Antarctica geological Drilling Project
“ANDRILL (Antarctic geological Drilling) is a multinational collaboration comprised of more than 200 scientists, students and educators from five nations to recover stratigraphic records from the Antarctic margin” In summer 2006 and 2007 in Antarctica, ANDRILL drilled in the McMurdo Ice Shelf and Southern McMurdo Sound. Each season ANDRILL recovered more than 1,000 meters of cores that can be dated back to 40 million year ago. Scientists are interested in cores from Antarctica because the whole Antarctica has long been covered with ice and the continent below ice could be one of the most un-disrupted areas that contain the answers to environmental changes, paleo-glacial activity and paleo-climatology.
We demonstrated the prototype to Dr. Levy and looked at ANDRILL’s workflow together to list the additional required functionalities and modifications that Corelyzer needed in order to make the best use of the new equipment without interfering other scientific activities. We decided that a Corelyzer setup could be used in several places in the workflow without causing too many adverse impacts all at once.
- In the core description team: Corelyzer will be used in the core description process to assist the investigation of specific sections of the core as a digital microscope.
- In the morning progress meeting and public discussion area: During the morning meeting, a large tiled display CoreWall system will be placed in common area to encourage and facilitate group discussions.
- In each member’s laptop: Project members who are interested in the digitized dataset can access the data freely via wireless network. They can download the dataset to their personal laptop for their own offline individual research.
To support the above deployments in the ANDRILL workflow, annotation functionality similar to previous work and a persistent data and knowledge distribution system were further designed. The system was verified in ANDRILL 2006 MIS Pre-drilling meeting held in University of Nebraska, Lincoln in September 2006 just before real deployment. During the meeting, we joined ANDRILL scientists to simulate the workflow as if they were in Antarctica.
Tom Wagner and CoreWall, McMurdo station. Photo By Josh Reed, the IT manager of the ANDRILL Project
Rob McKay (New Zealand sedimentologist) using the Corelyzer in the Crary Science and Engineering Center (CSEC) at McMurdo Station, Antarctica. Photo By LuAnn Dahlman, an ARISE participant
The CoreWall systems were used in the three months duration of the first ANDRILL expedition. In the first post-drilling meeting held in Florida State University, more than 20 members were still using Corelyzer on their laptops and wanted to setup a CoreWall station in their home institutes. These comments and feedbacks showed initial evidences that the system designed with proposed methodology is useful and enhancing the three workflow components where the system was placed.
In the 2007 season, we enhanced Corelyzer for Dr. Franco based on the annotation system. Instead of a “freeform” annotation, we proposed a “structured” annotation for users easily input property values pairs based on a pre-defined dictionary. Corelyzer now allows him to examine and circle clasts on the high-resolution core images directly as annotations. The system marks, records and generates a quality spreadsheet report, which saves not only time but also space. Such a structured style annotation system better serves the specific needs of the user compare to the original freeform annotation system and it could be potentially a better way to provide quality control of such user-generated contents using defined dictionaries.
In the second season, ANDRILL increased the number of CoreWall workstations from two to six placed in the laboratory and common areas and placed one at the drill site.For more information:
- Antarctica geological Drilling
- ANDRILL and CoreWall Collaboration in Apple Science Profile
- Chicago Sun-Times - "Getting to core of the problem"