Coring Rano Kau

Today we began our efforts to core Rano Kau, the massive crater lake at the southwest end of Easter Island. Getting there is a challenge in itself. The walk down to where we are coring is a descent of 300m across boulder slopes and then out onto the floating mat that covers the lake.

Our first hole reached 20 meters below water level. Like most previous work in Rano Kau, we found entirely organic sediments (today's second photo shows an ideal sample from deep in the core). These organic layers are derived entirely from vegetation. We were pleased to find the organic layers interrupted by at least two layers of clay, silt and fine sand that may indicate ancient landslides from the crater rim.


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Troy Baisden

Was Collapse Inevitable on Easter Island (Rapa Nui)? Reconstructing a Civilisation's Failure is a Marsden Programme Troy Baisden is involved in.

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