Drilling Deep: Thursday, July 30, 2015 -- A long tow and finally some mud

Layers of sediment from the bottom of Lake Junín, at an elevation of 13,000 feet in the Peruvian Andes, hold the record of climate change as far back as 200,000 years.
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Drilling Deep: Thursday, July 30, 2015 -- A long tow and finally some mud


  • Prof. Don Rodbell uses GPS to locate the drill site as the barge is towed in place.Prof. Don Rodbell uses GPS to locate the drill site as the barge is towed in place.
  • Prof. Don Rodbell and Grace Delgado ’14 inspect a sediment core from Lake Junín.Prof. Don Rodbell and Grace Delgado ’14 inspect a sediment core from Lake Junín.
  • Prof. Don Rodbell takes a photo of Grace Delgado ’14 with one of the first sediment cores from Lake Junín.Prof. Don Rodbell takes a photo of Grace Delgado ’14 with one of the first sediment cores from Lake Junín.
  • Among the flags flown over the drilling barge on Lake Junín in Peru this summer were the Peruvian flag, the Union College flag and the American flag. The latter, generously provided by Marty’s True Value Hardware in Schenectady, was donated to members of the Peruvian drilling crew at the end of the project.Among the flags flown over the drilling barge on Lake Junín in Peru this summer were the Peruvian flag, the Union College flag and the American flag. The latter, generously provided by Marty’s True Value Hardware in Schenectady, was donated to members of the Peruvian drilling crew at the end of the project.

  Five days in Peru

It was a challenge to tow a 24- by 60-foot barge to the middle of the lake. Even with a light breeze, the large vessel seemed to wander off course and take a circuitous route. Finally, by mid-afternoon, the barge was over the deepest part of the lake (about 10 meters). The day ended with anchoring the barge, sinking the towering “nails” about 30 feet into the sediment. After a series of delays, the Lake Junín Drill Project got what it came for: the first layers of sediment from one of the world’s oldest lakes.