Program Update: Integrated Ocean Drilling Program – May 2012
The Chikyu concluded Integrated Ocean Drilling Program (IODP) Expedition 343 (Japan Trench Fast Drilling Project) this month. The expedition successfully drilled across the Tohoku Earthquake megathrust into the downgoing Pacific plate, setting a new world record for scientific ocean drilling. During the last week of operations, the final core was collected from 840 meters beneath the seafloor. Preliminary analysis indicates that this core sample represents a major fault zone, and might include the top of the plate boundary. Expedition 343 was planned in response to the 2011 Tohoku earthquake and tsunami and seeks to investigate the geophysical signatures left behind by that devastating event. To better understand how the fault slipped more than 50 meters, the science team retrieved core samples and made measurements of the residual heat left behind as a result of the movement. For more information, please see the Expedition 343 webpage.
Building on considerable community input and recent ocean drilling discoveries, 73 representatives of the U.S. scientific community assembled for the Building U.S. Strategies for 2013-2023 Scientific Ocean Drilling workshop April 30 – May 2, 2012 in Denver, Colorado. The workshop was funded by the U.S. Science Support Program (USSSP) to prioritize the fourteen scientific challenges outlined in the 2013-2023 Science Plan for the International Ocean Discovery Program (IODP) and to identify new approaches for more efficient planning of scientific ocean drilling expeditions. Workshop participants were energized by discussions about collaboration across research themes, as well as greater collaborations with international partners and other science programs. A workshop report is expected this summer. For more on the overall strategic effort, please see the USSSP website.
The Consortium for Ocean Leadership, in association with IODP, is seeking new members for the U.S. Advisory Committee for Scientific Ocean Drilling (USAC) and the new Science Advisory Structure (SAS) – specifically the Science Implementation and Policy Committee (SIPCOM), Proposal Evaluation Panel (PEP), Site Characterization Panel (SCP) and Technology Panel. New members will serve three-year terms beginning October 2012. United States-based scientists interested in volunteering for these opportunities should send a cover letter and a two-page CV to Emily Powell by June 7, 2012. Letters should include your primary field of expertise, a summary of any previous committee experience, a description of your interest in scientific ocean drilling programs, and your preferred panel or committee assignment. We strongly encourage the involvement of early career scientists. For more information on these and other opportunities to participate in ocean drilling, please visit the USSSP website.