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Core tops: Gathered around a fresh marine sediment core from 400 meters depth in the central Makassar Strait, Indonesia.

The Top of the Bottom

A core pulled from the top few feet of the floor of the Makassar Strait (near Indonesia) shows the most recently deposited marine sediments. Sediments can be used which enable researchers to reconstruct the history of changes that have occurred in the region to paint a picture of temperature, salinity, currents, and climate during the past few centuries. The Makassar Strait, also known as the Indonesian Throughflow, is the primary route for surface water exchange between the Pacific and Indian Oceans, and the currents in the area are closely linked to El Niño-Southern Oscillation variability. The 2003 coring expedition was led by Yair Rosenthal, former MIT/WHOI Joint Program student (now a professor at Rutgers University), WHOI Senior Scientist Delia Oppo, and Brad Linsley of the State University of New York at Albany. (Photo by James Saenz, Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution)

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