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Joint Indo-China study traces history of weakening monsoon back to 12 million years
O Heraldo, May 31, 2024
Even as India and China are slugging it out on the Himalayas and the Indian Ocean for regional supremacy, ocean scientists from Beijing and Goa have collaborated for an international study that examine the erratic rains caused by weak monsoon, which we have been witnessing in recent times due to climate change, traced back as far as 12 million years.
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We Know the Moon Makes Tides, but What About Mars?
Atlas Obscura, April 2, 2024
LET’S BE BLUNT. Astrology has no basis in scientific fact. The motions of the planets and moons don’t meaningfully bolster or perturb your life. But that doesn’t mean that the planets don’t affect one another—and lately, scientists have come to suspect that Mars may be literally stirring tides within the depths of our world.
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Reassessment of Santorini Eruption Intensity Warns of Higher Risk
YTech, March 26, 2024
A fresh look into the caldera cycle of the Santorini volcanic system has led to a reassessment of its history and potential threat. Published in the reputable journal Nature Geoscience, the outcomes of this study indicate that the 726 AD eruption had a higher magnitude than previously recorded. Scientists derived this new outlook through the analysis of core drilling samples obtained during the International Ocean Discovery Program (IODP) Expedition 398.
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The Greek island of Santorini is hiding an explosive secret
National Geographic, March 25, 2024
Over three thousand years ago, a volcanic eruption ended an ancient civilization. A new study offers clues about what the next major eruption could look like. (Premium content.)
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Santorini’s volcanic past: underwater clues reveal giant prehistoric eruption
Nature, February 6, 2024
One of the world’s most-studied volcanoes turns out to be hiding plenty of secrets. Geologists have unearthed major clues about past eruptions of the Greek island of Santorini by drilling into the sea floor around the partially submerged volcano.
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Sea changes for scientific ocean drilling
Physics Today, February 1, 2024
With acclaimed author John Steinbeck serving as historian, a group of US scientists and engineers set out in 1961 on a first-of-its-kind mission to drill through the oceanic crust and take the temperature deep beneath the seafloor. Working in waters too deep to drop anchor, the team used a specially adapted barge equipped with a series of outboard motors that enabled them to hold position in the same location for weeks on end.
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Santorini Volcano Ejects 15 Times More Material Than What Hunga-Tonga Unleashed During Eruption
Nature World News, January 27, 2024
Experts said that the Santorini volcano had ejected pumice and ice that were 15 times more than what was unleashed by the Hunga Tonga-Hunga Ha’apai Volcano in 2022. They said that Santorini’s eruption took place 500,000 years ago. Scientists pointed out that the large explosive volcanic eruptions from island arcs pour pyroclastic currents into marine basins, impacting ecosystems and generating tsunamis that threaten coastal communities and infrastructures.
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What is that big tower on the horizon off the Costa del Sol?
Sur, January 26, 2024
In the early hours of this Friday morning, many Costa del Sol residents noticed the presence of a large structure in the sea off the coast of Malaga. It was visible from high altitudes behind the city, such as the Gibralfaro, the hills of El Palo, Cerrado de Calderón, El Limonar and Los Montes, and along the coastal motorway and high areas of Benalmádena and Fuengirola, such as El Higuerón. Moreover, what was strange was that it seemed to be leaving a line of flat smoke on the horizon.
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Underwater Santorini volcano eruption 520,000 years ago was 15 times bigger than record-breaking Tonga eruption
Live Science, January 26, 2024
Deep beneath the Mediterranean seabed circling the Greek island of Santorini, scientists have discovered the remnants of one of the most explosive volcanic eruptions Europe has ever seen. A giant layer of pumice and ash, which is up to 500 feet (150 meters) thick, revealed that around half a million years ago, the Santorini volcano erupted so explosively it was 15 times more violent than the Hunga Tonga-Hunga Ha’apai eruption of 2022.
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Submarine Volcano Erupted 520,000 Years Ago and Left a Giant Pumice Deposit Around Santorini
Nature World News, January 16, 2024
The Aegean Sea is a popular destination for tourists and travelers who want to enjoy the beauty and culture of Greece. But beneath the serene surface of the water lies a turbulent past that has shaped the history of the region and the world. A recent discovery by an international team of scientists has revealed evidence of one of the largest explosive eruptions ever recorded in the southern Aegean Arc, a volcanic chain that includes the famous island of Santorini.
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Underwater Eruption Discovered at Santorini Volcano
Greek Reporter, January 15, 2024
A previously unknown underwater volcano eruption off Santorini, six times larger and 520,000 years older than the Minoan eruption, has been discovered by an international scientific team. A professor from the University of Athens was also on the team. The underwater Santorini volcano eruption was one of the largest in the volcanic arc of the southern Aegean.
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Unveiling the Explosive Secrets of the South Aegean Volcanic Arc: Insights from IODP Expedition 398
Medriva, January 15, 2024
Recent findings from the International Ocean Discovery Program’s (IODP) Expedition 398 have revealed the presence of a substantial, shallow submarine explosive eruption in the South Aegean Volcanic Arc. This discovery has profound implications for our understanding of submarine volcanism and how it impacts the world we live in.
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Nature emits mercury but not as much as humans do – study, January 8, 2024
Even though it has been estimated that anthropogenic activities have increased the global mercury reservoir in the earth’s oceans by 21%, the total amount of the toxic heavy metal, which includes what is produced by natural sources, has not been calculated until now. In a paper published in the journal Nature Geoscience, an international team of scientists produced the first global estimate of mercury emissions from hydrothermal sources at mid-ocean ridges, volcanically active areas in the world’s oceans, based on measurements.
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Deep Beneath Earth’s Surface, Clues to Life’s Origins
Quanta magazine, January 4, 2024
Near midnight on March 26, 1961, dark waters lapped at the hull of a converted naval barge as it queasily rocked in the Pacific Ocean. The ship had just arrived at this spot, some 240 kilometers off the Baja peninsula, after three days of fighting seas so rough the crew had lashed gear to the deck with heavy chains, “like a rogue elephant,” the novelist John Steinbeck, who was aboard the vessel, later wrote for Life magazine.
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The Hidden Layers of Earth and Tectonic Plate Movements
Discover, December 19, 2023
In 1970, Russian geologists drilled a nine-inch wide hole into the Kola Peninsula’s Baltic Shield — a part of Earth’s crust with rock well over a billion years old — and began digging as deep as they could go. After 20 years, what was called the Kola Superdeep Borehole reached a maximum depth of 40,230 feet, or nearly 7.62 miles, into Earth’s surface. Drilling stopped in 1992 because of equipment limitations with high heat, but the Kola Superdeep remains the deepest human-made hole in history.
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Sea Girt filmmakers plan paleoclimate research voyage
Star News Group, December 6, 2023
Next summer, Sea Girt residents and brothers Tim and Chris Lyons, along with friend and fellow filmmaker Khyber Jones, will board the JOIDES Resolution, a scientific research vessel, for its final voyage, with cameras in tow. The group will document the process and experience of the exploration of climate change, geology and Earth’s history by scientists from across the globe, in a film titled “The Time Travelers.”
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Analysing the history of the Indian Ocean with past cruise records and sediment cores
Mongabay, December 1, 2023
Almost 150 years ago, Christmas, aboard the SMS Gazelle, a mid-sized German warship that circumnavigated the globe in the late 19th century, was a day of activity. The vessel's naval officers and surveyors were recording temperature data in the southern Indian Ocean. Combined with cruise reports of two other German expeditions, Valdivia (1898-1899) and SMS Planet (1906-1907), the relatively lesser-known vessels yielded over 500 temperature observations in the Indian Ocean at depths spanning from the surface to the seabed.
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There is No JOIDES in Mudville
EOS, November 15, 2023
For Kaustubh Thirumalai, a 2-month cruise aboard the research vessel JOIDES Resolution was “an experience that changed my life.” Now an assistant professor of geosciences at the University of Arizona, Thirumalai was one of 30 scientists aboard the ship on a 2014 expedition that was drilling into sediments at the bottom of the Bay of Bengal to learn about the history of the South Asian summer monsoon.
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Potential source of ancient methane eruption identified
Ars Technica, October 4, 2023
Fifty-six million years ago, trillions of tons of carbon found its way into the atmosphere, acidifying oceans and causing the already-warm global climate to heat up by another 5° C (9° F)—an episode known as the “Paleocene-Eocene Thermal Maximum” or “PETM.”
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Scientists Have Created the Most Precise Map Yet of Zealandia — the Sunken 8th Continent That Never Was
The Weather Channel, September 27, 2023
School was a simpler time. Back then, matter existed in three phases, and perhaps most importantly, Pluto was still a good ol’ planet. But then came along the concept of plasma and the pesky ‘dwarf planet’ designation to stress out our young minds. Just when we thought we’d overcome this childhood grief, another surprise waits for us. What if we told you that, contrary to what you might’ve been taught, there are actually eight continents out there?
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Marine Sediments Reveal Past Climate Responses to CO2 Changes
EOS, September 21, 2023
As elevated atmospheric CO2 concentrations continue to change the Earth’s climate, it’s important to study past climates and climate transitions as they can provide windows into future environmental responses. A recent paper in Reviews of Geophysics explores the characteristics and climate evolution during the Late Pliocene and the Pliocene-Pleistocene transition, which could give insight into what regions might be vulnerable or resilient to future climate forcings.
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Exploring the earth’s core to understand volcanoes and earthquakes
Geographical, August 29, 2023
In the remote Taklamakan Desert – a landscape of shifting sand dunes that extends over an area the size of Germany – Chinese engineers are digging an 11,000-metre-deep hole. Work began on the borehole in May. Once completed, it will be among the most ambitious projects to explore the world beneath our feet that has ever been attempted.
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Mega Machine Deep Driller: JOIDES Resolution
Marine Technology News, August 21, 2023
The world’s oceans, still largely unexplored, remain a treasure trove for scientists and researchers alike. Physical, chemical and biological features of the ocean interact with each other and in turn, influence oceanic, meteorological, atmospheric and even geological events. Drilling below the ocean floor for cores is a critical tool in the race to learn more about the Earth's history, current environmental dynamics, as well as their relevance for climate change and a warming future.
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Microscopic deposits tell of ancient eruptions
The Gisborne Herald, July 27, 2023
Masters degree student Madison Clarke has uncovered evidence of multiple volcanic eruptions over the last one million years, using deposits of volcanic material so small they are invisible to the naked eye. In 2018, the IODP (International Ocean Drilling Programme) retrieved a 500-metre-long core from the Hikurangi Subduction Zone. The core represents nearly one million years of history.
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Delving Into The Salty Secrets Of The Mediterranean
Eruasia Review, June 26, 2023
Have you ever wondered about the extraordinary origins of the Mediterranean Sea? Just like the legendary story of Noah and the great flood, the Messinian Salinity Crisis emerges as a captivating event. This long-lasting and controversial episode in Earth science played a pivotal role in the formation of the Mediterranean Salt Giant, ultimately shaping the Mediterranean Sea we marvel at today.
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Scientists Extract Rocks From Earth’s Mantle
Smithsonian Magazine, June 12, 2023
Scientists have drilled a hole thousands of feet beneath the floor of the North Atlantic Ocean and extracted rocks from Earth’s mantle. It’s the deepest hole ever dug to collect mantle rock, according to a blog post from the expedition.
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Lori Dengler | Expedition has touched the Earth’s mantle
Times Standard, June 10, 2023
History was made this month. No, not another indictment, or a candidate throwing a hat into the presidential race. For the first time, a drill penetrated into the Earth’s mantle and retrieved samples of this hither before unknown part of the planet.
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In a geologic triumph, scientists drill a window into Earth’s mantle
The Washington Post, June 6, 2023
At an underwater mountain in the middle of the Atlantic Ocean, scientists have drilled nearly a mile beneath the ocean floor and pulled up an unprecedented scientific bounty — pieces of Earth’s rocky mantle. The record-breaking achievement has electrified geoscientists, who for decades have dreamed of punching through miles of Earth’s crust to sample the mysterious realm that makes up most of the planet. The heat-driven churn of the mantle is what fuels plate tectonics in the crust, giving rise to mountains, volcanoes and earthquakes.
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In and out of the sauna? A 56 million year old climate paradox, June 1, 2023
Earth’s climate during the early Paleogene (65 to 50 million years ago) was much, much warmer than today, with very high atmospheric carbon dioxide levels and no polar ice caps. During this greenhouse period, there were short intervals where the global climate became even warmer, called “hyperthermic episodes”, where the average global surface temperature rose rapidly by more than 5°C. This is comparable to forecasts for man-made future climate change. (In Norwegian; read in English via Google Translate)
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At long last, ocean drillers exhume a bounty of rocks from Earth’s mantle
Science, May 25, 2023
In 1961, geologists off the Pacific coast of Mexico embarked on a daring journey to a foreign land—the planet’s interior. From a ship, they aimed to drill through the thin veneer of Earth’s crust and grab a sample of the mantle, the 2900-kilometer-thick layer of dense rock that fuels volcanic eruptions and makes up most of the planet’s mass. The drill only got a couple hundred meters below the seabed before the project foundered under spiraling costs. But the quest—one of geology’s holy grails—remained. This month, researchers onboard the JOIDES Resolution, the flagship of the International Ocean Discovery Program (IODP), say they have finally succeeded.
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The classic Mediterranean vacation spot that sits over a live volcano
CNN, April 27, 2023
Everywhere you look on Santorini, you’re reminded that you’re on a volcano. The lunar landscapes, the black and red beaches, the pebbles made of solidified lava. The Greek island’s transfixing beauty is a result of the area’s violent volcanic history.
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Why are we drilling into the Earth? Earth Day special
Down To Earth, April 23, 2023
On April 12, 2023, geologists, microbiologists and other scientists will sail to the Atlantis Massif, a 14,000-foot underwater mountain sitting on the floor of the Atlantic Ocean. The plan: To dig into an already existing 4,640-foot hole drilled nearly 20 years ago to 6,750 feet.
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Drilling for Earth’s climate secrets buried under the sea
WHYY, April 7, 2023
Before dawn on a windy day, two dozen climate scientists shiver on the top deck of a research ship, watching as tugboats pull them away from the Port of Lisbon and into a two-month adventure 13 years in the making.
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Looking for Origins of Life, Scientists Hit Rock Bottom and Keep Drilling
Wall Street Journal, March 16, 2023
In April, two dozen geologists, microbiologists and other scientists will sail from Portugal aboard the Joides Resolution, a former oil drillship turned research vessel, to the Atlantis Massif, a 14,000-foot underwater mountain rising from the floor of the Atlantic Ocean.
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Drilling Deeper Into Ocean Floor in Search for Origins of Life
Wall Street Journal, February 19, 2023
A ship that has spent decades trying to drill nearer to the earth’s mantle is preparing for a new voyage to uncover clues to how life began. Two dozen geologists, microbiologists and other scientists will sail in April from Portugal aboard the Joides Resolution, a former oil drillship turned research vessel, to the Atlantis Massif, a 14,000-foot underwater mountain rising from the floor of the Atlantic Ocean.
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Cretalive boarded the impressive drillship “JOIDES Resolution”
Cretalive News, February 14, 2023
A unique tour of one of the US’s largest research vessels, the impressive 143-meter - long drilling vessel “JOIDES Resolution”, was given the opportunity to enjoy Cretalive. The ship was found in the port of Heraklion on Friday, February 10, just after completing its mission in Santorini. There were 30 scientists from different countries of the world, with 30 also technicians, in order to study the volcanic complex of Christians, Santorini and Columbus, as part of the international undersea research drilling mission “Hellenic Arc Volcanic Field-IODP Expedition 398”. (In Greek; read in English via Google Translate)
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When will the Santorini volcano erupt again?, February 9, 2023
The publication of the “Guardian” caused concern - There is no danger of an immediate eruption of the volcano, scientists answer - What experiments are in progress. (In Greek; read in English via Google Translate)
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Discovery of an alternative route of organic synthesis in hydrothermal environments
cnrs, February 3, 2023
Abiotic reactions allowing the formation of complex organic molecules, potentially prebiotic, are a missing key to determine where life could have emerged. The limited variety and simplicity of abiotic organic molecules observed within hydrothermal fluids, as well as their low concentrations, have long discredited the theory of a hydrothermal origin for the emergence of life on Earth. (In French; read in English via Google Translate)
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Smithsonian Scientists Unearth Signs of an Ancient Climate Calamity Buried Beneath the Seafloor
Smithsonian Magazine, February 2, 2023
During the Cretaceous Period around 100 million years ago, Earth’s oceans were nearly unrecognizable. Below the waves swam marine reptiles: lizard-like mosasaurs, long-necked plesiosaurs and gargantuan sea turtles. These behemoths lived alongside squid-like ammonites encased in tightly-coiled shells and a slew of bizarre fish. 94 million years ago, these strange seas became nearly uninhabitable. Oxygen levels plummeted, and the ocean acidified during an episode known as the Oceanic Anoxic Event 2 (OAE2) that sent ripples through marine ecosystems worldwide.
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Santorini: Volcanic eruptions at the center of oceanographic research by the drilling rig “JOIDES Resolution”
skai, January 30, 2023
During this period, in the volcanic complex of Santorini, Columbus and Christians, an oceanographic mission unique for Greek data is being carried out. For the first time, one of the USA’s largest research vessels, the impressive 143-meter-long drill ship “JOIDES Resolution”, is in the Aegean Sea for the international underwater research drilling mission “Hellenic Arc Volcanic Field-IODP Expedition 398”. (In Greek; read in English via Google Translate)
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In Santorini, the impressive 143m-long JOIDES Resolution drill ship - What it is studying
iefimerida, January 30, 2023
During this period, in the volcanic complex of Santorini, Columbus and Christians, an oceanographic mission unique to Greek standards is carried out. For the first time, one of the US’s largest research vessels, the impressive 143-meter-long drillship JOIDES Resolution, is in the Aegean for the Hellenic Arc Volcanic Field-IODP Expedition 398. (In Greek; read in English via Google Translate)
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POLYMENAKO FRIDAY IN “P”: An explosion of the Santorini island is possible
natpie, January 24, 2023
Theli, should we be afraid of a possible eruption of the Santorini volcano? The main researcher of the Institute of Marine Biology, Biotechnology and Aquaculture of ELKETHE, dr. Paraskevi N. Polymenakou, explains to “P” that “if the accumulation of material in the magma chamber of the volcano continues at the same rate, then within the next 150 years, the amount of magma will reach the corresponding amount estimated to have existed when it was created the eruption of 1650 AD. However, we cannot say with certainty when the next eruption of the volcano will take place.” (In Greek; read in English via Google Translate)
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Drilling to the Mantle: 6 unexpected discoveries from the world’s deepest well
ZME Science, January 20, 2023
In 2015, on the frigid day of December 16, a drilling rig on a ship parked above a seemingly random spot in the Indian Ocean. But the spot wasn’t random, and the mission wasn’t a normal one: they began drilling toward the mantle. The scientists on board work for the International Ocean Discovery Program (IODP). They plan to bore through six kilometres of tough oceanic basalt — the thin, localized Earth’s crust — and then pierce the mantle. No one has ever drilled into the mantle before, but there have been a half dozen serious attempts.
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“Crete Today”: This is the largest US research vessel
neakriti, January 18, 2023
With the largest research vessel of the United States of America, which is carrying out open sea research in the area of Santorini and is expected to arrive in Crete, the show “Crete Today” was connected live, discovering the secrets that “hide” the Greek seas. (In Greek; read in English via Google Translate)
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Reconstruction of past deep circulations of the Indian Ocean
Deporticos, January 16, 2023
The global tipping circulation, the equatorward transport of cold, deep water and the poleward transport of warm near-surface water, controls the distribution of ocean heat and atmospheric carbon dioxide levels, thus playing an essential role in the global climate. Studies have indicated that tectonic-driven changes at the gates of the ocean, such as the closure of the Central American Seaway, a body of water that once separated North America from South America, since the late Miocene, had a dramatic impact on circulation. (In Spanish; read in English via Google Translate)
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The ... secrets of the seabed of Santorini
EPT News, January 11, 2023
The largest US research vessel “JOIDES Resolution” is conducting underwater drilling on the seabed of Santorini, bringing to the surface evidence of the geological history of the volcanic complex. From December 21, 2022, the research vessel’s oceanographic mission is conducting six undersea drillings at depths that have never been explored. (In Greek; read in English via Google Translate)
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Can tiny fossils disrupt global communications?
Futurum, January 11, 2023
Microfossils are often smaller than a grain of sand, yet when they accumulate on the seafloor, they can have significant impacts on sediment stability. Dr Julia Reece, a marine geologist at Texas A&M University, USA, believes they may play a role in initiating submarine landslides. These underwater hazards pose threats to coastal communities and global communications, so it is vital to understand how they occur.
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José Abel Flores, paleoclimatologist: “The melting of the Arctic already caused a small glaciation that lasted centuries and could be repeated”
Nius Diario, January 8, 2023
