a copy from the

  1. Curatorial Report - (see next section for further details).

  1. Action items – This section is for the Curator or Repository Superintendent. Include all new requests, instructions for redistribution of shipboard residues or thin sections, requests for post-cruise samples, anything last minute that the Curator will need to take care of back on the

  1. Pre-Site to Site Conversion - list pre-site numbers with their corresponding IODP site numbers

  1. Request#/Sample Code/Approval Status List/Sample Totals – There is no web report that combines all of this You can prepare this in Excel by combining several of the available web reports.

  1. Core Box Inventory Forms - Put one Excel copy in each The original handwritten copies should go in the Curator’s notebook.

  1. Thin Sections – Thin section billet (Laboratory Code TSB) inventory and thin section slide ( Type and Test TS) inventory with Curatorial Specialist’s updates (e.g. slide #). Web Tabular search: Type=TS, export to excel, make sure it is in the proper order, and nicely

  1. Smear Slide Inventory – prepare in (Web Tabular search: Type=SS, export to Excel)

  1. Residues and Redistributed Samples: memo describing distribution information of all shipboard samples, smear slides, and samples being returned to the

  1. Memos/emails - any information of interest relating to curation and requests from the

  1. Correspondence with the shore-based scientists.

  1. Curatorial Cookbook Changes/Updates - Ensure that changes are incorporated both on the ship and on the Please provide hard copies of these changes in the Curatorial Notebook as well as an electronic copy. The changes should be italicized and bold to reflect the additions or deletes.

  1. Sample Requests- You may need to put the requests in a separate Group them by request number in the following categories:

  1. New Requests

  1. Accepted

  1. Modified requests - clearly mark the request and document all changes on the request and in the action items list if anything more is required on

  1. Deferred/Partially Deferred Requests - list the samples which are to be sampled on the beach on a sample request inventory form, or alternatively specify the site, hole, section, interval where sampling should begin and end. For Decision deferred, explain what co-

Chiefs intend to do with the request post-cruise

  1. Rejected/Withdrawn Requests - include the Co-chiefs’ statement of why a request was rejected

Curatorial report


At the end of the expedition, the curatorial report is read by the Laboratory Officer in order to prepare the end-of-expedition Technical Report. Also, the document alerts the Curator and repository staff about any post-cruise sample request action that needs to be taken. At the same time, the on-coming Curatorial Specialist can learn about new procedures and equipment changes reading the curatorial report.

The Curatorial Report is sent electronically via email to the Curator, and Repository Superintendent. An electronic copy is also sent to the Laboratory Officer, or place in their folder on the ship server in the format requested by them. Put an electronic in the Curator folder on the ship server (VOL1(\\JR1)(T:)Curator. Provide a copy for the oncoming Curatorial Specialist as well.

Include the topics below in your Curatorial Report. Within each area, be sure to discuss any exceptional differences from standard procedures. Of course, adjust the contents as appropriate.

  • Summary – this might include a very brief statement on the locality and general cruise

  • Sample Totals – The Laboratory Officer will be looking for this
  • Shipments – Core – The Laboratory Officer will also be looking for this
  • Shipments – Sample, Express, Hand Carried, Frozen, Refrigerated
  • Emailed Files – a list of emailed files that were sent to the Curator and receiving repository Superintendent at the end of the
  • Action Items
  • Thin Sections
  • Smear Slides
  • Residue Distribution
  • Special Projects, which might include the following:

  1. Unusual sample requests

  1. Curatorial Policies/Procedures: include information about cores, including any oddities important in core racking

  1. Computing Hardware and Software

  1. Curatorial Cookbook: copies and explanations of all changes made during the

  1. Action Items

  1. Mention any special projects you attempted/completed during the cruise

  • Problems Encountered - Note any problems with equipment, supplies or anything

End of expedition paperwork


End of Expedition Email Files

As of Leg 208, essential end-of-expedition curatorial files should be emailed as attachments to the Curator and to the Superintendent of the repository that is receiving the cores.  In summary, the following documents should be sent by email to the curator and to the core receiving repository:

  • Sample shipment,
  • Core box inventory,
  • Thin section inventory and
  • Curatorial report with action

Clean up


After all the cores have been boxed and stored, start with the cleaning up the curatorial work areas. You should first insure that all sample material has been removed from the core laboratory and packed in the appropriate boxes.

Smear slides should be gathered up, placed in labeled cardboard trays and packed securely for shipping. Likewise, gather up all thin sections and take an inventory to make sure none are missing.


Sample bins should be emptied and cleaned. Check behind bins on the floor for any stray samples. Make sure that all samples have been removed from the laboratories on the Foc'sle Deck.

Packing Samples


The investigators' sample bins hold about 100 samples. As the bins fill, the sample bags should be packed into personal boxes labeled with the appropriate sample codes.  Before transferring the samples from the bins, check that each bag is sealed securely and labeled properly.  Bag sealers are not reliable. Therefore, you need to check each bag carefully before storing them in boxes. Samples occasionally get tossed into the wrong bins in the flurry of sampling activity.

Inspection of sample bin contents also allows you to check that sufficient volume is being taken. For all personal samples, each scientist should check the boxes by themselves to ensure that only their samples are contained in their sample box.

Frozen samples are stored in the -20 oC freezer on the port side of the Hold Deck.

You need to work closely with the ALO to arrange a time to wrap foreign air freight, get shipping labels, correct addresses for shore-based scientists and get dry ice in portcall. All frozen sample shipments are coordinated through the IODP Logistics person. As of May 2014 this person is Robert “Mitch” Mitchell.

Core Laboratory Cleanup


After all sample material has been safely packed up for shipment it is time to clean up the Core Laboratory.  The LO will probably assign you specific end of expedition clean up duties.  Pay particular attention to the sampling area. Even if you are not assigned to Core Laboratory cleanup duty, do a preliminary cleanup of tools and equipment. This will avoid curatorial material interfere at the time of the final cleanup.

Re-stock the curatorial area for the oncoming Curatorial Specialist. Make sure the Curatorial Specialist's office on the F Deck is clean and neat. Clear off the bulletin board, remove your personal items from the drawers, and straighten the bookshelves.  You may also cleanup the Curatorial mail account.

Onboard preparation for post-cruise sampling party


Sampling party is referred to personal sampling that happen on shore, after a high recovery paleoceanographic expedition. This is always held at one of the three IODP core repositories around the world. The three repositories are located in Bremen, Germany (Bremen Core Repository), College Station, Texas (Gulf Coast Repository), and Kochi, Japan (Kochi Core Center). The location of the cores depends on where they were drilled. Figure 71 shows the global divisions of the oceans, and the respective repository that houses the core material.

Figure 71. Distribution of scientific ocean drilling cores throughout the world. The geographic area a core is drilled determines what repository the core material will be stored: KCC (Kochi Core Center), GCR (Gulf Coast Repository) or BCR (Bremen Core Repository).

There are many things that you may do to prepare for this. First, try to get as many post-cruise sample requests as you can before the end of the expedition. If possible, ask the scientists to fill out pre-formatted Excel spreadsheets (*.xlsx files) with the details of the samples from each core section they will be requesting.  It is important to instruct them how to properly fill out the spreadsheets. Work with the staff scientist to schedule a deadline for submitting post-cruise

sample requests for the party. The staff scientist should convey this information to the science party.

Second, get copies of the composite section (splice) from the stratigraphic correlator for each site. Make sure there is sufficient overlap from one hole/core to another to avoid gaps. In this way, the Repository staff knows beforehand which sections from which holes need to be pulled, and in what order they will be sampled.

Hints for Conducting a Successful Sampling Party in a Repository


Timing: Scientists should be given sufficient time after receiving core descriptions (Hole Summaries) to formulate detailed sample requests before the party.  Experience from previous successful sampling parties leads us to recommend for sampling parties to be held no sooner than 3-4 months post-cruise. It is becoming more common for the science party to refine the splice by XRF scanning archive halves at a facility on shore.

Dedicated holes: The dedicated intervals should be specifically determined by the time the scientists receive the core descriptions. The scientists and Repository personnel should be made aware of where those intervals are. Any late modifications to the composite depths should be cleared up at least one week before the party so the Repository superintendents will have time to compose the sampling plans.

Deadline: The scientists should be given a realistic, but firm deadline by which time the detailed requests must be completed and turned in. In general, about two weeks to one month prior to the party commencing will be sufficient to review the requests from a curatorial viewpoint.  Late arriving requests will be handled as quickly as possible.  If there is an on-site Curator assigned to the sampling party then late arriving requests can be handled during the party.  Scientists should keep in mind that the BCR is seven hours ahead of IODP/TAMU and it can take up to one day to get the required approvals. Kochi is XXX hours ahead/behind.

The role of the co-Chief and staff scientists: The co-Chief and staff scientists are responsible for the science that will be accomplished on the samples. The final decision on the fate of each sample request, to the extent that it remains within the Sample Distribution Policy guidelines, rests in their hands.  The Co-Chief scientists coordinate with the party attendees and the repository superintendent the selection of the sampling party dates.

The role of the Repository staff: The Repository staff helps the scientists guide their sampling needs. They watch that the sampling stays within curatorial policy, but still giving them what they require for their research.  The design of the sampling plans is based on the approved sample requests. These plans will serve as a guide to the samplers during the party. In the Repository, there will be students available to rack and un-rack the cores.  If the scientists stay at the same hotel, the staff may provide transportation to and from the hotel at the beginning and end of each sampling shift and food and snacks for the sample party as well.

In rare and unusual situations, it may be necessary to take cores on the ship with a plan to have them split on shore. If the cores will be sent to a Repository un-split, it is strongly recommended that you have the core MST’d on the ship.  Local facilities may not be compatible or even available for use with shipboard data.

