Information from Janus conducted under the Deep Sea Drilling Project (DSDP), Ocean Drilling Program (ODP) and Integrated Ocean Drilling Program (IODP) efforts.

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Ocean drilling samples are recovered in cores, long tubes of material collected while drilling beneath the sea floor. Specific terminology is used to precisely describe the location of a sample taken in a core.

  • Leg, Expedition – During the history of ocean drilling, the science has been carried out in segments called legs during DSDP and ODP and expeditions during IODP.
  • Site, Hole – A site is a location at which drilling is conducted. Drill sites are numbered consecutively starting with the first drilled by the Glomar Challenger in 1968. If more than one hole is drilled at a site, each hole receives a different letter suffix (A, B, C, etc).
  • Core – Each cored interval is usually 9.5 to 9.6 meters and 6 cm in diameter.
  • Section – A core is cut into sections 1.5 meters long, numbered from the top of the core.
  • Interval – A sample from a core is designated by distance in centimeters from the top of the section to the top and bottom of the sample removed.

A sample identification number includes: leg, site, hole, core number, core type, section number, and interval in centimeters measured from the top of section. For example, “210-1276A-3R-3, 80–85 cm” is a sample from the interval 80 to 85 cm below the top of Section 3, Core 3R of Hole 1276A during Leg 210. All ODP core identifiers indicate core type (R = rotary core barrel, H = advanced piston corer, X = extended core barrel, and W = wash core).

Cored intervals can also be described in meters below sea floor (mbsf). The mbsf depth of a sample is determined by adding the depth of the sample below the section top and the lengths of all higher sections in the core to the core-top datum measured with the drill string.