A chat with the researcher José Abel Flores Villarejo (Zamora, 1959) is always fascinating. We have met this professor from the Department of Geology at the University of Salamanca to tell us about his latest marine expedition to the North Atlantic, but the conversation turns to another journey, a journey through time that changes our way of looking at the world around us. (In Spanish; read in English via Google Translate)
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Western geology professor taking part in volcanic expedition
Cascadia Daily News, January 8, 2023
Scientists are collecting samples from the ocean floor off the coast of Greece in hopes of predicting future volcanic activity. Among the team will be volcanologist Susan DeBari, a geology professor at Western Washington University. “I feel really lucky to be here,” DeBari said in a Zoom interview.
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Climate Change May Reduce Organic Carbon Burial While Increasing Carbon Recovered to the Atmosphere
Nature World News, January 5, 2023
A worldwide team of scientists meticulously collected data from more than 50 years of seagoing scientific drilling operations to undertake a first-of-its-kind analysis of organic carbon that sinks to the ocean floor and is sucked deep into the globe. Because greater water temperatures enhance the metabolic rates of bacteria, their findings, published this week in Nature, shows that climate change might diminish organic carbon burial and increase the amount of carbon returned to the atmosphere.
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Kansan offers tours of Aegean Sea research vessel, January 3, 2023
There’s an entire world waiting for young people who want to reach out and grab the adventures happening outside of Kansas. For one young lady with ties to Dickinson County, that adventure has brought her to a ship in the Aegean Sea off the coast of Santorini. On Dec. 13 Sara Whitlock, daughter of Marilyn Beem and granddaughter of Karen and Jim Beem of Navarre, boarded a geology research vessel, which she will call home until Feb. 11.
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Laia Alegret, the paleontologist who is looking for the keys to climate change in a hidden continent under the Pacific
BBVA, December 12, 2022
The geologist, specialized in paleontology, was the only Spanish scientist to participate in an expedition in 2017 to search for new data on a territory submerged under the waters of the Southwest Pacific. Now, through the collected samples, she studies subduction processes and climate change. (In Spanish; read in English via Google Translate)
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Extreme earth: UW-Whitewater grad student organizes exhibit on ocean exploration
GazetteXtra, December 9, 2022
A UW-Whitewater graduate student who has ties to NASA and goes by the nomer “Space Case Sarah,” is sharing through a new museum exhibit about a related passion of hers—exploring the ocean depths. UW-Whitewater graduate student Sarah Treadwell is a communications officer for the JOIDES Expedition 399, which will explore “extreme parts of the Atlantic Ocean” from April to June 2023.
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‘An incredible, sophisticated time machine.’ Brown University scientists drill into the past to help learn about our climate future
The Public Radio, December 5, 2022
Wearing a hard hat and safety glasses, Brown University graduate student Bryce Mitsunaga pulls nitrile gloves onto his hands, picks up a plastic bin of tools and positions himself at the end of a series of metal workstations. Moments later, a team of technicians carries a 30-foot-long plastic tube full of mud and sets it in a rack that runs the length of the catwalk where Mitsunaga bounces a bit with anticipation.
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Pliocene-Like Monsoons Are Returning to the American Southwest
Wired, November 30, 2022
For researchers seeking to understand the effects of climate change on the weather of the North American Southwest, the answer lies in traveling millions of years back in time on wings of wax—leaf wax. Plants make waxes on their leaves composed of carbon and the hydrogen drawn from rainwater. When the plant dies, those waxes turn into dust that floats on the wind, then drifts down to form layers preserved in marine and terrestrial sediments.
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Santorini: Marine drilling begins around the volcanoes
CNN, November 22, 2022
The program and objectives of the important oceanographic mission of the US research vessel “JOIDES Resolution”, which will carry out from mid-December 2022 to mid-February 2023 sea drilling around Santorini, were presented by foreign and Greek scientists in yesterday’s “hybrid” (live and online) event of the Department of Geology and Geoenvironment of EKPA. The objective of the drilling is to reconstruct the geological history of the volcanic complex of Christians, Santorini and Kolumbos, by collecting sediment cores through the sediments and volcanic layers of the sea floor. (In Greek; read in English via Google Translate)
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Protection of the sea: IODP rewards two Italian projects
Corriere Nazionale, November 2, 2022
For the first time in decades of activity, IODP has rewarded two consecutive campaigns coordinated by researchers from two Italian national research institutions. The Tyrrhenian campaign (Expedition 402) of the TIME project (Tyrrhenian Magmatism and Mantle Exhumation) which will take place in February-April 2024 and the one in the Arctic (Expedition 403) of the FRAME project (Eastern Fram Strait Paleo-archive) which will take place in June-August 2024. (In Italian; read in English via Google Translate)
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Siena, international conference with the GeoTechnology center
La Milano, October 14, 2022
From 17 to 19 October the GeoTechnology Center (CGT) of the University of Siena, based in San Giovanni Valdarno, will host the “Guaymas Basin Tectonics and Biosphere IODP Expedition 385 Post-cruise Meeting”, an international meeting of an interdisciplinary group of scientists, not only from Italy, but also from the United States, European countries and Asia, dedicated to analyzing and comparing the results of the research carried out. (In Italian; read in English via Google Translate)
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Scientists investigate Portuguese coast to understand climate change
TSF Rádio Notícias, October 13, 2022
More than two dozen international scientists started an expedition on the Portuguese coast this Thursday to investigate marine sediments and through them to understand how climate change took place thousands of years ago. (In Portuguese; read in English via Google Translate)
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Secrets from the depths of Santorini
Kathimerini, October 13, 2022
The largest US research vessel is coming to the Mediterranean for the first time, in the waters off Santorini. The vessel “Joides Resolution” will carry out six underwater drillings at depths never explored before, thus revealing valuable information about the geological history of the volcanic complex of Christians, Santorini and Columbus. (In Greek; read in English via Google Translate)
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Carbon in organic form discovered in the depths of the earth
Techniques de l’Ingénieur, October 12, 2022
Researchers from the IPGP (Institut de physique du globe de Paris) have demonstrated, for the first time, the formation at high pressure and the trapping of organic and solid carbon in the lithosphere. This discovery lifts the veil on a major reservoir of this compound in the depths of the earth. (In French; read in English via Google Translate)
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The discovery of a small green rock in Antarctica is a warning for the future of mankind
Oke News, October 12, 2022
Scientists discovered a small green stone. This very ordinary stone is said to hold important clues for the future of mankind. This rock was found from mud in the deep sea, far off the coast of West Antarctica. The group of scientists who discovered it said the rock shouldn’t be there. (In Indonesian; read in English via Google Translate)
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Research mission to probe Santorini volcano mysteries
Times of Malta, October 12, 2022
A team of scientists will in December use a drill ship to trace the geological history of the southern Aegean, including the volcanic eruption that reshaped the Greek island of Santorini, a mission member said Wednesday.
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Journey to the Centre of the Earth
ExplorersWeb, October 11, 2022
Our planet contains many layers of different thicknesses, compositions, and overall purposes. The mantle is the thickest layer, making up 84% of the Earth’s volume. It is over 2,900km thick and sits between the core and the crust. This silicate layer drives plate tectonics, which helps creates the crust above.
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Scientists drilled two miles into the tectonic plate to understand Japan’s “great earthquake”
Interesting Engineering, September 24, 2022
Scientists from the University of Texas at Austin and the University of Washington in the U.S. have discovered links to Japan’s next “great earthquake” after drilling deep into the underseas. The researchers found that the tectonic stress in Japan’s Nankai subduction zone is less than expected after studying an earthquake fault, reported on Thursday.
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Volcanic disaster outside Norway can probably explain dramatic global warming 55 million years ago, August 30, 2022
Never later has the climate on Earth warmed up so quickly – or been so hot. Several new Norwegian and international studies about the mysterious global catastrophe will soon be published. Researchers believe that the answer may lie off the coast of Nordland and Nord-Trøndelag. (In Norwegian; read in English via Google Translate)
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Dinosaurs Might Have Been Double Tapped By Not One But Two Asteroids
SYFY, August 28, 2022
The hypothesis that a large asteroid was responsible for the extinction of the dinosaurs is almost universally accepted today, but it is the result of relatively recent scientific discovery. The asteroid hypothesis was only proposed in 1980 and wasn’t immediately accepted by the scientific community or the public. However, it pretty quickly gained in popularity — having since been supported by additional evidence — and we’ve had a sort of public fascination and low-lying fear of another impact event ever since.
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A crater in West Africa suggests that dinosaurs encountered several giant asteroids, August 22, 2022
A crater in West Africa dating back to the last days of the dinosaurs has researchers wondering if the giant ancient reptiles collided with several asteroids at once. This West African crater, hidden under about 900 meters of water and 400 m of sediment, has yet to be studied directly; it was only detected in reconstructions of the ocean floor made using seismic waves. (In Romanian; read in English via Google Translate)
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Scientists have found a mysterious deep-sea crater. A dino-killing asteroid could’ve made it
The Print, August 20, 2022
Few geological events fascinate as much as the one that happened 66 million years ago. Evidence suggests a huge asteroid hit our planet, triggering a chain of events that led to a mass extinction in which more than 70% of species on Earth – including the dinosaurs – disappeared.
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Santorini: Underwater Observatory and Volcano Drilling In The Area, August 18, 2022
Santorini is internationally famous and attractive for tourists for the unique and wonderful sunset it offers to its visitors. But for some specialist scientists, their interest is directed to the volcanoes of the area which may be inactive but no one can finally say if and when they may wake up. (In Greek; read in English via Google Translate)
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New Evidence Shows More Than One Asteroid Could Have Killed The Dinosaurs
Inverse, August 17, 2022
GEOSCIENTIST Uisdean Nicholson and his colleagues weren’t looking for evidence of an ancient disaster when they found Nadir Crater. They were interested in a much older, much slower event: the gradual breakup of a supercontinent starting around 140 million years ago.
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Mystery crater potentially caused by relative of dinosaur-killing asteroid
The Conversation, August 17, 2022
The ocean floor is famously less explored than the surface of Mars. And when our team of scientists recently mapped the seabed, and ancient sediments beneath, we discovered what looks like an asteroid impact crater.
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A second asteroid may have crashed into Earth as the dinosaurs died
Popular Science, August 17, 2022
When Africa and South America split apart during the Jurassic, birthing the Atlantic Ocean, the separation left a plateau of shallow ocean off the west coast of Guinea. “All the sediments are very flat, almost like a layer cake,” says Uisdean Nicholson, a marine geologist at Heriot-Watt University in Scotland who studies the region to learn about the birth of the Atlantic.
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Did the asteroid that wiped out the dinosaurs have a sibling? Crater in West Africa hints maybe.
Live Science, August 17, 2022
A likely asteroid impact crater from the latter days of the dinosaurs has been discovered off the coast of West Africa, raising questions about whether the asteroid that wiped out the dinos may have had a smaller sibling that struck around the same time.
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They find life under the ocean floor
Ambientum, August 17, 2022
In recent decades, new, more powerful and cheaper sequencing techniques have made it possible to trace genetic material in places where it had not been possible to do so until now. Thanks to this, it has been discovered that microbial life, made up of viruses, bacteria, fungi and others, is very abundant and is present even in the most inhospitable places. (In Spanish; read in English via Google Translate)
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Volcanic rocks can hide oil and gas, August 10, 2022
Last autumn, the prestigious international drilling program IODP came to Norway for the first time in over 35 years. The purpose was to retrieve drill samples of the rocks under the seabed that can help us answer some of the biggest questions we still ask ourselves about the formation of the Norwegian Sea, but also how the enormous volcanic eruptions of approx. 55 million years ago affected the global climate. (In Norwegian; read in English via Google Translate)
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Continental rifting and the formation of the Norwegian Sea, July 29, 2022
New seismic data from the Norwegian Sea can provide better knowledge of what happened when the Atlantic Ocean first began to split open 55 million years ago. “Despite the sometimes rough weather, we have been able to collect a lot of great data,” said Sverre Planke from the research vessel FF Helmer Hanssen. (In Norwegian; read in English via Google Translate)
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Seabed core sample could reveal links between climate and hundreds of thousands of years of eruptions, earthquakes
Stuff, July 29, 2022
Researchers studying a 500-metre core taken from the seabed east of Gisborne are trying to piece together hundreds of thousands of years of volcanic and earthquake history. As part of the research they’re investigating a theory that rising sea levels can lead to more frequent eruptions and earthquakes. That project is led by University of Auckland senior lecturer in sedimentology Dr Lorna Strachan.
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Researcher at IDL Sciences ULisboa on board the JOIDES Resolution
Nautica Press, July 27, 2022
Alina Shchepetkina is a sedimentologist and iconologist, that is, she studies the characteristics of sediments and processes associated with sedimentation and the fossil marks of the activity of organisms left in the sedimentary record, respectively. (In Portuguese; read in English via Google Translate)
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Ancient climate mystery may finally be solved, July 26, 2022
The international drilling expedition detected an underwater volcano and “dry land” far out at sea. Two kilometers of drill cores can also provide the answer to how the volcanic eruptions in the Norwegian Sea 55 million years ago created a warm period the likes of which we have not seen before or since. (In Norwegian; read in English via Google Translate)
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Could Earth Scientists Create Their Own Equivalent to the James Webb Space Telescope?
Discover, July 18, 2022
The James Webb Space Telescope has amazed the public with images of the universe. What kind of “big idea” project could the Earth scientists pursue to create the same level of public excitement? What would it take for the Earth Sciences to have an observatory/instrument that could rival the JWST in terms of new data and capture of the public’s imagination?
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How far can earth’s tectonic plates drag the underlying lava?
The Federal, July 14, 2022
A recent study by a team of scientists at the Goa-based National Centre for Polar and Ocean Research (NCPOR) has brought new insights into the critical processes involved in the movement of the earth’s tectonic plates. The buoyant rising of hot and low-density magma or plumes from the Earth’s interior towards the surface leads to extensive volcanism and the creation of seamounts and volcanic chains above the ocean floor. However, a rising plume has to cut through the thick overlying lithosphere, the most rigid part of the earth, before it can reach the earth’s surface.
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UW student studying rocks on ocean floor to help with climate change solution, July 12, 2022
Alexandra Villa has spent her summer examining rocks on the ocean floor in order to learn more about carbon dioxide in the sky. Villa, a UW-Madison geoscience graduate student, is a scientist on board the International Ocean Discover Program’s Expedition 393. Her research will help examine ways to help combat climate change and make predictions about the Earth’s future climate.
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Study gains new insights into a fundamental question in geology
Down To Earth, July 12, 2022
A recent study by a team of scientists at Goa-based National Centre for Polar and Ocean Research (NCPOR) has brought new insights into the critical processes involved in the movement of the earth’s tectonic plates. The buoyant rising of hot and low-density magma or plumes from the Earth’s interior towards the surface leads to extensive volcanism and the creation of seamounts and volcanic chains above the ocean floor. However, a rising plume has to cut through the thick overlying lithosphere, the most rigid part of the earth, before it can reach the earth’s surface.
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Precession Helped Drive Glacial Cycles in the Pleistocene
Eos, July 11, 2022
Ice sheets have ebbed and flowed over Earth’s surface for eons. Now scientists have analyzed tiny bits of rock transported by glaciers and gained a better understanding of recent glacial cycles. The team found that precession—gradual changes in the direction of Earth’s axis of rotation—has played an important role in the breakup of Northern Hemisphere ice sheets over the past 1.7 million years. And during the late Pleistocene, that precession-driven collapse coincided with deglaciation, the researchers reported in May in Science.
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Climate evolution in the Southeast Indian Ocean during the Miocene, July 6, 2022
The Miocene, 23 to 5 million years ago, was an important period for the formation of the Antarctic ice sheets (AIS). The mid-latitudes in the southern hemisphere are the area where the westerlies prevailed and the climate there is sensitive to the volume changes of the AIS. Recently, the research team led by Prof. Li Tiegang from the Institute of Oceanology of the Chinese Academy of Sciences (IOCAS) has reconstructed the Miocene climatic evolution in the southeast Indian Ocean. This history builds an important bridge between the evolution of the westerlies and AIS. This study was published in Science China Earth Science.
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Mercury strengthens the climate hypothesis, June 16, 2022
56 million years ago, the world experienced a 170,000-year-long warm period (Paleocene-Eocene Thermal Maximum, PETM). The period is considered an unsolved mystery among geologists and climate scientists. It is generally accepted that the increase in temperature – up to 5-8°C – happened within a few thousand years, and that the temperature has subsequently never been higher than it was then. The heat pulse was also special because it both started and ended very suddenly. (In Norwegian; read in English via Google Translate)
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UT researcher heads out on drill ship to study Earth’s past
Fox 7 Austin, April 27, 2022
A UT researcher set sail on a drilling ship and is looking to dig up some answers about earth’s past in order to shed light on the future. “It’s very busy, there are no breaks, but it’s a lot of fun. We are the first people to look at these sediments and rocks and they tell us how the earth has changed in the past,” said Chris Lowery a UT Research associate.
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The exploration of Zealandia, the submerged continent
The Conversation, April 18, 2022
Zealand is an entire continent hidden under the waters of the Pacific, of which only a small part emerges: the islands of New Zealand and New Caledonia. The seventh continent, not yet listed in textbooks, broke away from Australia and Antarctica about 80 million years ago. After that separation it suffered significant vertical movements, with moments in which it was submerged thousands of meters deep and others in which it rose to the surface. Currently 94% of it is hidden under the sea. (in Spanish; read in English via Google Translate)
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US leadership requires global collaboration with “like-minded” partners
The Pie News, February 25, 2022
Speaking at the Association of International Education Administrators 40th annual conference in New Orleans, Sethuraman Panchanathan, director of the US National Science Foundation, spoke of the longevity of the NSF mission. “It has stood the test of time. For over seven decades, it has guided us, led us, motivated us, and inspired us,” he said.
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An asteroid killed dinosaurs in spring—which might explain why mammals survived
Ars Technica, February 23, 2022
Some 66 million years ago, a catastrophic event wiped out three-quarters of all plant and animal species on Earth, most notably taking down the dinosaurs. The puzzle of why so many species perished while others survived has long intrigued scientists.
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This Japanese Science Vessel Drilled Deeper Beneath the Ocean Than Any Other in History
autoevolution, February 19, 2022
More than half a century ago, the scientific community embarked on one of the most ambitious projects of all time – the quest for the mantle. Most of what is known about the Earth’s crust, mantle, and core comes from observing and interpreting various data, but it can only be confirmed by getting pristine samples of the mantle. These can be obtained through drilling at incredible depths, and because the crust is the thinnest under the sea, ocean drilling is the way to go.
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IWA students get interactive exhibit on campus
KIIITV, February 16, 2022
Students at Incarnate Word Academy have a whole new way to learn about Earth’s history. An interactive exhibit, called “In Search of Earth’s Secrets,” has traveled around the country and is now in Corpus Christi. It showcases the work done by scientists on the JOIDES Resolution, a research ship that travels internationally to take samples of the earth’s core.
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Antarctic ice’s deep past shows it could be more vulnerable to warming
National Science Foundation, February 14, 2022
In a study published in the journal Nature, University of South Florida researcher Amelia Shevenell and her colleagues documented the evolution of Antarctica’s ice sheets some 20 million years ago. The research is supported by the U.S. National Science Foundation.
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Oceans are better at storing carbon than trees. In a warmer future, ocean carbon sinks could help stabilise our planet
The Conversation, February 13, 2022
We think of trees and soil as carbon sinks, but the world’s oceans hold far larger carbon stocks and are more effective at storing carbon permanently. In new research published today, we investigate the long-term rate of permanent carbon removal by seashells of plankton in the ocean near New Zealand.
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Norwegian volcanism changed the global climate, January 26, 2022
2021 was a landmark year in terms of research in Norwegian waters. After 35 years, the international drilling program IODP returned to the Norwegian Sea, and over a period of two months in the autumn of 2021, two kilometers of cores of the rocks under the seabed were retrieved. (in Norwegian; read in English via Google Translate)
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How Life in the ‘Deep Biosphere’ Thrives Despite Temperatures That Would Fry Humans
Gizmodo, January 25, 2022
