Program Update: Integrated Ocean Drilling Program – October 2012
In the final week of October, the JOIDES Resolution set sail on Expedition 344 (Costa Rica Seismogenesis Project A Stage 2), also known as CRISP 2. The team will pick up where Expedition 334 (CRISP 1) left off last year. CRISP 1 was the first expedition to drill an erosive convergent margin for scientific study, establishing several boreholes along the margin between the Cocos and Caribbean plates off the southern Pacific coast of Costa Rica. CRISP 1 did not reach the framework rock of the upper plate, which is the main input into the seismogenic zone. The CRISP 2 team hopes to sample this material, which should reveal much about the nature of the margin’s seismic activity. In contrast to accretionary convergent margins, which transfer sediments to the overlying plate as the subducting plate travels deeper, erosive margins like the Cocos-Caribbean boundary drag large amounts of sediment directly into the Earth’s interior. Because this process removes mass from the upper plate, it can cause the overlying ground to subside and can potentially affect seismic activity. While accretionary margins have been studied more extensively, scientists still have much to learn about erosive margins. For more information, please see the Expedition 344 website.
Also earlier this month, the Chikyu embarked on the third stage of the Nankai Trough Seismogenic Zone Experiment (NanTroSEIZE) project. NanTroSEIZE is a multi-expedition, multistage Integrated Ocean Drilling Program (IODP) project focused on understanding the mechanics and processes of earthquake genesis and rupture propagation along subduction plate boundary faults. The drilling program includes a coordinated effort to sample and instrument the plate boundary system at several locations offshore near the Kii Peninsula. The deep centerpiece of the NanTroSEIZE project is Site C0002, which is ultimately planned to cross the subducting plate boundary at 6,800 meters beneath the sea floor. The primary objective for Expedition 338 is to extend Hole C0002F to 3,600 meters beneath the sea floor through riser drilling with the Chikyu. After arriving on site to begin operations, the Chikyu moved 23 miles to the northwest to avoid the path of Typhoon Prapiroon. The ship has since returned and is currently lowering the blowout preventer to the seafloor in preparation for drilling. For more information, please see the Expedition 338 website.
The Consortium for Ocean Leadership is now accepting applications for the Schlanger Ocean Drilling Fellowship. This program offers merit-based awards for outstanding graduate students to conduct research related to IODP Research may be directed toward the objectives of IODP expeditions, either future or past, or may address broader themes. Fellows will receive a $30,000 stipend to be used for expenses, research and other approved costs. Applicants can be enrolled in either a Ph.D. or M.S. program at any U.S. institution, including those that have had no previous involvement in IODP. The application deadline is November 15, 2012. For a fellowship application and more information, please visit the USSSP website.
The Marine Geoscience Leadership Symposium (scheduled for March 11-15, 2013 in Washington, D.C.) is now accepting applications. This weeklong symposium will introduce critical leadership, collaboration and communication skills to early career marine geoscientists. Participants will engage in small group discussions and proposal workshops, and will meet with funding agencies, media representatives and policymakers. Applicants may be from any subfield of marine geology or geophysics and should have completed their Ph.D. between December 2009 and December 2012. Selected participants will receive full participation support. The deadline to apply is December 16, 2012. For more information and to apply, please see the Marine Geoscience Leadership Symposium website.
IODP is sponsoring two short courses in San Francisco on December 2, 2012, a day prior to the American Geophysical Union Fall Meeting. Attendance is free, but space is limited:
- Skills and Strategies for Communicating Ocean Drilling Science (9:00 a.m. -12:00 p.m.): This short course will build and improve your science communication skills, including how to explain your research to journalists, policymakers and other non-specialists. Scientists of all experience levels may attend.
- IODP Primer – An Introduction to Ocean Drilling (1:00 p.m. – 5:00 p.m.): Aimed at those new to the program, this short course will discuss the history of scientific ocean drilling, what data are available in the archives, what makes a strong application to sail, how to participate in expedition planning and more.