Welcome to the web site for Sediment and Solute Transport on Rivers and Margins (SSTORM) Research Group! Reide Corbett and J.P. Walsh from East Carolina University and the UNC Coastal Studies Institute lead the team.
Check out our research in/on wetlands, estuaries, barrier islands, shelves and groundwater.

Saturday, August 6, 2011

Vampires Hunt for Ocean Mud

A moonlight night on the Gulf of Mexico...

A mud vampire soaks up the moonlight.

The vampire team scavenges for ocean sediments on the Mississippi River delta.

They race aboard the R/V Cape Hatteras to find more magical mud.

The vampire team collects critical samples to learn more.

Vampire making sophisticated mud measurements to better understand the sedimentary system.

Slow core collection leads to an unfortunate vampire victim (Co-Chief Scientist Dr. Reide Corbett).

6 August

A strange group of students and faculty aboard the R/V Cape Hatteras are thirsty for sampling the seabed at night.  They roam the ocean with the aid of an amiable and talented Captain and crew who assist this odd coven of mud hungry monsters in finding marine sediments.  In the Gulf of Mexico, they have found their nirvana, where massive floods supply millions of more metric tons annually.  Over the past few days they have used a multicore to collect copious quantities of the gold for ghouls.  This black oozing matter is a mysterious mixture of aluminosilicate minerals, quartz sand and organic materials (both microscopic and macroscopic).  Humans have altered the amount of material washing into our coastal oceans through damming (which reduces the sediment discharged) and land–use changes (which generally increases material fluxes).  Naturally, the vampires are curious to find out more about how and why.  But before they can understand the Earth system and human influences, they must obtain key samples to quantify sedimentation rates and compositional details.  Quenching their thirst for knowledge will enable them to provide valuable insights which can inform managers and ultimately help their vampire brethren and the related mud-sucking marine macrofauna.  Unfortunately, sometimes there are victims if mud sampling is slowed.

Thanks to Alisha Ellis for the spooktacular photos.

1 comment:

  1. Wow - Twilight on the Gulf - mud hungry vampires take to the water - sounds like material for a new series! Glad things are going well on the moonlight waters!