A science expedition in 2016 revealed a subsurface habitat in which microbes were found living at temperatures approaching 250 degrees Fahrenheit. Now, a follow-up study reveals how this remarkable microbial community manages to beat the heat. High metabolic rates make life possible for microorganisms living in sediments buried deep beneath the seafloor, according to new research published in Nature Communications.
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BHU Professor Selected for IODP Ocean Expedition, to Conduct Research on Marine Energy Recourses
News 18, January 14, 2022
Dr Komal Verma, assistant professor in the department of geology, Institute of Science from Banaras Hindu University (BHU) has been invited to participate in the International Ocean Discovery Program (IODP) expedition 397 in the Atlantic ocean as a micropaleontologist. Dr Verma will take part in the expedition for two months between October to December this year.
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An Ambitious Vision for the Future of Scientific Ocean Drilling
Eos, January 7, 2022
The summer of 1966 was a watershed time in the geosciences. On 24 June that year, as the formative ideas and observations of plate tectonic theory were continuing to gel in so many discussions and publications, the National Science Foundation (NSF) and the regents of the University of California signed the momentous contract establishing the first phase of the Deep Sea Drilling Project (DSDP).
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The ‘Liquid’ Asteroid –That Ushered in the Rise of Homo Sapiens
The Daily Galaxy, December 24, 2021
“All these fossils occur in a layer no more than 10cm thick,” said palaeontologist Ken Lacovara of the Chicxulub impact that ended the dinosaur epoch. “They died suddenly and were buried quickly. It tells us this is a moment in geological time. That’s days, weeks, maybe months. But this is not thousands of years; it’s not hundreds of thousands of years. This is essentially an instantaneous event.”
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Fantastic foraminifera in extreme environments
Havsutsikt, December 13, 2021
Foraminifers are small, tiny organisms that live in the ocean. Their limestone shells can be found in the sediments on the bottoms, and with the help of these, scientists can tell what the oceans of ancient times looked like. A sampling in Landsortsdjupet revealed that the limestone shells are affected by extreme environments, and change after the death of the foraminifera. It is important knowledge for future research to take into account. (in Swedish; read in English via Google Translate)
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Climate Change: Understanding Earth’s Response to a Major Greenhouse Climatic Event
Irish Tech News, December 8, 2021
Dr Weimu Xu, a researcher in iCRAG and lecturer in UCD, took part in the International Ocean Discovery Program (IODP) earlier this year. This is a large international marine research collaboration that explores Earth’s history using ocean-going research platforms to recover data recorded in seafloor sediments and rocks and to monitor subseafloor environments, aiming to understand Earth’s response to a major greenhouse climatic event in the geological past, which will help to plan better in the future fight against climate change.
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UWO professor works on ocean drilling project
The Advance-Titan, October 27, 2021
UW Oshkosh alumni and current Geology lab professor Jason Coenen is working on an ocean drilling project, and last Friday he delivered a talk about his experience. Coenen said that he is working on numerous missions and expeditions around the world for analyses of sediments dating back to the Mesozoic era.
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Digging deep to unlock the past and future in Santorini, September 26, 2021
Scientists seeking to shed light on the geological history of the southern Aegean by analyzing the traces left by volcanic activity in the area over the millennia are spearheading an international oceanographic mission that will carry out exploratory undersea drilling around the Santorini-Kolumbo-Christiana volcanic field from December 2022 to February 2023.
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The Rock That Ended the Dinosaurs Was Much More Than a Dino Killer
The New York Times, September 13, 2021
The first cave art. The dawn of agriculture. While these are among the most crucial moments in humankind’s beginnings, our most dramatic origin story starts 66 million years ago. It was the apocalyptic instant when a rock from outer space slammed into Earth, terminating the age of dinosaurs and eventually offering a bountiful new world to our mammalian ancestors. For 40 years, scientists have studied the tale of this catastrophic object, known now as the Chicxulub impactor. Today, the impactor represents more than just one bad day on Earth; instead, it has become a kind of Rosetta Stone that can decipher deeper riddles about the origins of life and the future of human civilization, both on our planet and in other worlds across the galaxy.
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International Team to Explore Santorini’s Volcano Secrets
Greek Reporter, September 2, 2021
A total of thirty scientists from all around the world are heading to Santorini aboard a ship that will probe the depths of the sea and take core samples of the sea bed in an effort to understand more about the cataclysmic volcano eruption that took place there millennia ago. The island, which was once home to a glorious Minoan civilization along the slopes of a volcano, with palatial homes, statuary, mosaics and paintings, was destroyed by a volcanic event that took place in the year 1650 BC.
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Santorini Volcano - The secrets of the Minoan eruption are searched at the bottom
in, September 1, 2021
The secrets of the Minoan eruption, the second largest volcanic eruption in human history, will be attempted in the next period by an international submarine drilling mission in Santorini. In total, 30 top scientists from the USA, Europe and Asia will come to Greece with a special research vessel that will start from Spain, will drill the seabed to a depth of almost 400 meters and will try to reconstruct the history of thousands of years. Their goal is to understand what regulates the eruptions of the Santorini volcanic complex, to predict its future activity and its impact on an area that is visited by millions of people every year. (in Greek; read in English via Google Translate)
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Underwater drilling in the volcanoes of Santorini under the IODP
ATHENS 9.84, August 29, 2021
A large international oceanographic mission to conduct underwater research drilling around the Santorini-Columbus-Christian volcanic complex in the South Aegean has just been approved and will take place from December 2022 to February 2023. The drillings at six points in the caldera of Santorini and in the wider underwater area of Santorini-Amorgos, which will be done with the oceanographic ship “JOIDES Resolution”, will be carried out in the framework of Mission 398 of the International Ocean Exploration Program (International -IODP), one of the most ambitious and long-term international science programs in the world.
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Did volcanism cause the hothouse climate?, August 27, 2021
A dramatic global warming event happened 56 million years ago, in the middle of a long time period with a warm climate and no ice at either pole. The Earth climate system then saw a 4–5°C warming during the so-called Paleocene–Eocene Thermal Maximum (PETM). It lasted for nearly 200,000 years. The PETM is considered one of the best natural analogues for current environmental change in response to human activity. Understanding why the PETM occurred and how the Earth responded is potentially valuable knowledge for combatting current global warming.
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Atmospheric carbon dioxide and warming shaped past Indian monsoons: study
Mongabay, July 14, 2021
Sediment cores harvested from beneath the seafloor in the Bay of Bengal, off the Indian coast, have uncovered that atmospheric carbon dioxide levels and related warming were “major players” in shaping the intensity of the South Asian monsoon over the past million years, said scientists in a new study. The findings support numerical models that predict stronger monsoons with increasing carbon dioxide concentrations in the atmosphere in the future.
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Million-year study shows warming will make Indian monsoons more extreme, says geoscientist Kaustubh Thirumalai
The Times of India, June 20, 2021
Climate models have predicted that global warming will make monsoons in India wetter and more unpredictable. Now, a major new study has literally dug up evidence of South Asian monsoon’s behaviour over the last million years (during the Pleistocene, or ice age), using mud samples drilled from the Bay of Bengal bed to show that periods of rise in greenhouse gases and ice-sheet melts had indeed coincided with increased rainfall over the subcontinent in the past. Kaustubh Thirumalai, a 33-year-old geoscientist at the University of Arizona who co-authored the study, talks to Sunday Times about the study’s implications for India’s rainy seasons in a warming world and his personal journey.
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A Million Years of Data Confirms: Monsoons Are Likely to Get Worse
The New York Times, June 4, 2021
Global warming is likely to make India’s monsoon season wetter and more dangerous, new research suggests. Scientists have known for years that climate change is disrupting monsoon season. Past research based on computer models has suggested that the global heating caused by greenhouse gases, and the increased moisture in the warmed atmosphere, will result in rainier summer monsoon seasons and unpredictable, extreme rainfall events.
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The world saw a shark-pocalypse 19 million years ago, and we don’t know why
Ars Technica, June 3, 2021
Sharks have been swimming and hunting in the world’s oceans for 450 million years, and though their numbers have recently declined because of human activity, they’re still with us. But the world once had many more, and many more varieties of, the large marine predators compared to today. In fact, new research published in Science suggests that 19 million years ago, the vast majority of sharks and shark species died off. We don’t understand why or how this large extinction event occurred.
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Scientists Drilled the World’s Deepest Ocean Hole Off Japan’s Coast
Vice, May 31, 2021
Scientists have drilled the deepest-ever ocean hole off the coast of Japan, breaking the record from the Mariana Trench in 1978 as they try to gain new insights into the region’s earthquake history. An international team aboard a research ship accomplished the feat on May 14 in the Pacific Ocean more than 26,322 feet, or nearly 5 miles, below sea level. Located near the epicenter of the 2011 Tōhoku earthquake, which caused a tsunami and subsequently the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear disaster, the hole is part of a marine mission that returned debris from ancient earthquakes.
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Breaking records: Deepest of the Deep
IODP Expedition 386 Japan Trench Paleoseismology – blog, May 18, 2021
Forty-three years ago the legendary Drilling Vessel Glomar Challenger set the record for the deepest coring site in 50 years of scientific ocean drilling, by recovering two 15.5 and 20.5 m long cores from 7034 and 7029 meter water depth in the Mariana Trench (DSDP Leg 60 Site 461). This record has stood for all this time, until in the early morning of Friday May 14 2021, Captain Naoto Kimura of the Research Vessel Kaimei positioned the vessel at IODP Expedition 386 Site M0081, where the water depth is 8023 m.
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UT Researchers On What Really Happened to the Dinosaurs
The Alcade, May 3, 2021
In 2016, Sean Gulick and a team of researchers extracted asteroid dust from sections of dark brown, silty claystone and greyish-green marlstone buried beneath the ocean in Mexico’s Yucatán Peninsula. Now, five years later, that dust has answered perhaps one of humankind’s most poignant questions: What killed the dinosaurs?
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Climate change: A small green rock’s warning about our future
BBC News, April 28, 2021
It’s an unassuming rock, greenish in colour, and just over 4cm in its longest dimension. And yet this little piece of sandstone holds important clues to all our futures. It was recovered from muds in the deep ocean, far off the coast of modern-day West Antarctica. The scientists who found it say it shouldn’t really have been there. It’s what’s called a dropstone, a piece of ice-rafted debris.
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Phoenix explorer, entrepreneur will be on first civilian crew to go into space
KOLD News 13, April 1, 2021
A Phoenix educator, entrepreneur, adventurer and science communicator has been selected for the crew of Inspiration4, SpaceX’s first all-civilian mission to space. Sian Proctor, who’s a geology, sustainability and planetary science professor at South Mountain Community College, was one of the two final crew members SpaceX announced Tuesday, March 30, at Kennedy Space Center in Florida, where SpaceX Dragon will launch in the fall.
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Scientists uncover sub-seafloor secrets about NZ’s quakes
New Zealand Herald, March 23, 2021
Scientists have finished gathering a wealth of new data about earthquake activity from beneath the East Coast seafloor - including some “very interesting changes” recorded around this month’s magnitude 7.3 shake. A team from GNS Science, Niwa and University of Washington have been onboard Niwa’s research vessel Tangaroa studying New Zealand’s largest earthquake fault, the Hikurangi subduction zone, where the Pacific Plate subducts beneath the east coast of the North Island.
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Follow the Energy: An Astrobiology Update from Beneath Earth’s Seafloor, March 5, 2021
A team of NASA Astrobiology-funded researchers from the University of Rhode Island (URI) have revealed that the abundant microbes living thousands of meters from the ocean’s surface are sustained by an unexpected energy source – primarily by chemicals created by the natural irradiation of water molecules. The findings have direct implications in NASA’s search for life beyond our planet.
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100-Million-Year-Old Seafloor Sediment Bacteria Have Been Resuscitated
Scientific American, March 4, 2021
In 2010, Japanese scientists from the Integrated Ocean Drilling Program’s Expedition 329 sailed into the South Pacific Gyre with a giant drill and a big question. The gyre is a marine desert more barren than all but the aridest places on Earth. Ocean currents swirl around it, but within the gyre, the water stills and life struggles because few nutrients enter. Near the center is both the Oceanic Pole of Inaccessibility (made famous by H.P. Lovecraft as the home of the be-tentacled Cthulhu) and the South Pacific garbage patch. At times the closest people are astronauts passing above on the International Space Station.
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Subseafloor Microbial Communities Survive on Products of Radioactive Process, Study Suggests
Sci-News, March 3, 2021
Radionuclides are ubiquitous in sediment and rock, where their decay leads to the production of hydrogen and oxidized chemicals via radiolysis of water; these radiolytic products provide the dominant fuel for microbial activity in marine sediment older than a few million years; they may also be significant for sustaining life in subseafloor sediment and subsurface environments of other planets, according to a new study.
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Indian monsoon system 27 million years old: Study
Times of India, February 20, 2021
For decades, the evolution of the Indian monsoon has not been entirely understood. Nor have scientists decoded how it intensified and how it has varied with time, leaving gaps in how they understand a recurring climate phenomena on such a large scale. By analysing sediment from the Bay of Bengal, researchers have found that the present Indian monsoon system, as we have it now, goes back at least 27 million years.
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Palaeoclimate puzzle explained by seasonal variation
Nature, January 27, 2021
Understanding past climate change is crucial for putting modern global warming in context. Reconstructions of climate during the Holocene — the current interglacial epoch, which began 11,700 years ago — based on geological evidence suggest that a peak in global mean annual temperatures between 10,000 and 6,000 years ago was followed by a cooling trend, which then reversed in the post-industrial era. However, computational simulations of Holocene climate reveal only a long-term warming trend. Writing in Nature, Bova et al. report an analysis that effectively brings Holocene climate reconstructions in line with computational simulations. This result has important implications for our understanding of the drivers of climate change during the Holocene and for the context of post-industrial warming.
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Melting Antarctic icebergs key to process leading to ice age, scientists say
Gibraltar Chronicle, January 14, 2021
It has long been known that ice age cycles are paced by periodic changes to the Earth’s orbit of the sun, which changes the amount of solar radiation that reaches the Earth’s surface. But until now, it has been a mystery as to how small variations in solar energy can trigger dramatic shifts in the climate on Earth. Scientists at Cardiff University now believe that when the orbit of the Earth around the sun is just right, Antarctic icebergs begin to melt further and further away from Antarctica.
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Deep ocean drilling: Revealing earth history, geological processes and a deep biosphere
Open Access Government, December 16, 2020
Virginia Edgcomb from the Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution discusses deep ocean drilling, a process that reveals earth history, geological processes and a deep biosphere. The marine deep subsurface includes sedimentary and rocky horizons both tightly connected to the ocean via circulation through the crust over geological timescales. The International Ocean Discovery Program (IODP) and its predecessor programs since the 1960s have significantly expanded our knowledge about the deep ocean, Earth history, subsurface geology, and the buried deep biosphere.
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Antarctica: World’s ‘biggest lumps of ice’ increasingly unstable if climate change goes on
Express, November 24, 2020
The East Antarctic Ice Sheet is the world’s biggest block of ice, containing enough water to raise the global sea level by 193ft (58m). The ice sheet contains some 6.5 million cubic miles (27 million cubic km) of ice and accounts for most of the frozen continent. And although the ice sheet is more stable than its neighbours, such as the Ross Ice Shelf and Thwaites Ice Shelf, its future is looking increasingly uncertain.
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Ancient Microbial Ecosystem Discovered Under Crater
TechQuila, November 19, 2020
Ancient life has always been a topic of interest for scientists around the world. They have tried to collect as much evidence of the existence of these ancient creatures as possible to recreate what they looked like and what they behaved like when they moved around freely on this planet. Dinosaurs are a very good example of an ancient form of life that can only be found in museums and our imaginations. The bulky fossils that remain of these cold-blooded lizards are among the few windows into their time on Earth.
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There’s a Vast Microbial Ecosystem Underneath the Crater that Wiped Out the Dinosaurs
Universe Today, November 18, 2020
How did life arise on Earth? How did it survive the Hadean eon, a time when repeated massive impacts excavated craters thousands of kilometres in diameter into the Earth’s surface? Those impacts turned the Earth into a hellish place, where the oceans turned to steam, and the atmosphere was filled with rock vapour. How could any living thing have survived?
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A surprisingly weak fault led to a massive earthquake
temblor, November 9, 2020
If you’ve ever tried to push a heavy couch across a floor, you know that you can shove with all your might without it moving an inch, until it suddenly slips forward. Faults are remarkably similar — stress builds until slip begins, then there’s a sudden drop in stress as the fault ruptures in a massive earthquake. A fundamental question that seismologists grapple with is, what will cause a fault to ultimately slip, such as the one that led to the 2011 Tohoku earthquake?
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Ancient life signs under dinosaur-killing Chicxulub crater
Earthsky, November 7, 2020
What was ancient life on Earth like? Scientists revealed on October 30, 2020, that they’ve discovered some important new clues. Interestingly, the evidence lies in Chicxulub (roughly pronounced ‘CHEEK-shu-loob’), a large, circular, buried impact crater thought by many to have formed in the asteroid collision event that killed the dinosaurs 66 million years ago. Earlier this year, scientists had discovered that Chicxulub once contained a vast hydrothermal system – a hot-water system – of hot mineral-rich water. Now the same team says it has found evidence for a subterranean ecosystem of microbial life, hosted by the crater and its hot water.
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How deep have humans drilled into the earth’s crust?
Thomas, October 21, 2020
At a basic level, there’s something irresistible about digging a hole. A visit to any beach will see kids frantically digging holes, trenches, and tunnels to see how deep they can get before they fill with water, often with their parents digging just as enthusiastically alongside them. Perhaps it’s the lure of mythical pirates’ treasure or the thought of a goldrush-style discovery just waiting to be uncovered in the sand or soil. For researchers in the field of scientific drilling, however, the real treasure lies in the hope of scientific discovery.
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Rare-earth metal reveals ancient ocean currents linked to climate triggers
Medill Reports, October 21, 2020
Despite the sci-fi name of this rare-earth element, neodymium is actually pretty common. The silvery metal is used in everything from cell phones and wind turbines to tanning booths and electric guitars. But it's the neodymium found thousands of meters below the ocean's surface that captured the interest of Dr. Sophie Hines, a postdoctoral research fellow at Columbia University's Lamont-Doherty Earth Observatory.
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Ancient Microbes reveal Earth's response to the asteroid that killed the dinosaurs
Sciworthy, July 28, 2020
66 million years ago, an asteroid that was at least eleven kilometers across slammed into the Earth. The impact caused 76% of the species alive at the time to go extinct, including all of the dinosaurs except for birds. It's likely the asteroid caused a one and half kilometer high tidal wave, sent debris into the atmosphere that blocked the sun for up to ten years, ignited global wildfires, and triggered earthquakes and volcanoes across the planet.
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100 million-year-old sea microbes are alive and thriving, study finds
CNN, July 28, 2020
Humans can go without food for about three weeks before the effects of starvation begin to kill them. Some microbes deep underneath the seafloor have us beat: They can survive with barely any sustenance for more than 100 million years. These microorganisms live more than 18,000 feet underneath the ocean surface — in an area so deep it's called the subseafloor, below the seafloor. These sparse microbial populations exist in the slowly accumulating oxygen-filled sediment of the South Pacific Gyre, located within the South Pacific Ocean and bound by the equator, Australia, the Antarctic Circumpolar Current and South America, according to a study published Tuesday in the journal Nature Communications.
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Scientists revive 100 million-year-old microbes from the sea
BBC News, July 28, 2020
Japanese scientists say they have revived microbes that were in a dormant state for more than 100 million years. The tiny organisms had survived in the South Pacific seabed - in sediment that is poor in nutrients, but has enough oxygen to allow them to live. Microbes are among the earth's simplest organisms, and some can live in extreme environments where more developed life forms cannot survive. After incubation by the scientists, the microbes began to eat and multiply. The research was led by the Japan Agency for Marine-Earth Science and Technology and published in the journal Nature Communications.
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#DrawntoGeoscience: Fruitcake at Sea
AGU Blogosphere, May 27, 2020
I was taking a break last winter from packing to go to sea aboard the JOIDES Resolution for Expedition 379 to Antarctica, scrolling through Twitter, when I saw the story of a fruitcake that had been left behind in 1911 by Sir Robert Falcon Scott’s Terra Nova expedition — and was deemed still edible. I retweeted it because who doesn’t want to read about fruitcake, and the next thing I knew I’d received an incredible, and edible, invitation: the poet Leslie Bulion, a fellow writer, saw the poetry in sending a fresh new fruitcake to Antarctica, and zipped over to put one into my hands, along with a poem about it.
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How the world's hidden continent 'Zealandia' was formed 85 million years ago
