After collecting specimens of substrate along the transects last week, Yikang, Yong Jian and Jing Kai who are working on the GIS aspect of the substrate variability in Chek Jawa were back in NUS Geo Lab throughout the midterm break.
Studying sediments of Chek Jawa is no mean feat. It first involves scrapping off the collected substrate specimens onto a metal petri dish. Looks easy?
Here are the total number of samples they had to each test for substrate composition. And Yikang told me each bottle will take them 15-30minutes.
It was quite interesting to see different colours of sand and mud and other substrate types in different samples, which reflects possible wide variations.
As the sediments are wet, the team had to dry them at an oven for 15o degrees for half an hour. It's like baking cookies.
After which, the dried sediments of each sample will have to queue up to be sieved by this machine in the lab. Each sieving process takes 15 minutes. And all these work went on for four consecutive days before the manual processes were done.
On Thursday night, the team finally could enjoy the fruits of their labour. They displayed the results onto a GIS map where data interpolation can be peformed. We were pleasantly glad to see that there was some trends where the northern part of Chek Jawa has coarsest sediments. The mangroves end of Chek Jawa has the finest sediments. What caught my attention was that the sandbar "boomerang" shape was not visible in the map. That means that there are indeed more than one can expect when we predict the substrate variability in Chek Jawa.
Personally, I'm excited to see their analysis and they will be putting up a website soon to share their data and discussions. Let's watch out for it, I'll post it here too when it is up.