Forum for Science, Industry and Business

Sponsored by:     3M 
Search our Site:

 

More than a mile-long core retrieved from Crater Drilling

13.01.2006


Following three months of around-the-clock work, the Chesapeake Bay Impact Crater Deep Drilling Project successfully completed its operations, extracting more than a mile-long segment of rocks and sediments from the Earth. On Dec. 4, the drill bit reached a final depth of 5,795 ft (1.1 miles, 1.77 kilometers) within the structure of the crater.



The impact crater was formed about 35 million years ago when a rock from space struck the Earth at hypersonic speed. Scientists have only recently begun to explore the consequences from that distant event and learn how it has greatly affected the population living in southeastern Virginia today.

“The drilling project was a major success,” said Greg Gohn, a U. S. Geological Survey (USGS) scientist in Reston, Va. “We recovered a nearly complete set of core samples from the top of the crater fill to the crater floor.” USGS and the International Continental Scientific Drilling Program (ICDP) are the project’s sponsors.


Gohn is a co-principal investigator of the drilling project, along with Christian Koeberl of the University of Vienna in Austria, Kenneth Miller of Rutgers University in New Brunswick, NJ, and Uwe Reimold, at Humboldt University in Berlin, Germany.

“This is one of the most complete cores ever obtained in an impact structure,” said Koeberl, “and will allow us to understand a shallow-marine impact event at an unprecedented level.”

The team successfully recovered the complete succession of post-impact sediments above the crater, the entire sequence of rocks broken up during the impact, and rocks from the crater floor. These samples will allow the project’s international science teams to research the post-impact environment, impact-related processes, and the impact process itself. In addition, the team completed geophysical down-hole logging to collect additional data, such as the temperature gradient within the corehole.

Important in this multidisciplinary venture is the analysis of the groundwater reservoir in the Chesapeake Bay impact crater. Findings have direct implications for the millions of people living in the area along Virginia’s eastern shore and to future development. Several teams from the U.S. and Europe are investigating the microbial life present in the impact crater, part of intriguing recent studies of life in exotic environments.

“The post-impact sediments record the recovery of the continental-shelf target area from devastating impact mega-tsunamis to the passive continental shelf and coastal plain that continues today,” said Ken Miller, who chairs the Department of Geological Sciences at Rutgers University. “Comparison of the section in Virginia with more complete sections sampled in New Jersey and Delaware will yield new insight into global sea-level changes and the distribution of water-bearing units in the coastal plain.”

The drillsite is located on private land in Northampton County on Virginia’s Eastern Shore. The site was chosen because of its location above the central part of the buried crater. Drillsite activities began with extensive site preparations in July 2005. The drill rig arrived in early September, and scientists recovered the first core sample on September 15th.

Cores are being stored at the USGS in Reston, VA and will be photographed and documented during the next 3 months. In March 2006 members from all international teams will gather at the USGS to obtain samples of the core for their various studies.

ICDP and USGS provided the initial funding for the drilling project. The project received supplementary funding in late November from ICDP and USGS, and from the Solar System Division of the NASA Science Mission Directorate, which allowed drilling to continue into December. The National Science Foundation, Earth Science Division, is supporting the post-impact studies.

DOSECC (Drilling, Observation, and Sampling of the Earth’s Continental Crust) managed the drillsite operations, and Major Drilling America, Inc. performed the core drilling. DOSECC is a nonprofit corporation whose mission is to provide leadership and technical support in subsurface sampling and monitoring technology for scientific and societal importance.

Ulrich Harms | alfa
Further information:
http://chesapeake.icdp-online.org
http://geology.er.usgs.gov/eespteam/crater/
http://www.gfz-potsdam.de

More articles from Earth Sciences:

nachricht Ice cave in Transylvania yields window into region's past
28.04.2017 | National Science Foundation

nachricht Citizen science campaign to aid disaster response
28.04.2017 | International Institute for Applied Systems Analysis (IIASA)

All articles from Earth Sciences >>>

The most recent press releases about innovation >>>

Die letzten 5 Focus-News des innovations-reports im Überblick:

Im Focus: Making lightweight construction suitable for series production

More and more automobile companies are focusing on body parts made of carbon fiber reinforced plastics (CFRP). However, manufacturing and repair costs must be further reduced in order to make CFRP more economical in use. Together with the Volkswagen AG and five other partners in the project HolQueSt 3D, the Laser Zentrum Hannover e.V. (LZH) has developed laser processes for the automatic trimming, drilling and repair of three-dimensional components.

Automated manufacturing processes are the basis for ultimately establishing the series production of CFRP components. In the project HolQueSt 3D, the LZH has...

Im Focus: Wonder material? Novel nanotube structure strengthens thin films for flexible electronics

Reflecting the structure of composites found in nature and the ancient world, researchers at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign have synthesized thin carbon nanotube (CNT) textiles that exhibit both high electrical conductivity and a level of toughness that is about fifty times higher than copper films, currently used in electronics.

"The structural robustness of thin metal films has significant importance for the reliable operation of smart skin and flexible electronics including...

Im Focus: Deep inside Galaxy M87

The nearby, giant radio galaxy M87 hosts a supermassive black hole (BH) and is well-known for its bright jet dominating the spectrum over ten orders of magnitude in frequency. Due to its proximity, jet prominence, and the large black hole mass, M87 is the best laboratory for investigating the formation, acceleration, and collimation of relativistic jets. A research team led by Silke Britzen from the Max Planck Institute for Radio Astronomy in Bonn, Germany, has found strong indication for turbulent processes connecting the accretion disk and the jet of that galaxy providing insights into the longstanding problem of the origin of astrophysical jets.

Supermassive black holes form some of the most enigmatic phenomena in astrophysics. Their enormous energy output is supposed to be generated by the...

Im Focus: A Quantum Low Pass for Photons

Physicists in Garching observe novel quantum effect that limits the number of emitted photons.

The probability to find a certain number of photons inside a laser pulse usually corresponds to a classical distribution of independent events, the so-called...

Im Focus: Microprocessors based on a layer of just three atoms

Microprocessors based on atomically thin materials hold the promise of the evolution of traditional processors as well as new applications in the field of flexible electronics. Now, a TU Wien research team led by Thomas Müller has made a breakthrough in this field as part of an ongoing research project.

Two-dimensional materials, or 2D materials for short, are extremely versatile, although – or often more precisely because – they are made up of just one or a...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>

Anzeige

Anzeige

Event News

Fighting drug resistant tuberculosis – InfectoGnostics meets MYCO-NET² partners in Peru

28.04.2017 | Event News

Expert meeting “Health Business Connect” will connect international medical technology companies

20.04.2017 | Event News

Wenn der Computer das Gehirn austrickst

18.04.2017 | Event News

 
Latest News

Wireless power can drive tiny electronic devices in the GI tract

28.04.2017 | Medical Engineering

Ice cave in Transylvania yields window into region's past

28.04.2017 | Earth Sciences

Nose2Brain – Better Therapy for Multiple Sclerosis

28.04.2017 | Life Sciences

VideoLinks
B2B-VideoLinks
More VideoLinks >>>