If cores are sent back un-split then the sampling party must be held early enough so that the cores can be described and photographed for the IR volume.  This would mean that the sampling party must be held prior to the first post-cruise meeting.

How to request samples:  The requests will have to be reviewed prior to the sampling party to ensure that all the high resolution samples (those that exceed sampling policy) are taken from the dedicated intervals.  If a request is to move back and forth between several holes using the composite depth (splice), then, reviewing the requests gets complicated. In this case, Repository staff will request the sample lists two weeks to one month prior to the scheduled party. They use the lists to generate a plan similar to the whiteboard on the ship but much more detailed.  The individual scientist sample lists should be assigned at centimeter level intervals within each section. It is left to the repository staff to determine if there are too many overlaps with samples (i.e. there in not enough physical core material to meet the need of the sample plan).  The Repository staff takes into consideration samples that were taken on the ship in an attempt to obtain intervals that provides continuity of the shipboard intervals.  Assistance from the scientists is graciously accepted.

Level of detail of the sample lists: Specific sample lists down to the section half and centimeter levels are required. It is possible to upload up to 50,000 sample lists into the database for a  single sample party, so it important that specific sample lists are submitted by the investigator.

In addition, if a request moves back and forth between different holes, handling become becomes complicated because it would be necessary to move sampling back and forth across the splice (composite depth). In order for us to make up the sampling plan, each scientist will have to word their request in the following example terms: I want samples at 10 cm intervals (15 cm3 in size) from the Pleistocene through the Miocene in Site 976. At the same time the scientist should attach a sample list that states where they want the samples taken within the composite depth.

See example below:

Samples will be shipped via FedEx within the continent where the Repository resides.

Travel arrangements: Scientists need to notify the IODP-USIO travel coordinator (Kathy Bass as of May, 2014) of their plans.




Job description –  Curatorial marine specialist


TAMU TITLE: Research Assistant IODP TITLE:  Curatorial Specialist

Scope and responsibility

Function: The role of Curation within IODP is: (a) to promote the use of the core collections, and (b) to conserve the core collections for future use. The duties and tasks of the Research Assistant Curatorial Specialist are designed to fulfill both parts of Curation’s role, in support of the data services function of the Program. Under the supervision of the Superintendent of Curation, carryout curation duties, fill sample requests, and assist with management of repository facilities. Support IODP education, and public relations initiatives.


Carry out curation duties, fill sample requests, and assist with management of repository facilities, and ensure user-oriented services are provided to staff and scientists.

Collections Management


Perform Curatorial duties on ship and shore, including:

  • Enforce guidelines and procedures for staff and scientific community to follow in archiving and sampling core;
  • Resolve problems with sampling
  • Carryout sampling activities and ensure sampling is efficient and
  • Utilize proper procedures to ensure cores, samples, residue collections are properly curated and that curation database information is properly
  • Facilitate all arechive procedures to ensure core is
  • Manage acquisition and maintenance all equipment needed to carryout required tasks.
  • Work with visiting scientists on sampling
  • Perform curatorial tasks related to the completion of ODP curation activities and other ODP legacy
  • Assist supervisor with conducting research into new technologies or techniques that will keep IODP curation procedures technicially current and/or enhance them, as
  • Be familiar with, comply with, and administer all IODP/Alliance, TAMU, TAMRF, state, and federal policies that pertain to
  • Work cooperatively with others at all times, demonstrating teamwork and displaying a service-oriented attitude in all IODP
  • Ensures strong team approach to service deliverables through routine team building, training and

  • Ensure safe

Budget and faciltites


  • Assist supervisor with handling day-to-day repository computer hardware and software
  • Ensure repository facilities and equipment are



  • Assist supervisor with hiring student workers needed to carry out requirements of the
  • Supervise, train, and assign work for student
  • Stay abreast of status of assigned projects to ensure work stays on
  • Demonstrate leadership qualities at an exemplary
  • Enforce repository
  • Assist with special projects handled by the

Quality Control


  • Uphold curation-related guidelines established by SAC committees by communicating clear guidelines to scientists and staff, enforcing curatorial policies, and carrying out standards for quality
  • Provide technical supervision for student workers, regularly review their work, and provide
  • Serve as leader to ensure exemplary level of customer service is

Seagoing Responsibilities


  • Sail on the riserless drilling vessel as a staff
  • Carry out duties of curator on ship, as
  • During the Expedition serve as a member of the Sample Allocation Committee (SAC) in place of the
  • Meet with Co-chiefs, Expedition Project Manager, and scientists to review and finalize sample requests, and to make decisions on curation and sampling issues throughout the
  • Create a detailed sampling plan for each site/hole
  • Provide training, and supervise science party on procedures for sampling
  • Devise Expedition specific core handling procedures on the catwalk, in the oratory, and storage areas, as well as for special cores (including soupy, expanding, H2S, critical interval cores, and cores with split or damaged liners).
  • Keep the Laboratory Officer and Assistant Laboratory Officer informed of any safety concerns with regard to core handling and storage.

  • Maintain a database of core samples and sample requests, and prepare reports on sampling
  • Maintain sampling tools in a clean and contamination free Inspect and perform maintenance of sampling machinery.
  • Report problems to Laboratory
  • Communicate with Curator and GCR Superintendent during Expedition on sample and curation
  • Provide Curator with an Expedition curatorial report and inform Curator about issues and action items that may need
  • Attend crossover meetings.
  • Off load and on load shipments from/to
  • Carry out other shipboard tasks and responsibilities as defined by the Laboratory

Education and Public Relations


  • Provide educational and public relations tours of IODP facilities, including the
  • Support development of educational resuources and serve as a resource for education



  • Handle some or all of supervisor’s duties in his/her Handle, or assist with, other tasks or duties as assigned.
  • Promotes cooperation among a diverse scientific program and associated
  • Duties consist of sitting at a computer or desk 40-50% of the
  • The other 50-60% involves, walking, standing, crawling, climbing, stooping, and kneeling; handling cores (stocking/retrieving/sampling/climbing ladders).
  • Exposure to mold on
  • Working in refrigerated and freezer core storage
  • Handling tools and equipment
  • Handling chemicals.
  • Installing and or repairing
  • Researching information in
  • Carrying books, folders, and supplies of medium
  • Attending
  • Other duties as

Seagoing Physical Requirements


The duties of this position involve:

  • Fine motor skills for delicate tasks

  • Strenuous physical activity, including moving, lifting and carrying objects of medium weight and occasionally
  • Reaching, bending, and maintaining balance on a moving
  • Working under confined conditions on the
  • Exposure to noise, vibration, potential allergens, and with occasional exposure to outdoor, extreme


  • Immediate supervision provided by the Repository

Education and Experience

Required: Bachelor’s degree in a field of earth science, or related field. Experience in a service- oriented position. Requires the ability to multi-task and work cooperatively with others.

Required: Experience in deep ocean coring, core handling and storage required.  Must exercise good scientific judgment, work conscientiously at own initiative and work compatibly with the public, national and international scientific community. Good communication skills and English proficiency required.

Preferred: Master’s degree in a field of earth science. Experience in a scientific laboratory environment and/or archiving and curating scientific material. Working knowledge of core processing, curation, and sampling techniques. Participation in research cruises, preferably handling tasks related to curation.

Licenses, certifications, or registrations

Required: Ability to obtain passport and international travel visas on a continuing basis.

Special knowledge, abilities, and skills

Required: Strong organizational skills, strong communication skills, and a proficiency in English. Working knowledge of standard computer PC and/or Macintosh hardware, as well as software and database application. Excellent communication (both oral and written) and interpersonal skills. Must be detail oriented and have the ability to successfully organize tasks, multi-task and prioritize work. Demonstrate ability to work professionally, harmoniously, and cooperatively with others. Be able to work independently.

Preferred: Strong technical skills in the field of core curation. Working knowledge of the operation of geologic core repositories. Background in oceanographic sciences. Experience with scientific ocean drilling. Familiarity with Microsoft Access and other data entry programs.


  • Must pass seagoing physical

  • The IODP Curatorial Specialist represents the IODP Curatorial Advisory Board’s sampling policies aboard the He/She assumes responsibility for the care and handling of cores and core samples as soon as the core liner is removed from the core barrel.  Collecting samples is the responsibility of the entire shipboard scientific party under the supervision and assistance of the Curatorial Specialist.  The Curatorial Specialist maintains records of all samples taken on board the vessel and ensures rigorous adherence to all policies regarding core handling, sampling procedures, and sample distribution.

  • On the beach the Curatorial Specialist is normally assigned to the Gulf Coast Repository, preparing for his/her next cruise, filling sampling requests, storing and maintaining the core collection, and assisting During each cruise the Curatorial Specialist should compile a list of priorities that she/he wishes to undertake during her stay at the Repository.  The list should be presented to the Curator for approval as well as any additions.

  • During a busy expedition, in addition to your duties as Marine Laboratory Specialist, you will work primarily with the Staff Scientist and the co-chiefs as a member of the Sample Allocation Any problems that the SAC is unable to resolve should be addressed to the IODP Curator. He/she will then contact the members of the CAB for a final decision.