9News, April 15, 2020
Three years ago, the identification of Zealandia as a continent made global headlines. Now, newly published results from a scientific drilling expedition reveal the largely submerged Zealandia continent, which stretches across five million square kilometres beneath the southwest Pacific Ocean, was shaped by two tectonic events. First it was ripped away from Australia and Antarctica, and then it was carved by forces that started the Pacific Ring of Fire.
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Microbes in Earth’s crust point to primitive life on Mars
The Asahi Shimbun, April 3, 2020
Life on Mars? Planet Earth has turned up tantalizing evidence that there could be after researchers found dense concentrations of microbial cells in cracks of ancient crust deep below the seabed. A team led by Yohei Suzuki, an associate professor of earth and planetary science at the University of Tokyo, believes the finding points to possible primitive life on the Red planet. The team's findings were published April 2 in Communications Biology, an online science journal. Researchers said the density of microbes found deep below the seabed was comparable to that in the human intestine.
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How we discovered the conditions behind 'slow earthquakes’ that happen over weeks or even months – new research
The Conversation, March 31, 2020
You’re probably familiar with earthquakes as relatively short, sharp shocks that can shake the ground, topple buildings and tear rips in the Earth. These earthquakes, and their aftershocks, happen because although tectonic plates move at centimetres per year, this motion is seldom steady. Earthquakes result from a “stick-slip” motion, where rocks “stick” along fault planes while stress accumulates until a “slip” occurs – a bit like pulling on a stuck door until it suddenly opens. This slip also releases energy as the seismic waves that, in large magnitude earthquakes, create substantial damage. In the last two decades another class of stick-slip motion has been discovered worldwide. These “slow slip events” last for weeks to months, compared to seconds to minutes for earthquakes. Slow slip events occur faster than average plate motion, but too slow to generate measurable seismic waves. This means they need to be studied by GPS networks rather then seismometers.
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Drilling down to slow-slip data
The Gisborne Herald, March 30, 2020
An ambitious international scientific project to study New Zealand's largest earthquake fault is enabling scientists to learn more about slow slip earthquakes in subduction zones around the world. Two International Ocean Discovery Program (IODP) expeditions to the Hikurangi subduction zone off the east coast of the North Island — in 2017 and 2018 — were the first time scientists from around the world had studied and directly sampled rocks from the source region of slow-slip events using ocean floor scientific drilling methods.
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Scientists Get First Look At Rocks Causing Slow Moving Quakes
Scoop, March 26, 2020
An ambitious international scientific project to study New Zealand’s largest earthquake fault is now enabling scientists to learn more about slow slip earthquakes happening in subduction zones around the world. Two International Ocean Discovery Program (IODP) expeditions to the Hikurangi subduction zone off the east coast of the North Island, undertaken in 2017 and 2018, mark the first time scientists from around the world had studied and directly sampled rocks from the source region of slow slip events using ocean floor scientific drilling methods. The expeditions aboard JOIDES Resolution were jointly led by researchers from NIWA, GNS Science, The University of Texas, and the University of Auckland. Today one of the first scientific papers from the expedition has been published in the prestigious journal Science Advances.
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Eclectic Rocks Influence Earthquake Types
Institute for Geophysics, The University of Texas at Austin, March 25, 2020
New Zealand’s largest fault is a jumble of mixed-up rocks of all shapes, sizes, compositions and origins. According to research from a global team of scientists, this motley mixture could help explain why the fault generates slow-motion earthquakes known as “slow slip events” as well as destructive, tsunami-generating tremors. “One thing that really surprised us was the sheer diversity of rock types,” said Laura Wallace, a research scientist at the University of Texas Institute for Geophysics (UTIG) and co-chief scientist on the expedition that retrieved rock samples from the fault. “These rocks that are being mashed up together all behave very differently in terms of their earthquake generating potential.”
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Scientists get first look at cause of ‘slow motion’ earthquakes
Cardiff University, March 25, 2020
An international team of scientists has for the first time identified the conditions deep below the Earth’s surface that lead to the triggering of so-called ‘slow motion’ earthquakes. These events, more commonly known as slow slip events, are similar to regular sudden and catastrophic earthquakes but take place on much longer timescales, usually from days to months. By drilling down to just over 1km deep in water depths of 3.5km off the coast of New Zealand, the team have shown that the fault zone areas in which slow slip events occur are characterised by a ‘mash up’ of different rock types.
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Slow slip source characterized by lithological and geometric heterogeneity
Science Advances, March 25, 2020
Slow slip events (SSEs) accommodate a significant proportion of tectonic plate motion at subduction zones, yet little is known about the faults that actually host them. The shallow depth (<2 km) of well-documented SSEs at the Hikurangi subduction zone offshore New Zealand offers a unique opportunity to link geophysical imaging of the subduction zone with direct access to incoming material that represents the megathrust fault rocks hosting slow slip. Two recent International Ocean Discovery Program Expeditions sampled this incoming material before it is entrained immediately down-dip along the shallow plate interface. Drilling results, tied to regional seismic reflection images, reveal heterogeneous lithologies with highly variable physical properties entering the SSE source region. These observations suggest that SSEs and associated slow earthquake phenomena are promoted by lithological, mechanical, and frictional heterogeneity within the fault zone, enhanced by geometric complexity associated with subduction of rough crust.
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Texas A&M researchers, other scientists discover life below Indian Ocean seafloor
The Eagle, March 22, 2020
Radiometric dating of glacial terminations over the past 640,000 years suggests pacing by Earth’s climatic precession, with each glacial-interglacial period spanning four or five cycles of ~20,000 years. However, the lack of firm age estimates for older Pleistocene terminations confounds attempts to test the persistence of precession forcing. We combine an Italian speleothem record anchored by a uranium-lead chronology with North Atlantic ocean data to show that the first two deglaciations of the so-called 100,000-year world are separated by two obliquity cycles, with each termination starting at the same high phase of obliquity, but at opposing phases of precession. An assessment of 11 radiometrically dated terminations spanning the past million years suggests that obliquity exerted a persistent influence on not only their initiation but also their duration.
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Microbes far beneath the seafloor rely on carbon recycling to survive, March 17, 2020
Scientists from Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution reveal how microorganisms could survive in rocks nestled thousands of feet beneath the ocean floor in the lower oceanic crust, in a study published on March 11 in Nature. The first analysis of messenger RNA—genetic material containing instructions for making different proteins—from this remote region of Earth, coupled with measurements of enzyme activities, microscopy, cultures, and biomarker analyses provides evidence of a low biomass, but diverse community of microbes that includes heterotrophs that obtain their carbon from other living (or dead) organisms.
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Persistent influence of obliquity on ice age terminations since the Middle Pleistocene transition
Science Magazine, March 13, 2020
Radiometric dating of glacial terminations over the past 640,000 years suggests pacing by Earth’s climatic precession, with each glacial-interglacial period spanning four or five cycles of ~20,000 years. However, the lack of firm age estimates for older Pleistocene terminations confounds attempts to test the persistence of precession forcing. We combine an Italian speleothem record anchored by a uranium-lead chronology with North Atlantic ocean data to show that the first two deglaciations of the so-called 100,000-year world are separated by two obliquity cycles, with each termination starting at the same high phase of obliquity, but at opposing phases of precession. An assessment of 11 radiometrically dated terminations spanning the past million years suggests that obliquity exerted a persistent influence on not only their initiation but also their duration.
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Persistent influence of obliquity on ice age terminations since the Middle Pleistocene transition
Science Magazine, March 13, 2020
Radiometric dating of glacial terminations over the past 640,000 years suggests pacing by Earth’s climatic precession, with each glacial-interglacial period spanning four or five cycles of ~20,000 years. However, the lack of firm age estimates for older Pleistocene terminations confounds attempts to test the persistence of precession forcing. We combine an Italian speleothem record anchored by a uranium-lead chronology with North Atlantic ocean data to show that the first two deglaciations of the so-called 100,000-year world are separated by two obliquity cycles, with each termination starting at the same high phase of obliquity, but at opposing phases of precession. An assessment of 11 radiometrically dated terminations spanning the past million years suggests that obliquity exerted a persistent influence on not only their initiation but also their duration.
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Life Is Thriving 2,600 Feet Beneath The Seafloor
Nature, March 12, 2020
You won’t see many living things above the ocean surface hundreds of miles southeast of Madagascar—an albatross or the occasional fishing vessel may break up the hours of solitude. But beneath the surface, lava from Earth’s mantle has uplifted a long, underwater mountain range with a flat top extending 5 kilometres above the seafloor. Its name, the Atlantis Bank, is oddly appropriate; here, microbial communities have somehow found a way to thrive, deep in Earth’s lower crust. Scientists onboard the JOIDES Resolution research vessel visited the unique geology as a part of Expedition 360 of the International Ocean Discovery Program (IODP). They drilled 809 meters into the crust, revealing new insights into the kinds of organisms that can survive in Earth’s most remote locations.
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These microbial communities have learned to live at Earth’s most extreme reaches
Nature, March 12, 2020
At the bottom of the Indian Ocean, in one of the deepest layers of Earth’s crust ever explored, researchers are finding life. An analysis of rock samples from Atlantis Bank, part of a seafloor mountain where deep crustal rock is exposed close to the surface, has revealed microbes adapted to life within nutrient-poor, hairline fractures in the earth. These single-celled survivors seem to be able to live and grow — albeit slowly — despite having extremely limited access to resources. The research, published in Nature on 11 March, is the latest instalment in a quest to define the extreme edges of Earth’s habitable space. A team led by marine microbiologist Virginia Edgcomb at Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution in Massachusetts found several species of bacteria, fungi and archaea that live in the rocks and feed on carbon from fragments of amino acids and other organic molecules carried in deep ocean currents.
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Research voyage brings lost continent of Zealandia secrets to the surface
HeritageDaily, March 5, 2020
Professor Sutherland from the University’s School of Geography, Environment and Earth Sciences was part of the team of predominantly GNS Science researchers that made global headlines in 2017 when they announced Zealandia should count as a new fully-fledged continent, Earth’s seventh and smallest. New Zealand to the south and New Caledonia to the north are the only major land masses of the otherwise mostly underwater Zealandia, which, at 4.9 million square kilometres, is about two-thirds the size of Australia.
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Zealandia, the world’s 8th continent, linked to the forging of the Pacific Ring of Fire
ZME Science, February 12, 2020
In 2017, geologists made a convincing case that Earth has, in fact, eight continents if you also include Zealandia. Although it is mostly beneath the ocean, with the exception of New Zealand and New Caledonia, Zealandia is mostly made of continental crust rather than the magnesium- and iron-rich ocean crust. For this reason, many believe Zealandia qualifies as a continent. Now, in a new study, researchers have revealed how the long-lost undersea continent evolved since its formation. In the process, they found that Zealandia’s upheaval may have been responsible for the birth of the Pacific Ring of Fire.
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New Research Reveals Violent Birth of Continent Zealandia
Sci-News, February 10, 2020
Zealandia — Earth’s seventh continent — experienced dramatic elevation changes between about 50 million and 35 million years ago, according to a new analysis of samples collected during the International Ocean Discovery Program (IODP) Expedition 371 in 2017; this topographic upheaval may have been due to a widespread reactivation of ancient faults linked to formation of the western Pacific’s infamous Ring of Fire. Zealandia has 4.9 million km2 (1.9 million miles2) of landmass and once made up approximately 5% of the area of the supercontinent Gondwana, the ancient supercontinent that included Antarctica and Australia. Roughly 94% of the area of Zealandia currently is submerged. But fossils in the drillcores collected by the IODP Expedition 371 indicate that during the early Cenozoic, portions of northern Zealandia rose 1-2 km (0.6-1.2 miles) while other sections subsided about the same amount before the entire continent sank another kilometer deep underwater.
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‘Lost continent’ of Zealandia transformed by formation of the Pacific’s Ring of Fire
Fox News, February 11, 2020
The 'lost continent' of Zealandia, which is submerged beneath the Pacific Ocean, experienced a major upheaval about 35 to 50 million years ago. According to findings published Feb. 6 in the journal Geology, scientists now believe that the topographic transformation may have been related to a reactivation of ancient fault lines linked to the formation of the western Pacific's Ring of Fire. Scientists have long believed that Zealandia's crust began to thin when it split off from Gondwana, an ancient supercontinent that included Antarctica and Australia, about 85 million years ago.
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Expedition reveals the violent birth of Earth’s hidden continent Zealandia, forged in a ring of fire
The Conversation, February 6, 2020
Three years ago, the identification of Zealandia as a continent made global headlines. Now, newly published results from our scientific drilling expedition reveal the largely submerged Zealandia continent, which stretches across five million square kilometres beneath the southwest Pacific Ocean, was shaped by two tectonic events. First it was ripped away from Australia and Antarctica, and then it was carved by forces that started the Pacific Ring of Fire.
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Beyond the abyss: The mission to drill through the Earth's crust
CNN, February 4, 2020
Last month, floating in the ocean south of New Zealand, a team of scientists were investigating the end of the dinosaurs and trying to predict the future. They were unspooling Earth's history, raising up sections of sediment and ancient rock from beneath the South Pacific. With these samples, scientists are probing some of our most longstanding, and most urgent, questions: What happened in the wake of the dinosaurs? What happens to life when the planet dramatically warms or cools? Can millions of years of Earth history tell us where we're heading? The abyss may hold the answers.
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Life in the deep: All aboard the JOIDES Resolution
CNN, February 4, 2020
The JOIDES Resolution (pictured 2017) is one of the scientific community's only available drilling vessels. A 41-year-old converted oil exploration ship, her drill string can reach depths in excess of 8,000 meters below the ocean surface.
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It was the asteroid impact, not volcanic eruptions, that killed the dinosaurs
University of Southampton, February 4, 2020
Volcanic activity did not play a direct role in the mass extinction event that killed the dinosaurs and about 75% of Earth’s species 66 million years ago, according to a team involving University of Southampton researchers. Two planetary-scale disturbances occurred within a million years of one another, leading scientists to question the role each played in driving the mass extinction event.
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Asteroid or Volcano? New Clues to the Dinosaurs’ Demise
The New York Times, January 16, 2020
Some 66 million years ago, forests burned to the ground and the oceans acidified after the Chicxulub asteroid hit Earth in the Gulf of Mexico. Around the same time, on the other side of the planet, erupting volcanoes were busy covering much of the Indian subcontinent with lava, forming the Deccan Traps. One of these forces drove all dinosaurs except for the birds extinct, and opened the evolutionary door for mammals until, eventually, humans arose. In the geologic equivalent of a murder mystery, which calamity actually did the deed is a debate that stretches back decades. Now, it seems, the case may finally be cracked. The asteroid, according to a team of scientists, was the chief perpetrator, while the volcanism, driving climate change in the background, might have affected life’s recovery in the wake of the impact.
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Ship-to-shore call chance
Otago Daily Times, December 6, 2019
Otago schools and clubs are being invited to take part in a deep ocean research expedition, through ship-to-shore video calls. Otago Museum science outreach projects co-ordinator Claire Concannon will board research vessel Joides Resolution on January 3 next year, on a voyage to the middle of the South Pacific Ocean. During Expedition 378, the ship will drill deep into the earth beneath the ocean to collect ancient samples, which will contribute to climate models still being developed.
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Catastrophic events carry forests of trees thousands of miles to a burial at sea
USC, October 21, 2019
Flooding from torrential rains caused by cyclones and monsoonal storms, as well as other catastrophic events, are responsible for moving huge amounts of fresh wood to a watery grave deep under the ocean, according to Earth scientists. Their research, published in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences on Oct. 21, shows the first-ever evidence that trees may travel thousands of miles from their mountain homes to settle in the vast sediments extending under the sea from river mouths.
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Using Antarctica’s Geology to Forecast Future Sea Level Rise
Colorado College, 2019
Peering into the deep past of geologic time could help scientists better forecast changes ahead for earth’s troubled future. Geology Professor Christine Siddoway is committed to helping shed light on those changes, and to bringing along the next generation of scientists. For three decades, Siddoway has explored the geological evolution of Antarctica using approaches from structural geology and petrology. She has made 14 research trips to Antarctica supported by eight multi-year National Science Foundation awards. Siddoway participated in the International Ocean Discovery Program (IODP) in Spring 2019, joining an expedition dedicated to obtaining sediment records and data by ship-based drilling in the deep waters of the Amundsen Sea. The expedition scientists will obtain important clues into the geological foundations of West Antarctica, the future of ice sheet change, and the future of climate-human convergence, because the West Antarctic Ice Sheet will play a critical role in future sea level rise.
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Scientists begin project studying ocean floor off Guaymas, Sonora
Mexico News Daily, September 24, 2019
Three Mexicans are part of a team of 33 scientists from nine countries currently studying the seabed of the Gulf of California off the coast of Guaymas, Sonora. For the next two months, scientists onboard the JOIDES Resolution, a research vessel that drills into the ocean floor to collect samples of sediments, will study the tectonics, magmatism, carbon cycling and microbial activity of the Guaymas Basin. The expedition, which set sail on Saturday, is part of the International Ocean Discovery Program, a marine research initiative.
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O’Connell Works with International Scientists to Collect Sediment Cores from Scotia Sea
Wesleyan University, September 23, 2019
As campus was winding down for spring break last semester, Professor of Earth and Environmental Sciences Suzanne O’Connell was packing her bags for a two-month expedition in the Scotia Sea, just north of the Antarctic Peninsula, to drill for marine sediment miles below the ocean waves. On her ninth expedition since 1980, O’Connell was one of 30 international scientists working 12 hours a day, seven days a week, navigating “Iceberg Alley” aboard the JOIDES Resolution research vessel. It is the only ship in the world with coring tools powerful enough to extract both soft sediment and hard rock from the ocean floor.
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Research Vessel That’s Sailed The World Calls On San Diego Ahead Of Major Expedition
KPBS, September 19, 2019
The JOIDES Resolution scientific research vessel has docked in the United States for the first time in a decade, after sailing around the world. It's tied up at the Embarcadero in downtown San Diego, where the crew is loading it up with food and supplies ahead of a major scientific expedition to the Guaymas Basin in the Gulf of California.
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Renowned research ship docks in San Diego
Channel 10 News, San Diego, September 19, 2019
Anyone who’s been to San Diego’s Embarcadero in the last few months may have noticed a unique ship docked at the B Street Pier. The JOIDES Resolution Research Vessel is a world-renowned scientific research ship, and it is the first time it’s been docked in the U.S. in 10 years. The ship is only going to be in San Diego for a few days before going back out to sea for another two months.
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Unique Scientific Ship Docks in San Diego Before Gulf of California Expedition
Times of San Diego, September 18, 2019
One of the most unusual and capable scientific research ships ever built is docked at the cruise ship terminal this week, preparing for a voyage to the Gulf of California. The 471-foot JOIDES Resolution towers over the piers and other ships on the embarcadero because of its sediment-drilling derrick extending 202 feet above the ocean. The ship will pull out on Saturday for a two-month expedition to the Guaymas Basin, a mile-deep depression in the Gulf of California off the Mexican city of the same name.
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Ocean drilling revolutionized Earth science — now geologists want to plumb new depths
Nature, August 30, 2019
This month, off the coast of Ecuador, scientists are hunting for hot, teeming masses of microbes living in two long, skinny holes drilled into the bottom of the ocean. This cruise, aboard the legendary research ship JOIDES Resolution, is the latest in the five-decade history of scientific ocean drilling. The practice of boring holes in the sea floor has revolutionized earth science, helping researchers to confirm the theory of plate tectonics, discover microbes deep in the ocean crust and probe the hidden risks of earthquakes and tsunamis. But to keep the field alive for years to come, scientists must now convince international funding agencies that there are discoveries waiting to be made.
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How a Drilling Ship Pulls Cores From 2.5 Miles Below the Sea
State of the Planet, July 19, 2019
An ocean drilling ship is not an ocean drilling ship without the skilled and experienced personnel that control, execute and overview the drilling operations. The JOIDES Resolution is no exception. Of the 123 souls currently onboard, about 30 people facilitate the success and safety of all ocean drilling operations — about the same number as scientists onboard. Among them are five drillers, two tool pushers, six floormen and two derrickmen.
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Wiggle Wrangling on a Core-Drilling Ship
State of the Planet, July 16, 2019
