A sediment core is a cylindrical sample of material from the seabed. Corers can penetrate 50 metres or more. Because deeper sediment is older, geologists can study past events by looking at the different layers. This 9.7-metre core was taken 670 kilometres east of the North Island, from waters 4 kilometres deep. The upper part is at top left, and the bottom is halfway down column 7. The light grey areas contain fossilised plankton, and indicate changes in the ocean over thousands of years. The darker layers are ash deposits erupted from volcanoes in the Taupō region.
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