Curatorial Standard Operating procedure


In preparation of an on-coming cruise, the Curatorial Specialist performs the following tasks:

  • Familiarize yourself with the upcoming expedition objectives, try to attend the pre-cruise meeting and read the expedition scientific
  • .For new hires, become acquainted with IODP Sample Distribution Policy ( the Curatorial
  • Review sample requests as electronic copies are The Shore Curator (or Staff Scientist) will work with the MLS Curator to do a general review of requests and discuss potential research overlaps.
  • Flag requests that require special equipment or handling and notify the Laboratory
  • Read over the "Pre-Cruise Sampling Plan" (PCSP) spreadsheet sent to MLS Curator by the Staff Scientist and/or Shore Use this document as the basis for future shipboard sampling plans.
  • Ensure that you have an electronic copy of all sample requests before you go to the I usually ‘Print to File’ *.pdf documents of each request. This is very important if the case arises where you do not have internet access.

Port call - on coming

  • Cross over with your off going Review the curatorial report from the previous cruise together and address any significant changes to the Core Laboratory/Sampling Area, computer changes, database changes, and the curatorial cookbook. Be sure the off going Specialist provides sufficient information about off going frozen sample, ambient sample, core shipments and the status of any display/ PR cores. For large frozen sample shipments it is essential for the off going curator to work an extra day in port if the samples are being shipped the day they depart the ship.
  • Attend introductory meeting or any other safety or training
  • Finish the shipment of frozen samples prepared by the off-going Fill the insulated shipping container with dry ice or blue ice. Activate the temperature monitors before closing the container.
  • Guide and participate in the loading/unloading of cores and frozen Place temperature monitors in the back, middle and front of the refrigerated shipping container on individual core boxes. Tape a core box inventory list to one of the boxes. ). Give the other copy of the core box inventory to the MLC/ALO to include with the shipping papers.
  • Assist with loading/unloading other freight and perform other tasks as directed by the Laboratory Officer or Assistant Laboratory

Site preparation

There are many beginning-of-the-cruise curatorial tasks that may be tackled during port call. If the 'to-do' list below is too long, and the port call too short, they should be done while underway to the first site.

  • Check the on line sample request system ( for any new Obtain from the staff scientist any last minute sample requests that have been submitted by oncoming scientists and/or provide the Staff Scientist and Co-chiefs with the last minute requests they do not have. Have the staff scientist remind scientists who have not officially submitted requests that they must do so before arriving at the first site.
  • Arrange a meeting with the Staff Scientist and Co-chiefs to discuss sample requests, conflicts and address the status of requests submitted by shore-based participants. Also, discuss the operational plan for the upcoming
  • Create a folder on the server with all of the sample requests so all scientists have access to these Attend as many of the sample discussions as possible, realizing that you won't be able to attend all of them because they may overlap.
  • Continually update copy of the Staff Scientist/Curator's Pre-Cruise Sampling Plan" spreadsheet (in Excel) as the sample requests are clarified and as conflicts are
  • In addition to the PCSP, for sediment expeditions, prepare a site sample Divide plan into 'routine intervals" and 'special picks". See the Curatorial Cookbook for details. Circulate the PCSP and site sample plan to the Co-Chiefs and Staff Scientist for comments. Once approved, circulate the plans among the scientific party. Discuss any pertinent issues with the technical staff (e.g. IW whole rounds and other chemistry samples, MBIO samples, Physical Properties samples, XRD samples, thin section billet samples, etc.).
  • Meet with the chemistry technicians and scientists before reaching the first site to discuss the Chemistry sampling plan for the Provide them with copies of each request associated with the Chemistry Laboratory and with a list of sample codes to be used in the LIMS Sample application (Sample Master) during the expedition.
  • Enter sample codes into LIMS using the Request Code It can be found in the following location: (
  • Before arriving on site, post site sampling plan on the whiteboard near the sample
  • Set up the sampling area before arriving at the first site. This includes: stocking sampling supplies (see Curatorial Cookbook for list of supplies needed), gathering sampling tools, preparing the whiteboard (as described above) and sample flags for each sample
  • Hold Core orientation Begin each session with a catwalk/core tour, in which core handling and flow are discussed. At the core entry area, explain the coring summary table on the whiteboard and the Sample Master application. Make sure the scientists are aware of the numbering & labeling scheme of the cores.  If you are on a hard rock expedition be sure to discuss the orientation and labeling of pieces within the core. A senior technician may also do so.
  • Hold Core Laboratory orientation sessions for new technicians and all scientists.

  • Hold sampling classes for Introduce the scientists to the JANUS Sample application using Ship Test. Test print labels. Discuss sampling tools, techniques, and volumes, the whiteboard, and review the ODP sample distribution policy.  Remind the scientists that no gold, platinum or other precious metal jewelry may be worn at either the sampling tables or anywhere else in the labels. Provide scientists with Nitrile gloves if they are unable to remove jewelry.
  • Assist the Staff Scientist with devising the scientist's sampling watch schedule (generally teams of two scientists, 2 hour shifts). Strive for coverage of 24 hours a This is particularly important for cruises with heavy sampling plans.
  • Along with other Senior MLSs, train new technicians in the operation of Core equipment or instruments
  • Stand up to underway watches in the Geophysical as assigned by the For more details in these preparatory tasks, refer to the Curatorial Cookbook.

On site activities

In consultation with the Laboratory Officer and ALO, the MLS Curator oversees and monitors the handling of all cores on the catwalk, in the laboratory and in the storage areas. He or she assures smooth core handling operations by interfacing with scientists and fellow technicians as well as overseeing all sampling activities in the Core laboratory. The Curator stays in close contact with the MLS Chemists to assure that the chemistry laboratory  sampling needs are being met. The Curator performs all the Core Laboratory tasks described in the Core Laboratory SOP (see section II) and many other tasks, including:

  • Taking the responsibility for proper handling of special cores (including soupy cores, expanding cores, cores with split liners, H2S cores, and cores with critical intervals (e.g. K/T boundary, volcanic glass, sulfides, sapropel, etc.). Refer to the curatorial cookbook for specific instructions on how to handle these
  • Oversee the sampling process, assuring that all scientists are well trained in sampling techniques and understand the posted whiteboard The Curator fills-in at the sample table whenever there is a gap in the scientists sampling schedule or the sampling regime backs up the core flow in the laboratory .
  • Correct sample data entry errors in Sample Master, or Lims On Line (LOL).
  • Cut thin section billets. Assure that the Thin Section Request Form is properly filled-out.
  • Organize and oversee hard rock sampling This includes assisting the Staff Scientist and Co-Chiefs in sorting out conflicts over proposed sample and with the help of the fellow technicians, cutting the samples with the drill press or Felker Saw. If conflicts cannot be fully worked out by the investigators, then the SAC must decide.
  • With Staff Scientist, send email to Shore Curator listing approval status of all requests.
  • Organize and oversee the re-sampling of
  • Pack all samples.
  • Compile a cruise Curatorial Notebook which should include the following:

  1. Action items (for the Shore Curator or Repository Superintendent)

  1. Curatorial Report
  2. Request Status List
  3. Request #/Sample Code List
  4. Pre-Site to Site Conversion
  5. Core Box Inventory
  6. Any unusual information relating to curation or requests (e.g. emails, memos )
  7. Thin Section Inventory
  8. Smear Slide Inventory
  9. Final Cruise Sampling Plan (FCSP)
  10. Diskette with electronic versions of all of the above (except the Core Box Inventory). If the MLS Curator is ASPP, it's also a good idea to hand carry a copy of the same diskette home in case the Shore Curator or Superintendent of the repository needs to contact the MLS

  • Update Curatorial Cookbook as For more details, refer to the Curatorial Cookbook.

End of expedition activities

  • Complete the updating the JANUS Curation database, including the Sampling Detail Produce a Final Cruise Sampling Plan (FCSP) via the web query. If necessary, makes final updates to the FCSP in MS Word. Print it out and give copies to the Yeoperson for inclusion in the Hole Summaries. Put a copy in the Curatorial Notebook.
  • If needed, do preliminary preparations (i.e. a spreadsheet) for the post-cruise sampling Include this in the Curatorial Notebook.
  • Compile inventory lists of Thin Sections and Smear Slides for the Curatorial
  • Make sure all data are in JANUS before the MCSs cut off database All non- essential files should be erased from the hard disk of the PC in the Curatorial Office and the Curation folder in Tech on the server.
  • Write the end-of-expedition Curatorial Report, give a copy to the Laboratory Officer and Put a copy in the Curatorial Notebook
  • Put the completed Curatorial Notebook in the Laboratory Officer's express shipment box in the Technician's
  • Pack all remaining samples in personal boxes labeled with the appropriate sample Seal personal boxes and let the MLS/ALO know when you are finished.
  • Prepare the frozen sample Refer to the curatorial cookbook for procedure.
  • Re-supply the curatorial area in the Core Laboratory for incoming
  • Give the Laboratory Officer a list for port purchases if

At the end of the expedition, it is the responsibility of the Curator to clean the Curatorial Office and to help in the final cleanup of the Core Laboratory as described in the Core Laboratory SOP.

Port call—off going




  • Find the oncoming marine specialist(s) for your laboratory and cross
  • Attend port call
  • Unload off going air freight and frozen shipment, or any freight as Load on coming freight if time permits.

MLC shipping guidelines

(excerpts from the MLC Handbook, September 2012)

SCOPE: This guide is intended to help the user put together a shipment from the ship and inform the user of the different details to achieve a successful shipment.

PURPOSE - The purpose of shipping paperwork is to identify every item that is being shipped off the ship. It is very important that every item in a box or container is listed on the paperwork. Heavy fines and penalties can be assessed if the shipping paperwork is not accurate.



SHIPPER - Entity doing the shipping. In the majority of the cases this will be The Integrated Ocean Drilling Program.

CONSIGNEE - The entity to whom the item is “Shipped To”. The final entity who will receive the shipment. In other words, the consignee is the person or entity you are sending the item to.