Research time on the R/V JOIDES Resolution is always in high demand due to the ship’s unique drilling capability. Because every hour on “the JR” is precious, all shipboard activities, including sediment core recovery and sample processing, operate 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, even on holidays. This means that everyone on board works 12 hours a day (and often more), every day, for the full 2 months of our Southern Ocean expedition. Although this may sound grueling to some, this is an exciting opportunity that many of us have been looking forward to for a very long time. (See Gisela Winckler’s recent post for more on why we’re here.)
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After a Long Wait, Expedition 383 Drills its First Seafloor Core
State of the Planet, July 11, 2019
Patience is not my strongest asset. For years I have been excited about this opportunity to sail on the JOIDES Resolution with some of my greatest colleagues and to uncover the well-kept secrets of Southern Ocean climate variability. Everyone from the science party as well as the technical and support teams had boarded, supplies were stored in the hull, and the goals were clear. However, at the beginning of our expedition, we found ourselves on a very long ride to our first drill site near Point Nemo, which condemned us to wait another six days before we could start our drilling operations. That definitely tested our patience — in particular mine.
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Geologist Embarks on 60-Day Voyage to Study Past Climates, June 21, 2019
Geologist Suzanne O’Connell spent the anniversary of the Titanic’s sinking navigating iceberg-infested waters in an area between Patagonia and the Antarctic Peninsula known as Iceberg Alley. But she was so occupied with collecting and analyzing sediment from the ocean floor that she barely noticed it was April 15; 107 years to the day that the British ocean liner sank in the Atlantic Ocean after hitting an iceberg. “We thought about it since we had icebergs all around us,” O’Connell explains. “You’re busy working, and people are there to protect you.” That protection included deploying satellite imagery and an iceberg observer to detect icebergs.
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As copper supplies get tight, Kiwi scientists work out how it's deposited on the seafloor
Stuff, July 1, 2019
Drilling into an undersea volcano has enabled New Zealand scientists to work out how mineral deposits rich in copper and gold form on the seafloor. With demand for copper expected to explode, and as electric vehicle maker Tesla warns of upcoming shortages, it's thought the New Zealand research could help identify new deposits of the metal now uplifted on land, but which were once formed on the seafloor. The research was carried out on about 225 metres of core recovered from the Brothers undersea volcano in the Kermadec Arc, about 400km northeast of the Bay of Plenty coast. The drilling was done by an international team on board the research drilling ship JOIDES Resolution in a $US15 million project last year.
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New York City to Punta Arenas: The Beginning of Our Journey
State of the Planet, June 28, 2019
What brings 33 climate scientists and (paleo)oceanographers from 13 different countries to the end of the world in Punta Arenas, Chile, in the middle of Southern hemisphere winter? It is a very special ship, docked at the pier in Punta Arenas: the R/V JOIDES Resolution, a unique research vessel that can drill thousands of feet into the ocean floor to collect sediments. Not only does the JOIDES Resolution have a 180-foot-high derrick for its drilling operations — it is also a floating laboratory with state-of-the-art facilities for micropaleontology, sedimentology, paleomagnetic, physical and geochemical analyses.
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Scientist brings 'wow's to talk in Rotorua around submarine drilling at volcano
Rotorua Daily Post, June 25, 2019
There were plenty of gasps and "wow"s ringing out from the Bridge Club rooms as people enjoyed a guest speaker's talk about submarine drilling at Brothers volcano. The guest speaker at Rotorua U3A's forum on Wednesday was Dr Cornel de Ronde, a New Zealand expert on undersea volcanic activity and mineral deposition. He is currently a principal scientist and research geologist with GNS Science. At the forum he talked about his recent exploration of the Brothers volcano in the Kermadec volcanic ridge.
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Millions in funding for Antarctic research
Otago Daily Times, June 24, 2019
University of Otago researchers seem likely to gain more than $5million from four Antarctic research projects, funded through the national Antarctic Research Platform. Niwa principal scientist, marine physics, Dr Craig Stevens, of Wellington, will lead a $5.7million Niwa project to study the ocean around the Antarctic. Otago paleoceanographer Prof Christina Riesselman will also serve as a co-principal researcher on the project.
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Climate secrets buried deep beneath the Southern Ocean
Scoop, June 13, 2019
A Kiwi couple are on board a ship filled with international experts hoping to extract climate insights from below the seabed in the Southern Ocean. University of Otago paleoceanographer, Christina Riesselman and husband Chris Moy, a paleoclimatologist, are among the 30 researchers on the JOIDES Resolution. The current voyage is focusing on seven different locations in the central south Pacific Ocean and off the coast of southern Chile. Scientists onboard are using special technology to drill down and gather core samples from the seabed, in some cases through water more than five kilometres deep.
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60 days in Iceberg Alley, drilling for marine sediment to decipher Earth’s climate 3 million years ago
The Conversation, May 6, 2019
Competition is stiff for one of the 30 scientist berths on the JOIDES Resolution research vessel. I’m one of the lucky ones, granted the opportunity to work 12-hour days, seven days a week for 60 days as part of Expedition 382 “Iceberg Alley” in the Scotia Sea, just north of the Antarctic Peninsula.
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App State professor returns from research in Antarctica
The Appalachian, April 25, 2019
Ellen Cowan, professor in the Department of Geological and Environmental Sciences, boarded a scientific drill ship called the JOIDES Resolution to research the loss of ice sheets in Antarctica. Cowan applied for the International Ocean Discovery Program Expedition a year ahead of the trip to Antarctica and was accepted along with 27 scientists.
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The Search for the Severed Head of the Himalayas
Eos, April 25, 2019
It is a question seemingly more appropriate for a private eye than for a sedimentologist: How do you find a severed head? The case is complicated. No one has ever seen the head, its presumed location is thousands of kilometers from its torso, and it may lie beneath a kilometer of sand and mud. And the burial ground has been narrowed down to within a million square kilometers. But this head isn’t a bloody remnant of a crime scene, and the examiners aren’t crime scene investigators. Instead, scientists are searching for the “head of the Himalayas,” the Himalayas being the mountain range that with 10 peaks soaring more than 8,000 meters above sea level, more than earns its nickname as part of the “rooftop of the world.”
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Researchers examining seafloor in Antarctica expedition
CBS This Morning, April 22, 2019
In our Earth Matters coverage, we go to Antarctica's "Iceberg Alley" aboard a one-of-a-kind scientific drilling vessel. Researchers from around the world on the JOIDES Resolution are investigating the climate history of Antarctica.
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How mud from the bottom of the ocean can reveal the effect of climate change
The National, April 21, 2019
A natural library of information lies beneath our feet: tales of past ice ages, mass extinctions and periods of extreme climatic warmth millions of years ago can be found deep in the ocean. The International Ocean Drilling Program (IODP) emerged following the advent of ocean drilling in the 1960s. The space race was at its peak and scientists were not only motivated to reach the outer limits of Earth, but its inner depths. The development of ocean-drilling technology enabled scientists ever since to recover deep-sea mud records from the ocean floor so they can study past climate.
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Good yield despite bad conditions
Planet Erde, April 15, 2019
Almost three weeks ago, the US drill ship "Joides Resolution" returned from an expedition to the Antarctic Amundsen Sea to the Chilean port of Punta Arenas. The expedition as part of the International Sea Depth Program IODP explored sediment cores in the deep sea there to investigate the history of the West Antarctic ice sheet in more detail. At the annual meeting of the European Geoscientific Union (EGU) in Vienna, leader Karsten Gohl from the Alfred Wegener Institute in Bremerhaven gave an expedition report. (in German; read in English via Google Translate)
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Newly drilled sediment cores could reveal how fast the Antarctic ice sheet will melt
Science, April 15, 2019
Braving a raft of icebergs, a scientific drill ship has recovered the first deep sediment cores from the Amundsen Sea, where the massive Antarctic ice sheet is rapidly melting. The 800-meter-long records, described for the first time last week at the annual meeting of the European Geosciences Union here, contain several million years of history of the West Antarctic Ice Sheet. “It’s a very strategic place to drill,” says Florence Colleoni, a paleoclimate and ice sheet modeler at the National Institute of Oceanography and Experimental Geophysics in Sgonico, Italy.
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The sensitive Achilles heel of the white continent
Deutschlandfunk, April 12, 2019
The polar ice sheets store more than two-thirds of the world's fresh water. Global warming causes these masses to melt away. The West Antarctic is particularly sensitive. A research team is trying to glimpse the past of ice there – to learn for the future. (in German; read in English via Google Translate)
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Iceberg History May Explain Climate Change
The Science Times, March 30, 2019
The goal is to always seek the truth to better understand what is causing significant changes in the environment. Although this may seem like something it's impossible to do, a group of international scientists is set to do exactly what was never thought of. The researchers are looking at positioning themselves into the alley of Icebergs at the tip of the Antarctic Peninsula and start drilling into the sea floor. One could imagine the blocks of ice that will come by as they move with this project. Researchers are hopeful that the sediments of snow could unfold the history of how the White Continent came to be. Their aim is to better understand how the ice sheets that are kilometers-thick would react to what they project as the "warmer world."
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Climate change: Drilling in 'Iceberg Alley'
BBC News, March 27, 2019
It sounds a bit like sitting in the middle of the road when there's a queue of juggernauts coming straight at you. This is a little overplayed but it's kind of what an international group of scientists has just set out to do. The researchers want to position themselves in the centre of "Iceberg Alley" off the tip of the Antarctic Peninsula and drill into the seafloor. Huge blocks of ice are likely to come drifting by in the process. It's hoped the sediments the researchers recover will tell us something of how the White Continent has changed in the past and how its kilometres-thick ice sheet might react in the future in what's projected to be a much warmer world.
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Deep-Sea Drillers Investigate Shedding of Antarctic Icebergs
Earth Institute, Columbia University, March 25, 2019
The 5.4 million square-mile Antarctic ice sheet is by far the greatest mass of fresh water on earth. If all it were to melt, it would raise global sea levels some 70 meters (220 feet), driving human civilization inland, and obliterating some nations completely. With human-induced climate change now proceeding rapidly, scientists want to know how rapidly the ice might react. One way to find out: study how the ice has reacted to past warm periods that could be analogous to our own.
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Scientists set sail on expedition to investigate 'Iceberg Alley' off Antarctica
National Science Foundation, March 25, 2019
The 5.4 million-square-mile Antarctic Ice Sheet is the greatest mass of fresh water on Earth. If it all were to melt, it would raise global sea levels some 220 feet. Searching for answers to how fast the ice might react to changes in climate, scientists are now studying how that ice reacted to past warm periods similar to today's.
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Scientists Study Ancient Icebergs For Clues About Modern Climate Change, March 25, 2019
More than two dozen researchers are on their way to Antarctica to collect clues from ancient icebergs. The greatest mass of freshwater on Earth, if the 5.4 million-square-mile Antarctic Ice Sheet were to melt, it would raise global sea levels some 220 feet. That’s enough to flood California’s Central Valley, completely drown Montreal, and turn Portland, Ore., into a peninsula. In an effort to avoid such an unfortunate fate, scientists are studying the past for answers to our future.
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PBS NewsHour interview with Maureen Raymo: Uncovering the history of Earth’s climate
PBS NewsHour Weekend, March 17, 2019
To understand the history of climate change, researchers are digging underneath the ocean floor where organisms and plants have accumulated in sediment over millennia. Maureen Raymo studies this science of paleoclimatology using a vast collection of materials at Columbia University’s Lamont-Doherty Earth Observatory. NewsHour Weekend's Hari Sreenivasan reports.
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On the Ice: Researchers are gathering data off the coast of Antarctica to improve predictions of future sea-level rise
University of Houston, March 11, 2019
Antarctica is one of the most remote spots on earth, roughly the size of the United States and Mexico combined and home to a rotating roster of scientists. The Amundsen Sea off Antarctica’s western shore is even more isolated. But the icy expanse is proving to be fertile ground for researchers, plowing the waters in search of clues that will help scientists more accurately predict future sea-level rise.
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Scientist from the MfN on Board: IODP Expedition 379 in the Amundsen Sea (West Antarctic) on the Research Drill Ship JOIDES Resolution
Museum für Naturkunde, February 27, 2019
It was frustrating - nearly a week and no new sediment cores below the previously drilled depth of 393 meters below the sea floor. One iceberg after another drifted into the security 'red zone' near the ship so that new drilling was not allowed: we had to have time to pull up our drill string if an iceberg decided to head directly for the ship, as is not easy to dodge an iceberg when you are still anchored to the sea floor by a 4-kilometer long drill pipe! At last we could resume drilling and we have now reached 504 meters. And the quality of the cores is remarkably good.
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International research expedition heads to West Antarctica
British Antarctic Survey, January 28, 2019
An international team of scientists is travelling to the Amundsen Sea – one of the most vulnerable sectors of the Antarctic Ice Sheet – to answer vital scientific questions about the history of the West Antarctic Ice Sheet (WAIS).
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A student from the University of Perpignan is on a scientific expedition to Antarctica (in French)
L’Indépendant, January 27, 2019
Margot Courtillat is in the third year of her thesis at the UPVD Training and Research Center on the Marine Environment. She embarked on a two-month oceanographic mission aboard the JOIDES Resolution. (in French; read in English via Google Translate)
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Voyage to an underwater volcano
Lab+Life (8 August 2018)
An international team of scientists have returned from a once-in-a-lifetime expedition that took them 400 km north-east of New Zealand. The goal of their two-month voyage? To drill into an active underwater volcano.
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The boat unlocking Earth’s deepest secrets
BBC Earth, July 23, 2018
We still know more about the surface of Mars than what’s under our own seabed. Here we profile a scientific research vessel that has drilled more holes in the ocean floor than any other and whose expeditions continue to make some of the greatest scientific discoveries of our time.
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Looking for the unexpected below the sea
The Sydney Morning Herald (22 July 2018)
During the video chat, sea-faring scientist Dr Dominique Tanner, 30, sits below deck as the ship takes a beating. ‘‘Recently the weather’s been pretty rough – I think the maximum wave height was approaching seven metres the other day,’’ says the University of Wollongong geologist posted above the Pacific Ocean submarine Brother’s Volcano, several hundred kilometres northeast of New Zealand’s Whakaari Island.
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Kiwi scientists in $20m research project helping uncover the secrets of remote underwater volcano
TV NZ (17 July 2018)
For the first time, scientists have drilled down several hundred metres from the Kermadec Seas, in the South Pacific Ocean, into the Brothers Volcano below.
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New Zealand Scientists Complete Submarine Volcano Expedition
Subsea World News (6 July 2018)
An international team of scientists with several New Zealand participants has returned from a two-month voyage in the Kermadec Arc with the new knowledge about the inside workings of submarine volcanoes.
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Scientists finish groundbreaking volcano mission
Radio NZ (6 July 2018)
A mission off New Zealand's coast has broken new-ground - literally - with scientists going where none have gone before. Geologists on a trip to the Kermadec Arc - 400km northeast of White Island - have managed to drill into the heart of an underwater volcano, more than 1600m below the surface, and extract samples.
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$22m drill project finds underwater Kiwi volcano unusually rich in copper, gold (5 July 2018)
A $US15 million ($NZ22.2m) project to drill into the Brothers submarine volcano found the underwater feature's magma and volcanic rock is unusually rich in metals such as copper and gold. The main aim of the expedition to the world's most hydrothermally active submarine volcano was to learn more about how metals are transported within submarine volcanoes and brought to the seafloor where they form metallic deposits.
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Scientists probe inner workings of a submarine volcano
LiveNews Publisher (5 July 2018)
Using the scientific research ship JOIDES Resolution, they drilled a number of boreholes into the heart of the hydrothermally active Brothers submarine volcano. The main aim of the US$15 million expedition was to learn more about how metals are transported within submarine volcanoes and brought to the seafloor where they form metallic deposits.
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Students visit scientists near New Zealand via video conference, explore underwater volcano
Fiddlehead Focus (18 June 2018)
Students from high schools in Madawaska, St. Agatha and Fort Kent recently took a virtual tour of a ship to see how scientists on board are extracting samples of a volcano miles below the surface of the ocean.
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World first probe into an active submarine volcano
Radio NZ (9 May 2018)
Brothers is a massive submarine volcano in the Kermadec Arc, 400km northeast of White Island. It is a hydrothermal volcano, known for its hot springs and tall chimneys known as black smokers. Over the next two months an international team of geologists will drill into the active volcano in a world-first effort to learn more about how metals such as gold move through the earth’s crust.
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World-first probe of submarine volcano
SunLive (8 May 2018)
An international team of scientists with several New Zealand participants will drill into a hydrothermally active submarine volcano northeast of White Island. The idea behind the drilling is to learn more about how metals move through the Earth’s crust and find out about the life forms that live in these extreme environments.
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UOW geologist’s ‘rare opportunity to drill into active volcano’
Illawarra Mercury (7 May 2018)
On Monday hundreds of people in Hawaii were taking shelter wherever they could as one of the world's most active volcanoes continued to erupt. At the same time but thousands of kilometres away, a team of 30 international scientists, including University of Wollongong geologist Dr Dominique Tanner, set sail on an expedition to drill into an active underwater volcano.
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World first: NZ scientists to drill undersea volcano
MSN News (7 May 2018)
Several New Zealand scientists are part of the team that will drill into an undersea volcano northeast of White Island this month. On Wednesday, they will head out on a two-month-long expedition in the hopes of learning about how metals and life forms move through the Earth's crust in Brothers volcano, 400km northeast of White Island.
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NZ Scientists to drill undersea volcano in unprecedented expedition
Newshub (7 May 2018)
Several New Zealand scientists are part of the team that will drill into an undersea volcano northeast of White Island this month. On Wednesday, they will head out on a two-month-long expedition in the hopes of learning about how metals and life forms move through the Earth's crust in Brothers volcano, 400km northeast of White Island.
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Team to drill into undersea volcano
The New Zealand Herald (7 May 2018)
Science deep in the ocean, several hundred kilometres northeast of New Zealand, lies the world’s most hydrothermally active volcano. The Brothers volcano is huge – it’s about three times the size of White Island and its summit rises to within 1200 m of sea level – and it sits in one of the most active regions of the planet, the Kermadec Arc.
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Drilling into one of the world's most active submarine volcanoes - off the New Zealand coast (7 May 2018)
Scientists are set to drill into one of the most hydrothermally active submarine volcanoes in the world - and it's located off the coast of New Zealand. The Brothers volcano is located on the Kermadec arc, 400km northeast of the Bay of Plenty, with its peak about 1200 metres below sea level. It will be the first project of its type anywhere in the world.
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Scientists set to drill into huge underwater volcano
Newstalk ZB (6 May 2018)
Deep below the ocean, several hundred kilometres northeast of New Zealand, lies the world's most hydrothermally active volcano. The Brothers volcano is huge - it's about three times the size of White Island and its summit rises to within 1200m of sea level - and it sits thick in one of the most active regions of the planet, the Kermadec Arc. In a bold first, scientists will soon attempt to drill directly into the beast's belly - meeting rocks as hot as 400C as they go.
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Earthquakes at a Plate Boundary: Slow Slip Events
GNS Science, March 8, 2018
More than a dozen slow slip events (also known as "silent" earthquakes) have been recorded in New Zealand between 2002 and 2012. Scientists have only been able to detect them recently due to the advent of global positioning system (GPS) equipment which can detect sub-centimetre changes in land movements. As part of the GeoNet project in New Zealand, continuously operating GPS have been installed throughout the country. The GeoNet cGPS data show that these silent earthquakes occurring deep under New Zealand are changing the shape of parts of the North Island over time periods of weeks to years.
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Drilling project probes New Zealand’s risk of killer quakes
Nature, March 7, 2018
An international team of geoscientists has unleashed a full-fledged onslaught to understand New Zealand’s biggest earthquake and tsunami hazard. On 8 March, the JOIDES Resolution drill ship will begin a two-month expedition to bore deep into the Hikurangi subduction zone off the east coast of New Zealand’s North Island. There, the Pacific plate of Earth’s crust dives, or subducts, beneath the Australian plate. The grinding of these geological titans has the potential to unleash a magnitude-9 earthquake and accompanying tsunami.
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Hikurangi fault 'hotbed' of international quake research, March 9, 2018
A huge and expensive international effort is underway to understand the Hikurangi fault zone off Gisborne. Something like $100 million will be spent helping scientists learn more about the Hikurangi subduction zone off the east coast of the North Island. In the latest stage of the project, a ship heads to sea on the weekend and will implant two instruments under the sea floor to learn more about the "slow slip" earthquakes that often occur on the Hikurangi. The string of projects started last year and will extend into next year.
