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CHIKYU SCIENCE AND TECHNOLOGY
How does D/V CHIKYU reveal the Earth and life? We introduce the onboard research such as borehole observation and sample research process.
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Onboard analysis of D/V CHIKYU
photo The cylindrical rock and sediment samples taken from the deep Earth is called “Core” and it is a key to find the figure of the Earth, however, the core is a “living materials” and its nature changes every moment due to environment difference. D/V CHIKYU equips with the onboard laboratory for competent, complex and quick analysis.
Cut the core
photo The 9 meters long core samples moved from the drill floor through catwalk are cut into sections of 1.5 meters in length. Each core section is provided an ID barcode (indicating the expedition number, drill hole number, core number, and section number). These data are stored in the database.
X-ray CT Scanner
photo It measures CT value of whole core and construct inner view of the core, before the core is distracted its physical property and structure by cut to half. To measure inner heterogeneity of the core, this device provides more information for using sample more efficiently and effectively.
Quality Analysis and Quality Control (QA/QC)
photo In the study of microbiology and geochemistry, gases and fluids are important samples as well as solid core. Therefore, high quality gas / fluid sampling is required. The QA/QC Sampling Room enables non-contaminated sampling in anaerobic atmosphere.
Microbiological Analysis
photo Subsurface microorganisms are living in a low temperature and anaerobic environment, which can be killed or mutated by long-time exposure in the aerobic environment under room temperature. Microbiology Lab. provides various equipments for sampling and storage for subsurface microorganisms such as anaerobic glove box, freezer (under -80 degree C) and incubator.
Split the core
photo Split a 1.5 meters long whole core into working and archive halves. Working half is for distributed to researchers as discrete samples for on-board and onshore analyses. Archive half is for stored in a core case for permanent archiving after description and non-destructive physical property measurements (density, magnetic susceptibility...etc.).
Sample preparation
photo Discrete samples taken from the working half core are purified for each analysis by centrifugal separation and/or filtering.
Paleomagnetics Lab.
photo High precision residual magnetization measurement of the core is done in a magnetic shield room, for age determination and paleo-environmental research.
Paleontology / Petrology Lab.
photo Microscopic observations are done for paleontological / petrological studies such as fossil age determination, paleo-environment, petrogenesis and crustal environment.
Geochemistry Lab.
Various geochemical analyses are done for rocks, sediments and interstitial water such as ICP-AES/MS analyses, ion-chromatography (gas, liquid).
Data Integration --- J-CORES
All data including core analytical results, core images (including X-ray CT scan images), downhole logging data, and mud logging data are stored in the workstation situated in the Data Integration Center where secondary processing, integration, visualization and imaging are done.
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Core Storage
photo 20ft containers are used to refrigerate cores and can store up to 8,000 meters in length of half-split core.
Logging
photo The geological layers are observed not only by a recovered geological sample (core sample), but also by a special observation equipment run down by a wire-line from the vessel into the borehole. Permeability, mineral composition, quantity of thermal flow are measured by using sound wave (seismic wave), radiation, electromagnetism. The equipment can also output a color image of borehole and sample formation fluid. In situ and real time data are acquired continuously compared to the core sample. The high resolution image (resolution is about 5mm) makes it possible to catch the indistinct crack on the geological layer and the subtle change of the rock recording the past climatic change.
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An example of a borehole-wall image processed by a computer. It was acquired by FMI (Formation Micro Imager) which makes the high resolution color image by using resistance.

(c) Schlumberger

Long-term Downhole Monitoring System
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The long term borehole monitoring system observing crustal change is developed. In the future, earth observation network will be prepared by linking several observation boreholes by cables on the sea floor. It will contribute to our society such as disaster prevention.

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