SHIPMENT - All items that are being shipped to a location. You cannot split a shipment between locations.  But multiple shipments can be shipped to the same location.  Example: You cannot ship items in a 40 ft. shipping container to different locations. But you can have different shipments going to the same location in a 40 ft shipping container.

USA SHIPMENTS - Shipments that are addressed to the USA need to be shipped to Integrated Ocean Drilling Program, C/O Panalpina Inc. All items will then be forwarded to their final location in the USA usually via FedEx. This method allows for IODP to deal with U.S. Customs and clearing all items into the USA. There are exceptions to this guideline. They will be mentioned when they apply.

FOREIGN SHIPMENTS - Foreign shipments are defined as any shipment that is not being shipped to the USA.

FREIGHT CODE - This is a short code that IODP uses to identify shipments. These codes are specific codes identifying the shipping vehicle (SURF, FLAT, CORE) or an airport code that identifies the closest international airport to the final destination. (NRT = Narita Airport Japan, LHR = London Heathrow airport) There is a list of the airport codes in the IODP AMS program.

General Information



ADDRESSES - All addresses must be complete and include phone number, and email address. The address cannot contain a Post Office Box as part of the address. Courier services such as Federal Express, United Parcel Service, etc. will not ship to a Post Office Box.

LABELING - All items must be labeled with the “Ship To” address. This can be the shipping paperwork in a “packing list” envelope or spray painted with a stencil. Please take care to securely attach the label so it will arrive at its destination.

PARCELS NUMBER - Every item should be assigned a parcel number. This number should be written on the item to match it to the paperwork.

REQUIRED ITEM INFORMATION - Any piece of equipment given to you for shipment needs to have the following information: IODP No., Description, Value, Serial Number, Country of Manufacture, Date Exported, Model Number and ECCN.



-Any item that comes off the ship must be manifested with shipping paperwork. “Any item” is defined as anything that will be shipped by land, ocean or air either locally or internationally for IODP or anyone affiliated with IODP. This does not include SIEM, Entier, or Supply Oilfield Services. The only exception to this is hand carry items. Hand carry items do not require shipping paperwork as it is considered part of personal luggage.  For any scientist hand carrying samples in their luggage it is best to provide them with a hand carry letter. This letter mentions the investigator, what they were doing on board the Joides Resolution, and the home institution they will be taking the samples to. It also mentions that the samples are non-biological, deep sea core samples, drilled from below the sea floor. It also mentions they were recovered for the sole purpose of scientific investigation, and have no commercial value. Finally it should give the name, address, and phone number of th IODP-USIO director.



SURFACE FREIGHT - Surface freight is defined as any item that is being shipped in a container, refrigerator, flat rack or shipped Break Bulk. Containers, refrigerators, and flat racks are devices that are used to ship items long distances usually via ocean. Surface freight will be transported by truck when ship docks on the Continental USA.

Bill of Lading (BOL) - A legal document that the shipping company uses to ship a container, refrigerator or flat rack aboard a vessel. This document contains information such as container numbers, seal numbers and weight, vessels shipped upon and port of discharge.

-Be aware that load limit cannot exceed 40,000 pounds per container, refrigerator, or flat rack.

-IODP surface shipments (SURF, FLAT) are made up of items being returned to owner for repair. These items are generally shipped to the below address.

Ship To:

Ocean Drilling Program (T.A.M.U.)                                                                                ATTN: Robert Mitchell

C/O Panalpina                                                            Fax: (979) 845-2374

1000 Discovery Dr. College Station, TX. 77845 U.S.A.

Phone: (979) 845-5780

-You can put more than one freight code into a container but you cannot split a freight code between containers. If you need to use more than one container then you should split the items between freight codes (Example SURF1, SURF2); same for FLATS. Flats need to have the items strapped using 2" banding not chain boomers. Railroads will not accept flats that use chain boomers and this delays the shipment. Containers need to be properly blocked and braced before sealing. It is good practice to record the container, refrigerator or flat rack number and seal number.

DRILLING EQUIPMENT - Information on the IODP drilling equipment that will be shipped back at the end of the expedition can be obtained from the Core Techs. A note to the wise, if there are any special engineering projects happening during the expedition it is a good idea to grab the paperwork at the beginning of the expedition. This way you will have it at the end of the expedition.

- All drilling equipment will need to have a “packing list” attached to it and the address spray painted on the item. The Core Technician will take you around the ship and point out the different items that are to be shipped off at the end of the expedition. It is up to the Laboratory Officer and you to determine how the different shipments will be put together. You need to determine how many and how much can be put on the different flat racks and containers.

GAS BOTTLES - In the description of each gas bottle the following statements should be included: “Empty and Purged Gas Bottle” and “Made in USA”. Gas bottles must be fully bled off before placement in a container or hefty fines could result. Gas bottles should also be the last items placed in the container. It is highly discouraged placing gas bottles on a flat rack unless placed in a fully enclosed crate.



-Core shipments are split into two types: sedimentary and hard rock. All sedimentary cores must be shipped in a refrigerator container that will be set at 40 degrees F. (~4 degrees C.). Hard Rock cores may be shipped in a dry container. This must be confirmed with the staff scientist. If there are both Sedimentary and Hard Rock cores all must be put into a refrigerator. All effort to keep a expeditions cores together must be attempted. There should also be a temperature recorder put into a sediment core shipment if one is available. The shipment should also a hard copy of the Core Box Inventory.

-Core shipments will be shipped to the appropriate repository depending upon the drilling location. Consult the Staff Scientist, Laboratory                                                               Officer, Curator or Logistics Coordinator if you are unsure. Below are the shipping addresses for the different repositories:


Gulf Coast Repository (GCR)

Bremen Core Repository (BCR)

Kochi Core Center (KCC)

Texas A&M University Integrated Ocean Drilling Program (IODP)

C/O Panalpina 1000 Discovery Dr. College Station, TX 77845


Universitat Bremen Integrated Ocean Drilling Program (IODP) MARUM

University of Bremen Leobener Str

28359 Bremen Germany

Kochi University Kochi Core Center 200 Manobe-otsu Nankoku, Kochi 783-8502



Phil Rumford

GCR Superintendent Phone: (979) 845-5056

Fax: (979) 845-0876


Robert “Mitch” Mitchell IODP Logistics Coordinator (979) 845-2424


Walter Hale

BCR Superintendent Phone: 49-421-218-65566

Fax: 49-421-218-65565


Toshio Hisamitsu KCC Superintendent Phone:

Fax: 088-864-0040


The location where the cores are stored depends on the geographic drilling site location. The figure below shows geographic locations of stored cores.



AIR FREIGHT - Air Freight are items that will be shipped via air cargo, or courier service. Air cargo shipments utilize Air Waybills and courier services utilize tracking numbers. This paperwork is coordinated through the Assistant  Laboratory Officer (ALO).

Air Waybill (AWB) - A legal document issued by the airline that is transporting items tendered for shipment. This document is used by the airline to track the item to its destination.

Courier Service - Courier services are companies that specialize in shipping small packages quickly around the world. These are companies such as FedEx, and World Courier. Courier services utilize tracking numbers to track these packages. For FedEx, the tracking numbers can be accessed via the web to locate where a package is in the shipping stream. World Courier does not provide tracking information.




Regular Air Freight (RAF) is defined as Air Freight shipments being sent to B/CS and should be addressed as below.

  • Regular Air Freight is composed of scientific data, samples, and equipment for This also includes equipment belonging to scientists that reside in the US. If any equipment is to be shipped back to the US it should be shipped through IODP in B/CS. No personal effects should EVER be in RAF. RAF is usually shipped in Yellow boxes and Cardboard K-Boxes.

  • Any equipment that is shipped back should have the Additional Customs Information filled out on the Please remember that the country of manufacture is important information. There is no country with the name “other” “Other” is not acceptable for the country of manufacture. If you cannot find a country of manufacture on an item please default to “Made in USA”.



  • Foreign Air Freight (FAF) is defined as any equipment, samples, personal effects of scientists or technicians that are not living in the

  • Please consolidate the FAF as few packages as possible to be sent to the final address. We generally wrap the packages in plastic wrap to provide additional protection while in transit. Address labels are placed directly on the package and also on the plastic



-The Curatorial Specialist is responsible for the packing of samples. The frozen or cold shipments should be completed as much as possible. The oncoming crew should at the most have to add the samples and the blue ice and seal the boxes. The sample boxes should be prepared, in place and ready to receive the samples and blue ice.

-The Assistant Laboratory Officer (ALO) is responsible for the correct addressing and labeling of the shipment. Cold shipments are no different from an FAF shipment other than they are usually in igloos or insulated boxes. You can put the samples and the blue ice into the box ahead of time and weigh it then remove the samples and blue ice for storage until the port call. This allows you to produce the “Pallet Packing List” ahead of time and affix it to the correct package. These shipments should be shipped directly to scientists in the US. They will be responsible for clearing U.S. Customs. There are labels that say “Keep Cool” and “Do Not Freeze” that should be applied to these packages


  • Please notify the Laboratory Officer and the Logistics Coordinator as soon as possible that you are going to be shipping samples in dry The Curatorial Specialist can help you determine if there are going to be any dry ice shipments.

  • The insulated cardboard shipping boxes are first choice for any dry ice If you run out of the cardboard boxes, it is okay to substitute the plastic igloos. If the frozen shipment is unusually heavy then please use the plastic igloos for the dry ice shipment.

