We are stuck in Thong Song! Why? Because the small lake we had found contains meters and meters of sediment! But let’s take it from the start. Without much expectation we drove to the small lake that Nut had identified on a map. According to our experience from northern and northeastern Thailand, such lakes usually served as water reservoirs or had been completely modified and thus did not contain any sediment or little material.
Rather reluctantly we pumped up our zodiacs and paddled out on the lake to probe the water depth and the sediment thickness. Most parts of the lake proved to so shallow (see the fisherman walking along the edge of the lake), and contained less than 2 m of sediments.
But there was one area, where Nut, Ludvig and Moo estimated the sediment thickness to more than 4 m. Interesting, we thought, maybe there is something after all, and maybe we should give it a try. We surveyed the deeper part a bit more and found that the area with thicker sediments extended over a larger part than we had thought. Sheri was a bit skeptic and not at all convinced that we would get very much, but I decided to give it a try …. “one never knows what one might get” is what I usually say, so why not try here.
The first core contained just soupy mud and half of the sediment just ran out of the core chamber … not very lucky. The next meter was slightly better, the mud was less soupy, but still very soft. My thoughts were that this is really not a good spot, if the mud is so soupy, we would probably hit the rock bottom quite soon. I did however not tell this to the rest of the group, but suggested that we should go as deep as possible and see how far we could get and what the sediments might look like.
And we added rod after rod to the corer until we reached a depth of 9 meters! We pulled up the corer, opened it and found the most beautiful algae gyttja! What a surprise!! There were interesting sediments after all!
So now we needed to get the whole sequence, and had to start in orderly fashion from top to bottom. We worked and worked and were almost done by 5:30 pm, when we had to stop because it was soon getting dark. The few missing meters could easily be done tomorrow.
Sheri, Koy and Nerys on the other zodiac, watching us coring. Nerys in action – we never escaped her camera. Happy with our new sequence from Nong Thale Song we returned to our hotel in Thong Song, had a nice shower and went out for a delicious meal to celebrate that we had found yet another lake with sediments.