Lake Ohrid deep drilling, first hole success!! by Mel Leng

Jack Lacey, a BGS-University of Leicester PhD student, wrote a blog about the Lake Ohrid project back in March… on his behalf, I'm pleased to report that drilling finally begun on 1st April!  A 480m long core of undisturbed sediment from one of the deepest parts of the lake has been drilled and it’s anticipated that the sediment will represent accumulation over the last 3 million years. 

The drilling barge on Lake Ohrid preparing to collect 500m of
sediment! Thanks to Stefen Schorr - Stefen and
Bernd Wagner
are uploading a picture everyday on the ICDP website.
The core will be analysed for a number of different proxies including its isotope geochemistry (for climate change analysis by Jack) as well as for fossils (for the evolutionary biology research) and tephra (for dating). This will enable us to link rapid changes in environmental conditions and biological evolution. This core that has just been collected is already one of the longest land-based archives from this part of the world to date. Such a record will also provide valuable information towards a regional picture of the Mediterranean over the time period. This covers several warm intervals, which not only may have driven evolution, but act as analogues for a future warming world. The time frame and location also coincide with initial human migration pathways and may add detail to the ‘Out of Africa’ hypothesis.

The SCOPSCO project is funded by several sources, including the German Research Foundation (DFG), the British Geological Survey and the International Continental Scientific Drilling Program (ICDP). It involves a multi-disciplinary team of scientists from all over the world. The BGS are involved both scientifically (myself, Chris Vane and Jack Lacey) and on the logistical side thanks to Ali Skinner and Dave Smith.

Drillers retrieving a section of core. Thanks to Ali Skinner

The first sediment from Lake Ohrid. Thanks to Ali Skinner  

The UK community has representatives on the three international boards that oversee ICDP activities. Prof John Ludden (BGS Director @BGSBoss) represents the UK on the over arching Assembly of Governors, I sit on the Executive Committee and Dr Kathryn Goodenough (BGS) is part of the Science Advisory Group. Please keep us in touch with the ICDP related activities. The next deadline for ICDP proposals is 15th January.  

by Mel 

You can keep up to date with ICDP-UK activities through the web site and via twitter @MelJLeng and  #ICDP-UK