-As a general guideline we use 13 25 Kg (30 lbs. as of World Courier use, Sept 2012) of dry ice per insulated shipping box. Dry Ice shipments are hazardous shipments and require specific instructions. The boxes should be properly labeled and ready to go. If the samples are in the -80 freezer then the insulated box should be outside the freezer ready to go. The oncoming crew should only have to add the dry ice, samples, and seal the box. The Curatorial Specialist is responsible for making up the insulated boxes, and putting the samples in the boxes. The Assistant Laboratory  Officer (ALO) is responsible for labeling, marking and the paperwork for the dry ice shipment.

  • The Curatorial Specialist should also place “KEEP FROZEN” stickers on the frozen

INSULATED BOX Instructions


The insulated box should have the following information on the box.

Ship To: Scientist Address From: IODP


Print on one side of the insulated box in the upper left corner the following:

Dry Ice (25 kg) UN1845


Also place on the side of the box a Class 9 Miscellaneous sticker on the same side of the box. This is a square label that has black and white strips on the top half and a “9" in the bottom.

Paperwork Instructions

The “Pallet Packing List” should have the following information in the Item description area.

Dangerous Goods - Shipper’s Declaration not required Frozen Deep Sea Sediment Samples

Carbon Dioxide, solid 9 UN1845

1 X 25 kg.





  • Hazardous Shipments are defined as articles or substances which are capable of posing a significant risk to health, safety or to property when transported by land, air or ocean and are classified according to IATA, IMDG and 49 CFR In simple language these are items that are composed of chemicals or are in pressurized containers or are considered dangerous.

  • If you come upon any item that you are asked to ship that you might think is hazardous immediately notify the Laboratory Officer and the Logistics Please do not hesitate to ask. Hazardous shipments require training and certification. The Logistics Coordinator will need your help with the shipment but defer the shipment to them.

  • Hazardous shipments require special packaging, labeling and additional Due to the nature of Dangerous Goods there can be delays in shipping due to the special considerations in shipping Dangerous Goods.

Miscellaneous issues


Be careful when creating descriptions of items that may trigger Customs to take a closer look at items and hold up the shipment. Descriptions such as “Air Gun”, “Bomb”, while used by the Geology community to describe an item should not be used for shipping. Be creative and alter the description to describe the items. An example would be using “Seismic Sound Device” to describe an “Air Gun”

Location Sheet

A location sheet is a one page sheet of paper with a list of all pallets that will be shipped by freight code, abbreviated description and ship location. This is used by the oncoming crew to located and off-load all items for shipping. It will also provide an understanding of how a shipment is arranged. Such as which items are going in which container and on what flat rack. Below are brief examples

Surface Freight


SURF 001



SURF 002




Foreign Air Freight


NRT1 001

4X Box


NRT2 001





Suggested reading

Sample Distribution, Data Distribution, and Publications Policy (Adopted March 1999; revised 1 June 2001, 15 April 2002, 19 August 2002)

Guide to JANUS Curation, Corelog and Sample for Curators by Marine Curatorial Specialist Erinn McCarty, updated by Paula Weiss (2004).

Corelab Cookbook, in-house manual for new Marine Laboratory Specialists. Curatorial Specialist should ask the Laboratory Officer and/or the Assistant Laboratory Officer to give this to all new Marine Laboratory Specialists.

#19 2002 Revised H2S Drilling Contingency Plan (Foss and Julson, 1993).  The web version is not available at present.  Request a copy from IODP Publications from

# 26 Physical Properties Handbook: A guide to the shipboard measurement of physical properties of deep-sea cores

# 28 Methods for Quantifying Potential Microbial  Contamination during Deep Ocean Coring

# 30 Introduction to Shipboard Organic Geochemistry on the JOIDES Resolution

#31 Overview of Ocean Drilling Program Engineering Tools and Hardware

# 8 Handbook for shipboard sedimentologists (1988). A web version is not available at present. Request a copy from IODP Publications via from

# 3 Shipboard scientists' handbook (1990). A web version is not available at present.  Request a copy from IODP Publications via from

Curator’s glossary

Note:  The Shipboard Curatorial Office should have hard copies of an English language dictionary and a Glossary of Geology at all times.

AA                      Atomic Absorption

AABW                        Antarctic Bottom Water

AAG                           Australo-Antarctic Gulf

ACC                            Antarctic Circumpolar Current

ACORK                     Advanced Circulation Obviation Retrofit Kit

AD                              Assistant driller [drilling]

Adara temp tool        Brand name of the temperature tool

ADCB                         Advanced Diamond Core Barrel

APC                            Advanced Hydraulic Piston Corer

AF                               Alternating field (demagnetization)

AFM                           Atomic force microscopy

AFS                             Atomic fluorescence spectroscopy

AFT                            Ash fusion temperature (coal analysis)

AHC                           Active heave compensator

AWB                           Airway Bill for Air-freight Shipments

ALO                            Assistant   Officer

Allochthonous            of foreign origin

AF                               Alternating Field (demagnetization)

AMST                         Archive Multisensor Track

AMS                           Anisotropy of Magnetic Susceptibility

AABW                        Antarctic Bottom Water

ACC                            Antarctic Circumpolar Current

APC                            Advanced Hydraulic Piston Corer

APCT                         Advanced hydraulic piston corer temperature tool

ARM                           Anhysteretic Remanent Magnetization

ATM                           Atmosphere

ATP                            Adenosine Triphosphate (microbiology)

Autochthonous          produced in-situ

AWB                           Airway Bill for Air-Freight Shipments

b.y.                              billion years

B/L                              bill of lading for surface (ocean) freight [logistics]

barite (bar)                barium sulfate; finely ground barite in suspension used to increase the density of drilling mud

Barrel Sheet


BCR                            Bremen Core Repository at Bremen, Germany

benthic                       Bottom of a sea or lake

bentonite (gel)            Sodium montmorillonite clay; finely ground bentonite mixed with water to impart viscosity to drilling mud used for cleaning the hole

BHA                           Bottom-Hole Assembly [drilling]

BHP                            Bottom-Hole Pressure

BHSIP                        Bottom-Hole Shut-in Pressure

BHT                            Bottom-Hole Temperature

BHTV                         Borehole Televiewer Ddown-hole tool

Bit                               cutting device at the end of the drill string that advances the hole when rotated

bit deplugger             punch-type device resembling heavy-walled pipe that is attached to the bottom of an inner core barrel and pumped down the pipe to clear the bit throat of clay, cuttings, nodules, or other obstructions; similar to the core breaker and center bit

bit sub                         lowermost drill collar; also houses the float valve (also the lower support bearing in the case of the RCB system)

blowout                      uncontrolled flow of formation fluid to the surface, resulting from loss of contained pressure in the well bore; blowouts can be catastrophic and result in loss of hole, rig, and life

BOMB                        carbonate analysis (sample designation mostly defunct) [curation]

BOP                            (1) blowout preventer [drilling]; (2) device for sealing either an annular space or the entire well bore against formation pressure to prevent uncontrolled flow to the surface

BRG                           Borehole Research Group, Lamont-Doherty Earth Observatory

BSR                            Bottom Simulating Reflector

bulk density               property of material given by the mass of the particles divided by the total volume

C1/C2                                         Methane/Ethane ratio

C6+                                              Hexane and higher hydrocarbons

  1. circa; only used with age or time; use "about" with any other unit

CARB                         Carbinate sampling


casing                         steel pipe used to line a hole against collapse or erosion or to isolate the bore from formation fluid or pressure; casing of various sizes can be set by means of the reentry cone, HRB, or DIC systems; in some modes, the casing can be cemented into place

catwalk                        on JOIDES Resolution, the casing-hold hatch cover, but "catwalk" may also be used in reference to the core-handling platform or the area of the pipe racker located between the bays and occupied by the skate track

CB                               Center Bit [drilling]

CC                              Core Catcher

CCD                            Carbonate Compensation Depth or Calcite Compensation Depth

Cement                       Finely ground Portland cement in a water slurry, used to secure casing strings and to plug holes when they are abandoned; oilfield cement differs from concrete in that no aggregate is used

center bit                    device attached to the bottom of an inner core barrel to blank off the center hole of the core bit in certain drilling situations

CHN                           carbon-hydrogen-nitrogen analyzer

ChRM                        characteristic remanent magnetization

CI                                (1) crystallization index; (2) contour interval

circulating head         sometimes known as a "poorboy swivel"; a device for attaching a circulating hose directly to the top of the drill string; it saves time over picking up the top drive when circulation is desired without the necessity for rotation

Clathrate                     Gas hydrates are naturally occurring icelike solids in which water molecules trap gas molecules in a cagelike structure known as a clathrate. Although many gases form hydrates in nature, methane hydrate is by far the most common; methane is the most abundant natural gas. The volume of carbon contained in methane hydrates worldwide is estimated to be twice the amount contained in all fossil fuels on Earth, including coal. Gas hydrate also occurs as nodules, laminae, and veins within sediment and, in some cases as a pure gas hydrate layers, meters thick. Interest in natural gas hydrates will

CLS                             Chemistry   Specialist


cm3                                             cubic centimeter, use “cm3” not "cc"

CNS                            carbon-nitrogen-sulfur analyzer

coeval                                   same age; contemporary compressional-            P-wave velocity; seismic wave wave velocity

core barrel                 generally, the chamber that receives a core as it is formed; ODP coring systems utilize both outer and inner core barrels

core bit                       bit especially designed to cut around and form a core for retrieval and sampling; essentially a drill bit with a hole in the center; special features provide for trimming, guiding, and protecting the core as it passes through the bit

core breaker              chisel-shaped device similar to a center bit that is attached to an inner core barrel; it is pumped down the drill string to break up and/or dislodge core pieces or other debris that may be obstructing the bit throat

core catcher               [n., adj.] one-way device analogous to a check valve that prevents core from falling from the inner core barrel once it has entered. CC

core liner                    plastic tube inside the inner core barrel in which the core is encased; an ODP core usually is removed from the inner barrel with the liner and remains in that liner for sectioning, splitting, description, sampling, and eventual storage

CORELOG                database program for core-inventory information [ODP]

Corg                                             organic carbon

Coring                        advancing a hole for the purpose of retrieving core

coring line                  wire rope with which the inner core barrels are retrieved; analogous to the "sand line" of an oil field-drilling rig

coring system             combination of bit, BHA components, and retrievable components designed to recover cores under specified conditions and lithologies

coring winch              custom-built winch designed for ODP coring and located one level above he drawworks; it features full redundancy (except for the motor), with coring lines installed on two winch drums so coring need not be interrupted in case of mechanical failure of the winch or coring line

CORK                        circulation obviation retrofit kit; mechanical borehole seal retrofitted to a reentry cone after coring and wireline measurements are completed; it prevents circulation into or out of the borehole and can be fitted with a sensor assembly that extends down the hole to measure temperature and/or pressure, sample borehole fluid, etc.

