Since finishing the 2015 fieldwork season in mid-November, the (not so) cold Winter days have been spent locked away in the lab working on the cores. In total, we collected just over 150 metre-long sediment cores from our 10 study sites this year… we’ve certainly got plenty of work to do!
Once the cores are offloaded back at the university, the first job is to saw the cores open using a small circular saw. The exposed face of the sediments within is then cleaned: the surface of the sediment which was in contact with the plastic tube is usually a little disturbed, so this is carefully peeled away with a scalpel. This reveals all the fine details: the subtle changes in texture, colour, and any layering or ‘structure’ all of which can help us to understand how the deposits used to make the mound were formed.