Program Update: Integrated Ocean Drilling Program – March 2012
The JOIDES Resolution wrapped up Expedition 340T (Atlantis Massif Oceanic Core Complex) on March 2 with a port stop in San Juan, Puerto Rico. This short “transit” expedition revisited Atlantis Massif, a large seamount in the middle of the Atlantic, to gather data on water permeability and temperature variability from inside a borehole first drilled about seven years ago. See the Expedition 340T website for more information.
On March 5, the JOIDES Resolution set out on Expedition 340 (Lesser Antilles Volcanism and Landslides). This expedition is drilling several sites along the Lesser Antilles, with the goal of better understanding how volcanic island arcs originate and evolve over time. The expedition began with drilling at several sites near Montserrat. This small island is home to the Soufrière Hills volcano, which has been erupting continuously since 1995, sending much of the resultant ash, tephra and other volcanic material into the ocean. Later, the ship moved on to several drill sites near Martinique. The goal there is to investigate the underwater traces of pyroclastic flows – fast-moving, deadly mixtures of gases and rock debris – erupted from Martinique’s Mt. Pelée. This volcano is infamous for a particularly violent eruption in 1902; the resulting pyroclastic flow killed nearly 30,000 people and entirely destroyed the town of St. Pierre, earning it the title of the deadliest volcanic disaster of the 20th century. See the Expedition 340 website for more information.
Also this month, IODP announced Expedition 347 (Baltic Sea Paleoenvironment), slated for Spring-Summer 2013. The Baltic Sea Basin is one of the world’s largest intra-continental basins, and its sediments contain a unique high-resolution archive of local paleoenvironmental history – including a record of the recurrent waxing and waning of the Scandinavian Ice Sheet. The offshore portion of the expedition will last for 60 days, with only a subset of the science party participating. Subsequently, an onshore science party (OSP) will be held at Bremen University in the fall 2013. For more information, please see the U.S. Science Support Program website.
IODP Publication Services rolled out a new capability for users to download ISO disc images from the IODP publications website. In practical terms, users can pop a blank DVD into their computer and download/burn a replica of the Expedition Reports portion of any IODP Proceedings volume. This will result in a disc with the same content as those mailed to the participants of each expedition, and to libraries around the world. To access the disc images, please see the USIO Expedition Publications web page.