CP                               cross-polarization

CRC                            concurrent range zone (biostratigraphy)

CRM                           chemical remanent magnetization

Crown                        top of the derrick; the crown area is occupied by the "water table" platform and the crown-block assembly crown block array of six drilling-line sheaves that forms the upper end of the rig's hoisting system

CRZ                            carbonate reduction zone

CT                               coring technician [drilling]

CTD                            concentration/temperature/depth recorder

CUB                            concentric under reaming bit

Curate (Hard rock)  to add dividers (plastic separators) between non-contiguous rock pieces.

A curated length is measured after dividers are glued in.

cut and slip                Maintenance/safety operation performed to extend the life of the drilling line; it is necessary to slack the line by hanging it off the traveling block; then the line is "slipped" through the entire system by about 30 m, and that much wire is cut from the end; the action must be done whenever a prescribed number of ton-miles has accrued, and it occasionally interrupts tripping or coring operations for about 11/2 hours

cutting shoe                "business" end of an XCB inner core barrel; the cutting shoe extends past the main core bit and actually forms the core

cuttings                       accumulated fragments of rock or sediment produced by the drilling operation

DBD                            dry bulk density

DBMI                                     drill-bit motion indicator [drilling]

DC                              drill collar [drilling]

DCB                            diamond core barrel [drilling]

DCS                            diamond coring system [drilling]

DC-SQUID                 direct-current superconducting quantum interference device (paleomag)

décollement               a detachment fault

derrick                       tower of the drilling rig above the drill floor; JOIDES Resolution's derrick is rated at 650 tons' working load and stands about 60 m above the floor

derrickman                contractor employee whose primary responsibilities are operation and maintenance of the pipe-handling equipment and circulating pumps; his station is on the "monkey board" in the derrick when the BHA or pipe is being racked in the derrick

DES                             Dual Elevator Stool on the rig floor (the top of the DES is the point from which drill pipe measurements are made) [drilling]

DCS                            Diamond Coring System. Complete and separate coring system incorporating the advantages of small-diameter, high-speed, narrow-kerf coring as developed by the mining industry; a small drilling rig is suspended in the derrick of the drillship, and a small-diameter drill string operates inside the standard drill string, which acts as a marine riser; the small-diameter drill string is rotated by a high speed top drive, and core is cut by a diamond core bit; retrieval of the inner barrels is accomplished by

a smaller coring winch on the suspended rig; the system is designed for hard-rock coring applications in fractured and/or glassy material

Diapirs                       dome-like structures broken out at top from underneath

DML                           down-hole measurements laboratory aboard JOIDES Resolution (a.k.a. "DHML" and "DHL") [logging]

DO                              dissolved oxygen

DOC                           dissolved organic carbon

Dope                           thread lubricant for drilling tubulars; usually consists of grease with a high concentration of lead, zinc, or copper particles

DP                               (1) dynamic positioning [ship]; (2) drill pipe [drilling]

DPM                           drill-pipe measurement [drilling]

DPO                            dynamic-positioning operator [ship]

DPS                             dynamic positioning system [ship]

DQ                              Dril-Quip, manufacturer of casing-running tools [drilling]

DR                              Dead Reckoning [ship]

Drawworks                main hoisting winch of the drilling rig

drill bit                       bit designed for making hole without coring; usually of tri- cone construction; drilling is more efficient with a drill bit, but coring is not an option with a drill bit

drill collar                  [n., adj.] heavy-walled tubular, which is the principal BHA component; the main purpose of drill collars is to provide weight on bit (WOB) for the drilling/coring operation; in addition, the lowermost drill collar is modified to serve as the outer core barrel in ODP coring BHAs

drill floor                   [n., adj.] also "rig floor" or "floor"; the main work platform of the drilling rig; location of the rotary table, iron roughneck, dual elevator system, tuggers, etc.

drill pipe                    [n., adj.] relatively thin-walled tubular that is the main component of the drill string; to maximize depth capability, tensile strength of the drill string is maximized relative to its weight; for that reason, ODP drill pipe is special high-strength heat-treated steel, and a tapered drill string is used, with larger pipe at the top; drill pipe is always run in tension, or it will twist off; therefore all bit weight is supplied by drill collars

drill string                  [n., adj.] entire drilling assembly supported by the hoisting system‹extending from the top drive or kelly to the bit

driller                         contractor employee in charge of actual drilling/coring operation; operates the hoisting equipment and supervises the drill crew; reports to the pusher

drill-in casing             an experimental system of implanting casing while the hole is being drilled rather than setting casing as a secondary operation. The casing does not have to be hung from the surface with a reentry cone.

Drilling                       advancing a hole without retrieving or attempting to recover core; sometimes referred to as "washing"

drilling fluid               [n., adj.] fluid medium required for rotary drilling to remove cuttings, cool and lubricate the bit, condition the hole, control formation pressure, etc.; in ODP operations, it is seawater with occasional "slugs" of drilling mud; in other operations, it may be drilling mud, fresh water, air, gas, foam, or mist

drilling line                 heavy wire cable of the hoisting system

DRM                           Depositional (or detrital) remanent magnetization

DS                               Drilling superintendent [drilling]

DSDP                          Deep Sea Drilling Project

Dual elevator             Pipe-handling system modified for use with high-strength pipe that

system                         substitutes the second elevator set for slips when the drill string is landed at the drill floor

DVTP                                     Davis-Villinger temperature probe

DW                             Draw works [drilling]

DWOB                       down-hole weight on bit

EAC                            East Antarctic Current

ECR                            East Coast Repository, ODP core repository at LDEO

Eh                               Redox (oxygen reduction) Potential

Elevator                     device that locks around the drill-pipe tube to support the pipe when the larger diameter of the tool joint rests upon the smaller diameter of the latched elevator

EMPA                        Electron Microprobe Analysis

EMPSA                      Electro-resistance Multichannel Particle-Size Analyzer

EMS                           Electronic Multishot Instrument [drilling]

end cap                       [n., adj.]

Eocene Impact           Evidence exists to support the occurrence of at least two large closely

(NP21)                         spaced extraterrestrial impact events on Earth during early late Eocene time. In particular, two large craters (order ~100 km diameter; Chesapeake Bay, North America     and Popigai, Northern Siberia) have been proposed to explain impact-ejecta strewn fields that   are documented in deep-sea sediments from around the world.

Eocene-Oligocene     The Eocene-Oligocene transition of 34 million years ago was a critical

Boundary                   turning point in Earth´s climatic history, when the warm, high-diversity "greenhouse" world of the early Eocene ceded to the glacial, "icehouse" conditions of the early Oligocene.

EOM                          Extractable Organic Matter

EOP                            End of Pipe

Evaporates                 rock composed of minerals precipitated from solutions concentrated by evaporation (halite = NaCl, gypsum = CaSO4 · 2H2O (hydrous calcium sulfate) and anhydrite = CaSO4  (calcium sulfate, i.e. gypsum without water)).

FCSP                          Final Cruise Sampling Plan (end-of-cruise summary of each sample request for an expedition; included in Hole Summary) [curation]

FFF                             Free Fall funnel (a.k.a. minicone) [drilling]

Fish                             any object remaining in a hole that is not attached to the drill string and needs to be removed

FISH                           Fluorescent In-situ Hybridization (microbiology)

Fishing tool                any device, such as an overshot, spear, or mill, that is used to break up a fish or to remove it from a hole

Float                           valve check valve in the drill string, usually just above the bit, that permits the circulation of drilling fluid down the pipe but prevents backflow of fluid and cuttings into the drill string

FMS                            Formation MicroScanner logging tool [logging]

Forward                     front of ship [shipboard]

FV                               flapper valve

FZ                               (1) fracture zone; (2) fault zone

g/cm3                                         grams per cubic centimeter unit for density (do not use cc)

Ga                               billions of years before the present

Gas Hydrate              – see clathrate

GCR                           Gulf Coast Repository at TAMU [ODP]

GEBCO                      General Bathymetric Chart of the Oceans

GER                           Geriatric Core Study [curation]

GHSZ                         Gas hydrate stability zone

GMT                          Greenwich Mean Time (replaced by UTC) — generic mapping tools

go-devil                      A tool that free-falls down the drill pipe [logging]

GPS                             Global Positioning System (satellite navigation system) [ship]

GPTS                          Geomagnetic polarity time scale

GR                              Natural gamma ray logging tool [logging]

GRAPE                      (1) gamma ray attenuation porosity evaluator (bulk-density analyzer) ; (2) GRAPE gamma ray attenuation porosity evaluator (shipboard physical properties measurement) (replaced by GRA bulk density)

GS                               Pulling tool device attached to the coring line that is used to engage and retrieve inner core barrels and other down-hole tools

GTS                            Geological timescale

guide horn                  [n., adj.] (also "guide shoe"); structure extending from the keel to the drill floor that provides a 350-ft (107 m) bending radius to reduce bending stresses in the drill string

Hamilton Frame        Device that measures P-wave velocity

Hand                           Crew member; helper

Hard rock                  Igneous or metamorphic rock. Volcaniclastics are not considered hard rock. They are handled as other sediment cores (i.e. they do not get piece numbers).

