Core Cuttin’

Summer REU 2013 031

Halves of our split cores.

Today was our team’s first day in the LacCore Laboratory in Minneapolis at the University of Minnesota. We cut each of our cores in half into two sides: one to be archived away in storage and one to use for work (other tests and slides) and to examine. With precision, the muddy and sometimes sandy cores were cut and carefully transplanted into the laboratory for examination using several instruments. We used an imager on the work halves to gain a detailed image of each core. Then we created smear slides from different layers in the work cores to look at under a microscope. The archive halves in the meantime were placed under a machine known as “pokey” to further examine magnetic susceptibility, spectrophotometry, etc. at a slow and methodical pace. We are going to examine that data tomorrow morning along with heading under the microscope for more observations of the smear slides.

We also looked at old photos from Google Earth and the Minnesota Historical Aerial Photography websites to look at how long GNBZ has been a fen and how it has changed over time. The hypotheses are wide ranging, but all will be answered in the upcoming days under further examination. Maybe just maybe we will need some more cores to better understand the area and how humans have impacted the site.

Zachary Kisfalusi

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About Diana Dalbotten

Diana Dalbotten is the Director of Diversity and Broader Impacts for the National Center for Earth-surface Dynamics and the St. Anthony Falls Laboratory, University of Minnesota; and for the Geoscience Alliance, a national alliance for broadening participation of Native Americans in the Geosciences.

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