Sidney Hemming, Author at State of the Planet

I am a geochemist and professor of Earth and Environmental Sciences at Lamont-Doherty Earth Observatory. I use the records in sediments and sedimentary rocks to document aspects of Earth’s history.

Recent Posts

Almost Home, with Another 7 Million Years of Climate History

Science at sea isn’t easy, but the benefits are huge, writes Sidney Hemming in her final post from a two-month expedition that collected millions of years of climate history in the deep-sea sediment from off southern Africa.

by |March 25, 2016
Expedition 361’s nannofossil experts with their specialties: Top, left to right: Margit Simon, Thiago Pereira dos Santos, Luna Brentegani and Deborah Tangunan. Bottom left to right: Dick Norris and Jason Coenen. All associated with a fossil of their speciality (not quite to scale…). Illustration by Deborah Tangunan

Finding Microfossils off Southern Africa

Expedition 361’s newest sediment cores brought up spectacular foraminifera—translucent, glassy and “very pretty” throughout the ocean sediment.

by |March 19, 2016
Alexis Armstrong and Beth Novak of the International Ocean Discovery Program (IODP) prepare a core for laser engraving aboard the JOIDES Resolution. Photo: Tim Fulton/IODP

A Surprise from the Zambezi River

Sidney Hemming and her team aboard the JOIDES Resolution got a surprise when they began taking sediment cores from their first river site off southern Africa—about 10 times more sediment than expected.

by |March 16, 2016
Scientists crowd around the stratigraphic correlators' screens. Co-chief scientists Sidney Hemming and Ian Hall are on the right. Photo: Tim Fulton/IODP

Mozambique Core Brings Up 7 Million Years of Climate History

With calm seas, the JOIDES Resolution’s latest sediment core comes up with what appears to be a fantastic, cyclic climate signal that is continuous back 7 million years, writes Sidney Hemming.

by |March 11, 2016
Sedimentologists Andreas Koutsodendris of the University of Heidelberg, Masako Yamane of the Japan Agency for Marine-Earth Science and Technology, and Thibaut Caley of the University of Bordeaux study freshly split cores. Photo: Tim Fulton, IODP

We’re Headed for Mozambique!

After weeks of anticipation, permission arrived just in time to core off Mozambique. Sidney Hemming and her team of scientists aboard the JOIDES Resolution are excited about what they might learn from the ocean sediment.

by |March 8, 2016
Sedimentologists Thibaut Caley of the University of Bordeaux and Andreas Koutsodendris of the University of Heidelberg and Deborah Tangunan, a paleontologist from the University of Bremen at work in the core lab aboard the JOIDES Resolution. Photo: Tim Fulton/IODP.

Trials & Tribulations of Coring the Agulhas Plateau

Trying to drill sediment cores while the ship rides large ocean swells off the coast of Africa isn’t easy, but it’s paying off for science, writes Sidney Hemming.

by |February 28, 2016
The team aboard the JOIDES Resolution collected the first four cores of Expedition 361 from the Natal Valley site. Here, scientists prepare to open the first. (Tim Fulton/IODP)

Sailing into a Storm as We Head for the Agulhas Plateau

The team aboard the JOIDES Resolution just finished at their first coring site off southern Africa. The first results? “Awesome.” Sidney Hemming describes the process in words and photos.

by |February 19, 2016
Jeroen vanderLubbe examines the first cores brought up by the team aboard the Joides Resolution.

6 Million Years of Sediment, Studded with Tiny Fossils

Sidney Hemming and her team have started examining their first sediment core from off southern Africa. It appears to contain about 6 million years of history.

by |February 12, 2016
Bubba Attryde, a core technican, shows scientists on the Joides Resolution the drill bits and other tools. Tim Fulton/IODP

Gearing Up for Our First Cores

As they get to know their ship, the scientists aboard the JOIDES Resolution prepare to drill their first sediment cores along the Natal Valley off the coast of southern Africa.

by |February 8, 2016

Setting Off for Two Months at Sea

Sidney Hemming and the scientists aboard the JOIDES Resolution conduct the final preparations for their research cruise off southern Africa and introduce a girls’ school group from Mauritius to science at sea.

by |February 3, 2016