Iziko Curator Investigates Climate Evolution off the Coast of southern Africa

  • Posted: Mar 15, 2016

A multi corer being brough onto the ship after retrieving core samples from the ocean floor (image by Eugene Bergh)
 Iziko Curator of Invertebrate Palaeontology and Geology, Eugene Bergh recently joined 24 other scientists and students from Germany and South Africa for a research sampling cruise onboard the research vessel (RV) Meteor. The research vessel, from Hamburg, Germany, allows scientists the opportunity to sample various components of the ocean and seafloor for analyses across a range of disciplines and projects.

This particular cruise (which took place over 3 weeks in Feb 2016) focussed on collecting material from the southern and eastern South African coastline to study climate change during the Late Quaternary (the last few 100 000 years). The deepest station where material was taken from the ocean floor was at 3 000 m water depth. As the ship moved from the Atlantic and across the Indian Ocean off South Africa the seafloor was also mapped using modern techniques.

During the research cruise Eugene analysed 115 samples and documented the different species of fossil foraminifera (small organisms living in the ocean with a shell) in each sample, as well as assigning ages to 14 of the sites where the scientists had taken material from. The work done on the ship will contribute to the collective multi-disciplinary RAiN project. Read more: https://www.marum.de/en/R_A_i_N.html

All images by Eugene Bergh.


An image of the RV -Meteor by Michael Kossack

Close up side view of the RV Meteor after it fulfilled this mission (image by Eugene Bergh)

Eugene Bergh (in blue shirt) sampling one of the cores

Eugene Bergh (yellow shirt) and Lukas Gander (blue shirt) taking samples from the maulti cores

Eugene Bergh and Lukas Gander analysing some samples under the microscope
(by Peter Frenzel from Jena University)

One of the samples under the microscope showing a relatively large planktonic fossil
foraminifer Globorotalia menardii

Ophiuroid (related to starfish) found in one of the samples

View from above the gravity corer (image by Eugene Bergh)

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