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Scientists to probe NZ's tsunami danger zone
NZ Herald, March 8, 2018
A team of international scientists is preparing to set up two sub-seafloor observatories at New Zealand's largest geological threat: the Hikurangi Subduction Zone. Scientists believe the large system - which runs from the top of the East Cape to the upper east of the South Island - has the potential to unleash "megathrust" earthquakes larger than magnitude 8. There was also the threat of large, quick-fire tsunamis that could leave coastal communities just minutes to prepare for: an animation released this week suggested wave heights could reach up to 12m in places.
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Sunken continent Zealandia used to be closer to the surface, with a very different climate
Stuff, September 28, 2017
The mostly sunken continent of Zealandia, which surrounds New Zealand, used to be closer to the surface of the sea and had a very different climate in the past, researchers believe. A team of 32 scientists from 12 countries has just finished a nine-week voyage to study the undersea continent, drilling deep into the seabed at six sites in water depths of more than 1250 metres. More than 8000 fossil specimens were studied, with several hundred species identified. "The discovery of microscopic shells of organisms that lived in warm shallow seas, and of spores and pollen from land plants, reveal that the geography and climate of Zealandia were dramatically different in the past," expedition co-chief scientist Gerald Dickens, of Rice University in the US, said.
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'Lost Continent' Expedition Provides Clues to Earth's History
National Geographic, September 27, 2017
So far, we don't know much about the world's disputed "lost continent," but a group of scientists set out to change that. For two months, a team of 32 scientists from the International Ocean Discovery Program explored a region—being called Zealandia—that lies just east of Australia. Zealandia is roughly the size of India and is only now being explored because for many years it sat unknown, at depths ranging from 8,000 to 13,000 feet below the sea. The researchers collected a host of data, including by drilling into seabed, retrieving 8,202 feet of sediment cores. In these cores, the team found records of life in the region dating back millions of years.
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Zealandia: Sunken 8th Continent Reveals Its Buried Secrets
LiveScience, September 27, 2017
A journey to plumb the remote ocean depths has revealed that Earth does indeed have an eighth continent. A nine-week voyage took scientists from around the world to drill and explore the seafloor off New Zealand and Australia. They found evidence of land-based fossils, revealing that the ancient landmass wasn't always buried beneath the waves. "Zealandia, a sunken continent long lost beneath the oceans, is giving up its 60 million-year-old secrets through scientific ocean drilling," Jamie Allan, program director in the U.S. National Science Foundation's Division of Ocean Sciences, said in a statement.
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Scientific expedition reveals secrets of lost continent Zealandia
NZ Herald, September 27, 2017
Zealandia, the "lost" continent our country lies upon, was much closer to land level than previously believed - and shallow enough to offer pathways for animals and plants to move along. A major international expedition, which involved drilling deep into the seabed, has transformed what we understand about the submerged continent's intriguing 70-million-year-old history. This year Zealandia was confirmed as Earth's seventh continent, but little is known about it because most is submerged more than a kilometre beneath the ocean and the region has been sparsely surveyed and sampled.
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Scientists Are Just Starting to Understand Earth’s Eighth Continent, Zealandia
Atlas Obscura, September 27, 2017
Not many people have been to every continent on Earth—Antarctica is the toughest for most—but now there’s another destination for the true completists. The existence of an eighth continent, Zealandia, was only confirmed back in February. The landmass managed to fly under the radar for so long because most of it is underwater—just six percent of the India-sized continent is above sea level—mostly just New Zealand. And, not surprisingly, most of it hasn’t been surveyed or studied. Until now. An international team of researchers just finished a nine-week, National Science Foundation–funded excursion to learn more about Zealandia and its past.
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Zealandia drilling reveals secrets of sunken lost continent
The Guardian, September 27, 2017
The mostly submerged continent of Zealandia may have been much closer to land level than previously thought, providing pathways for animals and plants to cross continents from 80m years ago, an expedition has revealed. Zealandia, a for the most part underwater landmass in the South Pacific, was declared the Earth’s newest continent this year in a paper in the journal of the Geological Society of America. It includes Lord Howe Island off the east coast of Australia, New Caledonia and New Zealand. On Wednesday researchers shared findings from their two-month-long expedition, one of the first extensive surveys of the region, announcing fossil discoveries and evidence of large-scale tectonic movements.
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Explorers probe hidden continent of Zealandia
The Conversation, September 11, 2017
Zealandia made global headlines earlier this year when scientists announced that it counts as a new continent. Now it is coming under closer scientific scrutiny. We are currently halfway through an expedition to drill into this vast underwater plateau of continental crust, and we can already reveal that Zealandia’s geography changed more dramatically and more recently than anyone had thought.
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Team Led By Texas A&M Researcher To Explore Underwater Continent Of Zealandia
Texas A&M Today, July 25, 2017
Little is known about Zealandia—the underwater continent half the size of Australia beneath the Tasman Sea which separates Australia and New Zealand—but an international team of scientists, including a Texas A&M University researcher, aboard the JOIDES Resolution research vessel will play a crucial role in learning more about the mysterious land mass. On June 27, 30 researchers led by International Ocean Discovery Program (IODP) Expedition 371 Project Manager and Staff Scientist Dr. Peter Blum will set out on a two-month expedition sponsored by the National Science Foundation (NSF) and 23 other countries that support the IODP, on the Tasman Sea to drill hundreds of meters into Zealandia’s crust in water depths of up to 5,000 meters in order to extract cores and find out exactly how, when and why Zealandia came to be.
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Zealandia: Scientists set to drill into long-lost continent to uncover its secrets
Newsweek, July 21, 2017
In February, scientists announced that there is an eighth continent submerged beneath the ocean, and its name is Zealandia. In a paper published by the Geological Society of America, the team of scientists called the area “Earth’s hidden continent” and suggested that identifying it as such will help us better represent our planet and improve our understanding of its history and the processes that drive it. Now, a team of scientists with the International Ocean Discovery Program will study Zealandia by drilling into part of the 2-million-square-mile mass of continental crust.
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Marine geoscience project gets underway in NZ waters next week
Voxy, July 19, 2017
One of the world’s top scientific research ships will next week start a series of expeditions in the seas around New Zealand probing some of the 21st century’s big earth science questions. The 140m-long JOIDES Resolution, operated by the 23-nation International Ocean Discovery Program, will undertake six expeditions totalling about 18 months and involving teams of scientists from all over the world. New Zealand scientists will lead five of the expeditions and many other Kiwi scientists are involved, either as part of the shipboard science teams or as shore-based researchers.
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Scientists Journey to the World's 'Lost' 8th Continent
Live Science, July 18, 2017
Scientists will soon venture to the world's hidden eighth continent, the sunken land of Zealandia. The lost continent, which is mostly submerged, with all of New Zealand and a few islands peeking out from the water, is about half the size of Australia. By drilling deep into its crust or upper layer, the new scientific expedition could provide clues about how the diving of one of Earth's plates beneath another, a process called subduction, fueled the growth of a volcano chain and this lost continent in the Pacific Ocean 50 million years ago. The new expedition could also reveal how that Earth-altering event changed ocean currents and the climate.
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Floating lab drills 1.5km below sea floor to study megaquakes
New Scientist, August 25, 2016
It was one of the biggest and deadliest tsunamis in recorded history. The Boxing Day tsunami of 2004 killed a quarter of million people with waves reaching 15 metres. Now, a drilling expedition under way in the Indian Ocean hopes to uncover the secrets of large underwater earthquakes that can trigger such tsunamis. A multinational team on board the research vessel JOIDES Resolution, a “floating laboratory”, is about to collect sediment samples from 1.5 kilometres beneath the ocean floor.
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Scientists study microbes beneath ocean floor
UPI, April 8, 2016
Surprisingly, some microbes thrive beneath ocean floor, and are often found near hydrothermal vents. For the first time, scientists have studied in detail the microbial community living inside dense, rocky crust under the colder North Pond, along the Mid-Atlantic Ridge. The microbes were found within rock samples collected by an ocean floor observatory installed by the Integrated Ocean Drilling Program in 2011. The observatory is situated on the North Pond, a small depression where sediment collects along the western flank of the Mid-Atlantic Ridge.
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There’s Something Living In the Rocky Crust Beneath the Ocean Floor
Motherboard, April 7, 2016
In just about every nook, cranny, and crevice of our planet, some sort of life manages to thrive—whether it’s under an Antarctic ice sheet, in super-salty Arctic water, or in Chile’s Atacama desert, one of the driest and harshest environments in the world. A US scientist has found something living in another surprising place: in the rocky sediment deep under the Atlantic Ocean, 50 to 250 meters beneath the seafloor, which is itself under 4.5 km—that’s more than 2.7 miles—of ocean water. With no sunlight and few nutrients, not to mention extreme pressure, you won’t find fish or many other creatures that deep.
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Study Reveals First Microbial Life Buried Deep Beneath Ocean Floor
HNGN, April 7, 2016
What would seem like a barren, inhospitable environment completely devoid of light and low in oxygen is actually flourishing with life. Researchers from the Marine Biological Laboratory (MBL) have, for the first time, described an active microbial community buried deep in cold oceanic crust at North Pond, an isolated sediment pond on the western flank of the Mid-Atlantic Ridge. Surprisingly, little is actually known about life in the planet's dark, dense, rocky crust, as the only way to get there is by drilling through meters of sediment. Now, a team led by MBL Associate Scientist Julie Huber has delved into this buried marine biosphere to shed new light on the nature of life way down under.
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How deep does life go? MBL study describes microbial neighborhood beneath ocean floor
EurekAlert!, April 6, 2016
One of the startling discoveries about life on Earth in the past 25 years is that it can - and does - flourish beneath the ocean floor, in the planet's dark, dense, rocky crust. The only way to get there is by drilling through meters of sediment until you hit rock, so information on this ubiquitous but buried marine biosphere is still scarce. Now, a team led by MBL Associate Scientist Julie Huber has added new details to our understanding of the nature of life way down under.
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A Decades-Long Quest to Drill Into Earth’s Mantle May Soon Hit Pay Dirt, January 25, 2016
Early in the spring of 1961, a group of geologists started drilling a hole into the seafloor off the Pacific coast of Baja California. The expedition, the first if its kind, was the initial phase of a project intended to punch through Earth’s crust and reach the underlying mantle. Little did they know that their efforts would soon be overshadowed when John F. Kennedy launched the race to the moon in May of that year.… Since the 1960s, researchers have attempted to drill into Earth′s mantle but have not yet met with success. Some efforts failed due to technical problems; others have fallen prey to various sorts of bad luck—including, as discovered after the fact, picking inopportune spots to drill. Nevertheless, those efforts have shown that the technology and expertise to drill to the mantle exists. And now the first phase of the most recent attempt to reach this important part of our planet is boring through a thin section of ocean crust in the southwestern Indian Ocean.
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Digging Deep Into the Crust of the Earth
Science Friday, January 22, 2016
In his classic tale Journey to the Center of the Earth, author Jules Verne dreamed of reaching the center of our planet through volcanic tubes. In the 1960s, scientists took up that challenge and tried to drill down into the earth’s mantle, but abandoned the project due to a lack of funding. Now, a team of scientists aboard the research vessel JOIDES Resolution is working to bore a hole deep into the Atlantis Bank in the Indian Ocean to collect samples of the crust and eventually break through into the mantle. Geologist Henry Dick, co-chief scientist of the expedition, joins Ira for an update on the progress of the project and explains what these samples could reveal about the formation of the planet.
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Evidence of large volcanic activity in the Caribbean uncovered
University of Southampton, January 14, 2016
Scientists from the University of Southampton have uncovered evidence of a previously unknown large volcanic eruption in the Caribbean Sea. By studying ash layers, known as tephras, in marine sediments they identified an eruption that took place on Guadeloupe 2.4 million years ago. The research, published in the journal Geology, indicates this eruption is the largest documented volcanic event in the region since that time.
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Evidence of past volcanic activity in the Caribbean Sea
Science Codex, December 23, 2015
Reconstructing the magnitude of past volcanic eruptions is important in informing predictions about future eruptions and hazards. This is difficult to accomplish from records on land -- old eruptions are often eroded away, buried beneath later eruptions, or obscured by vegetation and soil. Most volcanoes are close to the oceans, so much of the erupted material falls into seawater and accumulates on the seafloor.
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Grains of sand hold clues to the history of Alaska’s glaciers
Appalachian State University News, December 10, 2015
Show most people a core sample from the ocean floor and they only see mud. Ellen Cowan sees a ribbon of time dating back 1 million years or more. Since 2013, Cowan, a geology professor at Appalachian State University, has been part of an international team of scientists studying climate change and earth systems in the Gulf of Alaska. Their work with the Integrated Ocean Drilling Program is supported in part by the National Science Foundation.
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Bid to drill deep inside Earth
BBC News, December 1, 2015
Scientists will set out this week to drill a hole into the Indian Ocean floor to try to get below the Earth’s crust for the first time. They want to sample rock from the planet’s mantle—its deep interior. In the process, the researchers hope to check their assumptions about the materials from which the crust itself is made.
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Quest to drill into Earth’s mantle restarts
Nature, December 1, 2015
Jules Verne would have dug this plan: drill into the sea floor, through kilometres of the planet’s rocky crust to penetrate the denser underlying mantle. It is one of geology’s classic quests, conceived almost 60 years ago, at the peak of the plate-tectonics revolution. Since then, many have attempted it and failed. But an expedition starting this month is taking up the challenge once again.
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Climate Can Grind Mountains Faster Than They Can Be Rebuilt
University of Florida News, November 23, 2015
Researchers for the first time have attempted to measure all the material leaving and entering a mountain range over more than a million years and discovered that erosion caused by glaciation during ice ages can, in the right circumstances, wear down mountains faster than plate tectonics can build them.
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Climate change can tear down mountains
Science Magazine, November 23, 2015
The St. Elias Mountains in Alaska are more than 5000 meters tall, testament to a tectonic plate wedged underneath the region that is driving them up like a snowplow. But the St. Elias range also contains some of the world’s largest glaciers, which inexhaustibly scour the mountains and dump sediment in the sea. Now, a new study finds that the glaciers are winning, eroding the mountains faster than they are being built. Moreover, a jump in the region’s erosion rates about a million years ago coincides with a transition to more powerful ice ages—a sign that climate change can have a larger than expected effect in tearing down mountains.
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Formation of coastal sea ice in North Pacific drives ocean circulation and climate
University of California Santa Cruz Newscenter, October 20, 2015
An unprecedented analysis of North Pacific ocean circulation over the past 1.2 million years has found that sea ice formation in coastal regions is a key driver of deep ocean circulation, influencing climate on regional and global scales. Coastal sea ice formation takes place on relatively small scales, however, and is not captured well in global climate models, according to scientists at the University of California, Santa Cruz, who conducted the study.
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Seabed study expands Australian climate knowledge to past 50m years
The Guardian, October 2, 2015
Knowledge of Australia’s climate history has been expanded to the past 50m years, up from the past 500,000 years, via a major international scientific voyage from Fremantle to Darwin. The two-month expedition involved drilling of the seabed off the Western Australian coast for study by the JOIDES Resolution research vessel – one of the world’s largest floating scientific facilities. The International Ocean Discovery Program-led mission planned to find sediments that would show climate records to 5m years in the past but one section of seabed had a record stretching back to 50m years.
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Australian deserts are only 1.5 million years young, but monsoonal season is old, IODP study shows
ABC News, October 1, 2015
Australia’s deserts are among the youngest in the world, but monsoonal seasons in the nation's north are far more ancient, a new study of oceanic sediments has shown. The International Ocean Discovery Program (IODP) involved scores of scientists and crew sailing from Fremantle to Darwin and drilling into the seabed to discover more about climate change. The study has expanded knowledge of Australia's climate history to the last 50 million years, compared to less than 500,000 years, prior to the expedition.
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Ocean scientists look into the past to predict Australia's climate future, October 1, 2015
Has Australia’s climate always been so dry? Have the tropical reefs around Australia always been there? What will happen to Australia's climate and reefs in the future? The answers lie deep under the ocean, millions of years into the past. A group of leading international scientists have today concluded a two-month research expedition off the coast of Western Australia where they have been drilling into the seabed to gain valuable insight into our climate future. The $20 million International Ocean Discovery Program (IODP) Indonesian Throughflow Expedition 356 was the first ever expedition of the entire western coast of Australia to examine climatic conditions of the past five million years.
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Pound Middle brings ocean research to classroom from coast of Australia
Lincoln Public Schools, September 14, 2015
Seventh graders at Pound Middle School weren't able to board a drilling ship on a scientific ocean research project, but they brought the ocean to them via a live video conference. The JOIDES Resolution, ( is drilling for sediment and rock core samples off the northwest coast of Australia.
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Scientists Find Evidence of Ancient Microbial Life in Sub-Seafloor Mantle Rocks, September 1, 2015
Traces of ancient microbial communities have been found in rock samples of Earth’s mantle from a seafloor hydrothermal system that was active more than 100 million years ago during the Lower Cretaceous – the earlier of the two major divisions of the Cretaceous period – when the supercontinent Pangaea was breaking apart and the Atlantic Ocean was just about to open. This discovery, published in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, confirms a long-standing hypothesis that interactions between mantle rocks and seawater can create potential for life even in hard rocks deep below the ocean floor.
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Expedition to unravel coastal seafloor’s ancient secrets
Science Network Western Australia, August 3, 2015
International scientists who set sail from Fremantle today will use cutting edge technologies to peer five million years into the past to find clues about our future climate. The eight-week $20 million Indonesian Throughflow expedition, part of the International Ocean Discovery Program, will drill up to 1km into the seabed at six locations between the Houtman Abrolhos Islands (29°S) and the Rowley Shoals (18°S). The 32 scientists onboard the JOIDES Resolution research vessel will examine the drilled cores, using the sediments and fossils within to identify the age of the layers and the processes that shaped their content.
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Scientists look five million years into the past to predict Australia’s climate future
ABC News PM, July 31, 2015
Some of the world’s best science minds are in Fremantle preparing to embark on an expedition that could in a sense take them five million years back in time. An international research vessel with a crew of 125 will travel from Perth to Darwin drilling holes in the seabed. Little is known about the history of the north-west coast. It’s hoped the mission will answer some big questions about past climate conditions and help to predict the future.
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Digging deep into the past to see the future of climate change
The Conversation, July 30, 2015
When did Australia’s climate become so dry? When did tropical reefs around Australia develop? And what will happen to Australia’s climate and reefs in the future? The answer to these questions can be found by digging into the distant past. That means digging deep into the Earth’s crust, and you don’t always need to be on dry land to do that.
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Highly explosive volcanism at Galapagos, June 1, 2015
Eight to 16 million years ago, highly explosive volcanism occurred in the area of today's Galapagos Islands. This is shown for the first time by analyses of core samples obtained by the Integrated Ocean Drilling Program in the eastern Pacific Ocean. Jointly with colleagues from the US, Taiwan, Australia and Switzerland, volcanologists from the GEOMAR Helmholtz Centre for Ocean Research Kiel now present their results in the international journal Geology.
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Earth’s orbit affects the stability of Antarctica’s Eastern ice cap, February 3, 2015
An international research team led by the High Council for Scientific Research (CSIC in its Spanish acronym) and with the participation of the University of Granada, has found that there is a direct relation between the changes in the earth’s orbit and the stability of the Eastern ice cap of Antarctica, more specifically, on the continental fringe of Wilkes Land (East Antarctica). 29 scientists from 12 different countries participated in this study, which has been published in the journal Nature Geosciences.
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Earth orbit affects the stability of Antarctica
ScienceDaily, October 28, 2014
A team led by the Higher Council for Scientific Research in Spain, has discovered that there is a direct relationship between changes in the Earth’s orbit and the stability of the East Antarctic ice cap, particularly in the continental margin of Wilkes Land (East Antarctica). more

