Thursday, 11 April 2013

The liver-sausage slicer

More core try-outs. Here are Pete and Dave experimenting with the new, hand welded, Dave designed corer (unveiled on the 5th April blog). The metal core tube has a plunger allowing us to gently push out the sediment samples, the plunger handle calibrated to measure out 1cm sections which are then sliced off. The sections from this core were strikingly similar to liver-sausage, a kind of processed meat that seemed to dominate 1970s Sunday tea-times, with its distinctive grey-blue-brown patina and deeply savoury taste. I had assumed liver-sausage had become extinct now that our supermarkets are full of rustic treats from across the whole of Europe but Pete assures me it was all he ate in the second year of being a student. We can now cut up the cores immediately in the field rather than bringing them back to the lab and struggling to detach them from tubes. This core came out of a pond that lingers along the headland of an arable field at Blakemoor Farm towards the south end of Druridge Bay. The fine sediment gets ploughed and driven through occasionally and the pond lacks the dense swards of swamp plants that seem to be associated with the darker, organics rich mud. We suspect these arable field ponds are much less effective at trapping carbon, although the surface of the mud can often be a vivid mosaic of green algae bubbling out oxygen on sunny days. Over April we hope to core a range of pond types to characterise the organic carbon that has buitl up in their sediments. Dave's corer looks the business.

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