HEE                            High-energy engineering (pipe-severing system) [drilling]

HFU                            Heat flow units

HIRM                         Hard isothermal remanent magnetization

HPC                            Hydraulic piston corer (replaced by the advanced hydraulic piston corer, APC) [drilling]

HRB                           Hard rock base [drilling]

HREE                         Heavy rare earth element(s)

HS                               Head Space gas samples

Hydrogen                   Low levels of H2S gas may be encountered in cores in which microbial

Sulfide (H2S)              sulfate reduction is occurring, or in cores from hydrothermal vent areas in which seawater sulfate has reacted with high-temperature intrusions. H2S is a highly reactive (and toxic) gas, which is normally maintained at negligible concentrations by rapid reaction with iron or other metals present in the sediment.  In some cases, such as iron-deficient carbonate sediments and where gas hydrates or sulfate-rich brines are present, H2S concentrations may be sufficient to cause a toxic gas breathing hazard, especially when cores are being handled in confined or poorly ventilated areas. In these situations, the JOIDES Resolution is equipped with H2S sensors on the rig floor, the core receiving platform, and in the interior core-handling areas. H2S levels of 10-20 ppm should activate audible and visual alarms and bring about an H2S alert. H2S odor is apparent at levels below those detectable by sensors or instruments. If H2S presence is suspected, the hydrocarbon monitoring techniques should include analysis by thermal conductivity detector gas chromatography (NGA) to provide information on concentration and any trends of H2S occurrence in cores.

index properties        [n.] moisture and density analyses; index-properties [adj.]

inner core barrel       steel tube fitted with core catchers and (usually) a plastic core liner, in which the core is retained and transported to the drill floor; ODP inner core barrels for all coring systems are retrievable through the drill string by means of a wireline

IODP                          Integrated Ocean Drilling Program

IPOD                          International Phase of Ocean Drilling

IRD                             ice-rafted debris

IRM                            Isothermal remanent magnetization

JAMSTEC                 Japan Marine Science and Technology Center

Janus                          database

JD                                Julian day; the number of a day within a calendar year

jet in [v.]                      to advance a hole without rotation and by means of fluid circulation only; used to set reentry-cone/conductor-casing strings because rotation would damage the large, heavy reentry-cone assembly; jet-in [adj.] a jet-in test is conducted at the exploratory hole for each reentry site

JOI                             Joint Oceanographic Institutions, Inc.

JOIDES                       Joint Oceanographic Institutions for Deep Earth Sampling

Joint                            length of pipe, usually 20-45 ft (6-14 m) in length; lengths of drill pipe or tubing less than 20 ft are known as pup joints

Junk                           any unwanted object or material, usually metal, in a hole; junk is a hazard to drilling and coring tools and often must be fished

junk basket device    for fishing small pieces of junk

k                                  low-field magnetic susceptibility

K/T                             Cretaceous/Tertiary boundary. Also K/P: Cretaceous/Paleogene

Ka                               thousands of years before the present

Kelly hose                  Length of flexible hose that extends from the gooseneck to the swivel for circulation of the drilling fluid

kelly                            in conventional rotary drilling, the uppermost component of the drill string; the kelly is an extra-heavy joint of pipe with flat or fluted sides that is free to move vertically through a "kelly bushing" in the rotary table; the kelly bushing imparts torque to the kelly and thereby the drill string is rotated; on JOIDES Resolution, the kelly is replaced by the top drive and a length of "knobby" drill pipe

Kinley wireline          devices to cut and/or crimp coring or logging line down-hole if tools

cutter and crimper    become stuck



knobby joints             (also "heavy-wall drilling joints") special drill-pipe joints machined from drill collar stock; 8-in. hubs are spaced at 5-ft intervals to distribute

bending stresses as the pipe is bent through the guide horn when the vessel rolls or is displaced off the hole

kt                                knot(s) nautical speed unit

LA                               Last Appearance (biostratigraphy)

LAD                            Last-appearance datum (biostratigraphy)

LA-ICP-MS               Laser ablation-inductively coupled plasma-mass spectrometry LASER Light amplification through stimulated emission response LDEO                                    Lamont-Doherty Earth Observatory (formerly LDGO)

LDT                            lithodensity logging tool [logging]

LECO                         Brand name of the carbon/carbonate analyzer

LED                            Light emitting diode

LFV                            Lockable Float Valve [drilling]

LGH                           Lower guide horn

LGM                          Last Glacial Maximum

LO                               (1) laboratory officer [ODP]; (2) last occurrence (biostratigraphy)

loran long-range       (a radio position-fixing system)

navigation LPTM      The late Paleocene thermal maximum (LPTM, also called the Paleocene/Eocene thermal maximum or PETM) is associated with a brief, but intense, interval of global warming and a massive perturbation of the global carbon cycle as well as extinction of numerous deep-sea benthic foraminifera.  It is theorized that the timing is associated with a series of nearly catastrophic releases of methane from gas hydrates, punctuated by intervals of relative equilibria between hydrate dissociation and carbon burial.

L-wave                        Long (surface) wave

m.y.                             Million years; used to express duration

mA                              Milliampere

Ma                              Millions of years before the present

MAD                           (1) moisture and density measurements; (2) mean angular deviation; (3) mean angular dispersion

Magnaflux                 trade name for electromagnetic inspection given to BHA connections at least once per expedition to check for fatigue cracks and other flaws in the threaded areas make up to screw a threaded connection together; to assemble

MAR                           (1) Mid-Atlantic Ridge ; (2) mass accumulation rate

MBR                           Mechanical bit release [drilling]

Mbrf                           meters below rig floor [drilling]

Mbsf                           meters below seafloor

Mbsl                           meters below sea level

MCD                           caliper tool; measures hole diameter [logging]

Mcd                            meters composite depth

MCS                           (1) multichannel seismic ; (2) multichannel sonic (12-channel) logging tool [logging]

METS                         marine emergency technical squad

Milankovitch             the collective effect of changes in the eccentricity, axial tilt, and precession cyclicity                  of the Earth's orbit on the climate, resulting in 100,000 year ice age cycles                                                of the Quaternary glaciation over the last few million years.

MLC                         Marine   oratory Curator Minicore

MN                             Magnetic North

Moho                          Mohorovicic Discontinuity is the boundary between the crust and upper mantle.

Mohole                       a hypothetical drill hole that was to penetrate the Moho

Molspin                       spinner magnetometer (MSM)

monkey board           small work platform in the derrick occupied by the derrickman when drill collars or other tubulars are being set back vertically in the derrick

moonpool                   Circular opening through the center of the drillship, extending from the main deck through the keel, through which the drill string passes

MOR                          mid-ocean ridge

MORB                        mid-ocean-ridge basalt

Mousehole                  temporary holding tube located just to port of the rotary table; the mousehole is used to hold one or more joints of drill pipe while a joint is made up to or disconnected from the top drive

MP                              melting point

MRM                          magnetometric resistivity method

MS                              (1) mass spectrometry; (2) magnetic susceptibility

MSDS                         Material Safety Data Sheet [OSHA]

MSM                          (1) Molspin spinner magnetometer; (2) magnetic susceptibility meter

MST                           multisensor track OR Material Services team

MT                              (1) marine technician, marine  laboratory specialist [ODP]; (2) empty (when written on a D-tube)

mT                              millitesla (unit of magnetism)

mud                            drilling mud; a fluid, either water- or oil-based, used in drilling operations, with clay, polymer, barite, or a variety of other substances added to alter its physical and/or chemical properties

mud motor                 also Positive Displacement Motor (PDM), Navidrill, Dynadrill, etc.; a down-hole motor operated by pumping drilling mud or water through it; mud motors are used for applications in which it is not desirable to rotate the entire drill string

multisensor track      MST

multishot                    (also "Eastman Multishot"); mechanical magnetic orientation device used in the sinker bar assembly of the coring line to collect orientation data for APC cores and for drift shots during deeper coring/drilling operations

MWC                         measurement while coring [drilling]

MWD                         measurement while drilling [drilling]

MWL                          mean water level

NAA                            neutron activation analysis

natural gamma ray  NGR

NERC                         Natural Environment Research Council (U.K.)

NF                               normal faults

NGA                           natural gas analyzer

NGR                           (1) nuclear gamma resonance (= Mössbauer spectroscopy); (2) natural gamma ray

NGT                            natural-gamma spectrometry tool [logging]

Nmi                             nautical mile [science and boating]

N-MORB                   normal mid-ocean ridge basalt

NMR                           natural-remanent magnetization

NRM                           natural remanent magnetization

NRMT                        nuclear resonance magnetometer tool

NSO                            nitrogen, sulfur, oxygen

OBS                            ocean-bottom seismometer

OCB                           outer core barrel [drilling]

OG                              organic geochemistry (sample designation) [curation]

ORP                            Oxidation Reduction Potential

OSHA                         Occupational Safety and Health Administration (U.S.) (not just a small town in upstate Wisconsin)

pack off                      to plug the annular space between tubular components or between the hole wall and the drill string (verb)

packer                        down-hole device for sealing the annulus between drill string and open hole, drill string and casing, tubing and casing, etc.; the packer isolates a section of annulus or hole hydraulically for testing, sampling, or production purposes

packoff                       device for sealing an annular space, usually at the surface; the seal usually permits relative motion of the wire, rod, or tube (noun)

PCB                            (1) pressure core barrel (obsolete DSDP tool) [drilling]

PCS                             pressure core sampler [drilling]

PCSP                          preliminary cruise sampling plan (brief outline of each sample request accepted, rejected, or deferred at the beginning of each expedition) [curation]

PDCM                                     positive displacement coring motor [drilling]

PDR                             precision depth recorder

PETM                        – see LPTM.