Climate change caused by ocean, not just atmosphere
ScienceDaily, October 25, 2014
Most of the concerns about climate change have focused on the amount of greenhouse gases that have been released into the atmosphere. A new study reveals another equally important factor in regulating Earth's climate. Researchers say the major cooling of Earth and continental ice build-up in the Northern Hemisphere 2.7 million years ago coincided with a shift in the circulation of the ocean. more

The Asahiko Taira International Scientific Ocean Drilling Research Prize
American Geophysical Union, October 16, 2014
The Asahiko Taira International Scientific Ocean Drilling Research Prize (The Taira Prize) is given annually to one honoree in recognition of “outstanding transdisciplinary research accomplishment in ocean drilling.” Established in 2014, the Taira Prize is a partnership between the American Geophysical Union (AGU) and the Japan Geoscience Union (JpGU), and is made possible through the generous donation from the Integrated Ocean Drilling Program Management International (IODP-MI). The prize is given in honor of Dr. Asahiko Taira of the Japan Agency for Marine-Earth Science and Technology. more

As Expedition Ends, Scientists Feel The Pressure
National Geographic, September 26, 2014
Blog by Amy West more

Pulling Secrets from Deep-sea, Drillbit-Eating Rocks
National Geographic, September 17, 2014
Blog by Amy West more

