Imagine that you are aboard the scientific drillship Joides Resolution, drilling in 7500m water depth, and you recover the section illustrated below. Develop a hypothesis that could account for the observed sequence of rock and sediment types. Your hypothesis should be in the form of a hypothetical sequence of events: first this happened, then this happened, then this changed which caused something else to happen, etc.
(mbsf = meters below seafloor)
Now, design an experiment (for example, additional sampling, additional tests or measurements on one of the units in the drilled section) to test one aspect of your hypothesis.
[This question is designed to assess: (1) your knowledge of the kinds of information contained in oceanic sediments, (2) your ability to construct a logical chain of reasoning from observation to interpretation, (3) your ability to formulate a strategy for answering an unanswered question in earth science.]
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DLESE resource created by Kim Kastens, Lamont-Doherty Earth Observatory, Palisades, NY 10964; firstname.lastname@example.org; October 2000.
This resource may be freely used for educational purposes.