PFT                             perfluorocarbon trace

PGE                            platinum-group elements

pH                               expression of acidity vs. alkalinity (i.e., effective hydrogen ion concentration)

piperacker                 automated pipe-handling and storage system located aft of the drill floor and used to store a "working string" of up to 9100 m of drill pipe horizontally in 29-m stands

PLFA                          phospholipid fatty acid analysis

POOH                         pull out of hole (in reality, lift the bit up off the bottom of the hole, not necessarily clear the mud line) [drilling]

PP                               Physical properties

Ppm                             parts per million

Pusher                         (also" tool pusher", "night pusher", "day pusher", "drilling foreman"); the contractor employee in charge of the entire rig operation at any given time

PVT                            pressure-volume-temperature

P-wave                        primary seismic or compressional wave

PWS                           (1) pore water sampler ; (2) discrete P-wave velocity (VP) sensors PWS1, PWS2, PWS3 on the Hamilton frame probe

RAB                            resistivity at the bit (n.); resistivity-at-the-bit (adj.)

Rabbit                        small piece of bar or tubing of known diameter that is passed through tubulars to ensure that they are free of obstructions or diameter restrictions

RAD                            resistivity attenuation deep measurement

Rathole                       temporary holding tube for the kelly/swivel assembly during pipe trips on rigs that are so equipped; on a land rig, a special hole must be drilled for that purpose

RCB                            rotary core barrel [drilling]

Reefer                         refrigerated core/sample storage area [curation]

reentry cone               large (12 ft. diameter) funnel-shaped installation that is anchored in the seafloor by conductor casing on reentry sites. It serves as a conduit for reentry and wellhead for landing and supporting the surface-casing string

reentry                       the procedure of relocating a previously drilled hole and reinserting the drill string into it

RF                               (1) representative fraction; (2) radio frequency; (3) reverse fault

RI                                (1) refractive index; (2) reduction index

RM                             Remanent magnetism

Rock-Eval pyrolysis instrument for evaluating source character and maturity of organic matter in rock samples

ROP                            rate of penetration in drilling or coring [drilling]

Rotary                        shifting tool actuating tool run on the coring line to shift an internal sleeve in a down-hole tool, such as the MBR, DIC, or casing-running tool

Roughneck                 crew member who works on the drill floor; "floorman"

round trip                  complete operation of tripping the drill string into the hole and back out again (or vice versa)

roustabout                  crew member who works around the rig but not on the drill floor, usually on maintenance and general labor

ROV                           remotely operated vehicle

RPD                            redox potential discontinuity

SAC                            Sample Allocation Committee

SAM                           (1) shipboard sampling computer program [Curation

Sampling Party         Personal sampling of high recovery paleoceanogra[hic expeditions.

Sapropel                     – an aquatic ooze rich in organic matter. Believed to be source material for petroleum and natural gas.

SAR                            sediment-accumulation rate

SBA                            shipboard analysis (sample designation) [curation]

SCBA                          – SCBA is an acronym for Self-Contained Breathing Apparatus. Such an apparatus consists of a suitable face mask, combined with a hose and source of fresh air, generally in the form of compressed air.

SCBA                          self-contained breathing apparatus [safety]

SCS                             single-channel seismic

SDP                             Sample Distribution Policy [curation]

SEDCO/BP 471           previous registered name of drilling vessel used by ODP; (a.k.a. JOIDES Resolution) [ship]

SEM                           scanning electron microscope

SEM/EDA                  scanning electron microscope/energy dispersive analysis semi-                                    (compounds should be closed up unless the vowel is doubled) shatterbox

shear pin                    a pin, usually metal, designed to fail under a given shear stress for a specific purpose

single                           single joint of drill pipe or tubing; used to differentiate from a "double" or a "stand," which are two and three joints, respectively

sinker bar                  heavy bar run at the end of a wireline to help keep the slack out and to provide jarring action

skate                           wheeled vehicle that runs forward and aft in the track of the piperacker carrying the pin end of a stand of pipe as it is handled in or out of the racker

SLIDES                       database program for smear-slide descriptions [ODP]

Slips                            tapered segmented bushing with hardened steel teeth for holding the weight of the drill string when it is set down on the rotary table

Slts                              siltstone

smear slide                 [n., adj.]

SOP                            standard operating procedure [general]

  1. species

spud-in                       to start a hole; to begin drilling or coring at the seafloor

squeeze cake              [n., adj.]

SQUID                        super-conducting quantum interference device

SR                               Scientific Results of the Proceedings of the Ocean Drilling Program


S-wave                        secondary/shear wave

swivelS                       assembly immediately above the top drive that supports the entire weight of the drill string, acts as thrust bearing to permit rotation, and provides a rotating packoff and entry point for circulation down the drill string; also any component that provides continuity through a wire, tubular string, rod, or shaft while permitting relative rotation above and below

T/D                             Top Drive [drilling]

TAMRF                     Texas A&M Research Foundation

TAMU                        Texas A&M University

TC                               total carbon

TCP/IP                       networking protocol available on the ship [computers]

TD total depth of a hole [drilling] Techniques

TEM                           Transmission electron microscopy

tensor tool                  electronic magnetic orientation device incorporated in the sinker bar assembly of the coring line for collecting orientation data for APC cores

thermal conductivity thin section

TOC                           total organic carbon

Tongs                          large, jointed "wrenches" used by the rig crew to make and break threaded connections in the drill string; largely replaced by the iron roughneck but still used occasionally

tool joint                     drill-pipe threaded connection; characterized by diameter larger than the tube diameter and a special "upset" providing a transition to the thinner, more flexible section of the tube

toolpusher                  (see "pusher")

top drive                     electric or hydraulic motor suspended in the derrick that provides primary rotation of the drill string; replaces the rotary table/kelly bushing/kelly system

traveling block          large assembly suspended in the derrick and composed of the lower sheave assembly of the main hoisting system, the movable piston/cylinder portion of the heave compensator, and the connector subassembly

trip (or tripping)         act of assembling/disassembling the drill string to run drilling tools into the hole or to recover them

triple combination    [n., adj.]; also triple combo

TSB                             thin-section billet (sample designation) [curation]

Tugger                        (also "air tugger"); air-operated hoisting winch used extensively in the drill floor and moonpool areas for rigging, hoisting personnel into the derrick, etc.

UWG                          underway geophysics laboratory [ship]

VCD                            visual core-description form; database program for visual core descriptions of sedimentary cores [ODP]

V-door                        opening in the side of the derrick at the base, shaped like an inverted "V," through which tubular components are moved to and from the drill floor

VE                               vertical exaggeration

volcanic glass





VPC                            vibra-percussive corer [drilling]

wash core                   sample of sediment or rock recovered from an inner core barrel that was in place during a "washing" operation

wash                            to drill ahead with a coring assembly, making no attempt to retrieve core barrels or recover core; "drill" is the preferred term

WCR                          West Coast Repository at SIO

well log


wet bulk                     density



wiper trip                   short trip of the drill string made for purposes of opening a hole that may be restricted by a swelling formation or (where a circulating mud system is used) "wiping" excess mud filter cake from the borehole wall

wireline trip               procedure of lowering the sinker bars on the coring line to retrieve an inner core barrel or other down-hole tool; also the lowering and retrieving of a logging tool through the water column with the logging winch

WOB                          Weight on bit (n.), weight-on-bit (adj.)

WOC                          Waiting on cement (suspended operations) [drilling]

WOW                         waiting on weather (suspended operations) [drilling]

WSTP                         water-sampling temperature probe and water-sampling temperature- pressure tool

XRD                           (1) X-ray diffraction ; (2) sample designation (or XD) [curation] XRF           (1) X-ray fluorescence ; (2) sample designation (or XF) [curation] Z                                    Zulu; (also "GMT") replaced by UTC

Unconformity            surface of erosion or non-deposition that separates younger strata from older rocks and represents a significant hiatus.



The Shipboard Curatorial Cookbook is the result of the combined knowledge and writings of DSDP, ODP and IODP shipboard and shore-based curatorial staff.  Many thanks to all who came before me.

Chad Broyles, February, 2014

A partial list of curators who have contributed directly or indirectly to this volume includes: Amy Altman

Steve Asquith Jerry Bode Dennis Bohrer Kim Bracchi Chad Broyles Jim Butler Scott Chaffey Gail Clement Gar Esmay John Firth

Royce John Fiske III Dan Fornari

Linda Garifel Anne Graham Gretchen Hampt Jim Harrington Bob Hayman Bruce Horan

Jessica Huckemeyer Robert Kemp Christine Mato Erinn McCarty Russell Merrill John Miller

Bill Mills Peggy Myre Kathy O’Neil Drew Patrick Steve Prinz Dan Quoidbach Phil Rumford Nancy Smith

Lorraine Southey

Diana Stockdale Paula Weiss Bob Wilcox Trudy Wood Paula Worstell Alex Wuelbers

Yasmin Yabyabin

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