July 14. Ice and fire!

Wow! At the very morning! For the breakfast! The Baikalian gas hydrates!

Of course, we all have thirsted to see this natural phenomenon. It is exciting - no matter, if you are already a seadog and have recovered them many times from World Ocean depths or it is your first expedition! It’s no joke: gas hydrates look like ordinary piece of ice, gold and wet, but if you approach with match, it ignites with tongues of amazing flame.


Our first, both for today and for the cruise, bottom sampling station with gas hydrates became a surprise. Oleg Khlystov (the most experienced expert for Baikalian gas hydrates and co-chief scientists of our expedition) liked to make a joke that we have to purposely postpone our meeting with gas hydrates, saying that once we have got them, all other things would be not interesting anymore. But, definitely, that was not a case. We have started working even with more enthusiasm and were waiting even more impatiently for new core.

Today no more gas hydrate was collected. But we are sure that many exciting findings are still ahead of us.

The ship positioning, using side scan sonar image. The Novosibirsk mud volcano is just under us.

Several cores have recovered mud-volcanic breccia, products of “life” of the mud volcano. Some cores with "typical" Baikalian section were obtained as well.

We are going to continue mapping of the Novosibirsk mud volcano for several next days.
The team of geochemists will play the important role. A big responsibility of sampling of dissolved gases will be heaped on their gentle shoulders.

To help them, Svetlana has invited all scientific party of our expedition and even the crewof the vessel to be involved in processing of samples. It is worth to be mentioned that to collect gases from a sample of sediments requires rather long and intensive shaking of laboratory jars, where sediment sample was placed. Everybody were invited to evening dancing party where our smartest girls, Anna, Anastasiya and Olesya, have armed everyone with jars and in such a way have “accelerated" processing with the help of cheerful music. The disco party occurred with fun and with advantage. Again, “two targets with just one bullet”. Baikal is definitely a place of magic!!!

This day was closed with traditional educational part of the expedition.

Dr. Adriano Mazzini from the University of Oslo made the presentation  about his unique project named LusiLab. This project is devoted to the mud-volcanic eruption in far Indonesia.