Time Warps With Seagoing Discoveries
National Geographic, September 4, 2014
Blog by Amy West more

Breaking Down Rocks in the Deep Ocean
National Geographic, August 28, 2014
Blog by Amy West more

Seafloor Research Vessel Gets Underway
National Geographic, August 12, 2014
Blog by Amy West more

Going on a Rock Cruise
National Geographic, July 18, 2014
Blog by Amy West more

Gibraltar Currents Show Proof Of Past Climate Changes
TAMUtimes, June 12, 2014
Examination of core samples extracted near the Strait of Gibraltar show definitive proof of shifts in climate change since about six million years ago, and also provide new evidence of a deep-earth tectonic pulse in the region, according to a team of international scientists that includes a Texas A&M University researcher. Carlos Alvarez Zarikian, a staff scientist of the International Ocean Discovery Program (IODP) headquartered at Texas A&M, is one of 35 scientists from 14 countries who contributed to the project, and their work is published in the current issue of Science magazine. more

Pound students hear from UNL student, scientist working on ocean
Lincoln Public Schools News, May 9, 2014
Real Science in Real Time came to life at Pound Middle School for seventh- and eighth-grade students as Anica Brown’s science classes were able to video conference with the JOIDES Resolution (JR), an ocean drilling, core sampling science research vessel this past week. The JR does sediment core research in all of Earth’s oceans. Presently, the JR is off the coast of Japan in the Philippine Sea sampling cores in the subduction zone in the Marian Trench area. During each expedition, a crew and staff of scientists spend time at sea drilling for cores from under the ocean sea floor, taking and examining samples that verify evidence of Earth’s climate history. more

We’re drilling back in time to tell a tale of the sea
New Scientist, February 3, 2014
The rocks beneath the South China Sea may reveal how oceans first formed and yield millions of years of climate history, says geologist Jian Lin.
You are co-lead of an international project to drill for rock samples in the South China Sea. Why is that sea bed of such interest?
We want to answer questions about when it was formed, in part because it is a great analogue for the Atlantic and Indian oceans. In the Atlantic, for example, Europe and Africa are moving away from the Americas. With the South China Sea, the southern part moved away from the northern. more

Sea drilling project launches
Nature, January 21, 2014
The South China Sea is well known for its geopolitical tensions, but less is known about its many geological stresses and strains. That is set to change. On 28 January, an international team of scientists — from countries including China, the Philippines, India and the United States — is due to set sail from Hong Kong on board the research vessel JOIDES Resolution, marking the first expedition of the International Ocean Discovery Program (IODP), formerly known as the Integrated Ocean Drilling Program. Its aim is to determine the age of the South China Sea, and to resolve ongoing controversy over how it formed. more

Deep-Sea Expedition Could Reveal How Continents Form
LiveScience, January 9, 2014
A deep-sea voyage to drill more than a mile below the ocean floor could solve one of Earth’s long-standing mysteries: how continents form. An oceangoing research vessel, which sets sail in March, will venture to a chain of underwater volcanoes known as the Izu-Bonin arc, which stretches 1,550 miles (2,500 kilometers) from Mount Fuji in Japan to the U.S. territory of Guam. The goal is to drill about 1.5 miles (2.4 kilometers) below the ocean floor, traveling more than 40 million years back in time to understand exactly how the beginnings of a continent underneath the volcanoes formed over time. more


Expedition yields unexpected clues to ocean mysteries
The Almagest, December 10, 2013
A University of Houston (UH) geoscientist and his colleagues are revealing new discoveries about the Earth’s development, following a major international expedition that recovered the first-ever drill core from the lower crust of the Pacific Ocean. more

Rare Samples Help Piece Together the Formation of Earth’s Marine Crust
December 3, 2013
How exactly does molten rock from the Earth’s mantle form new ocean crust in the deep sea? This has long been one of the great puzzles in geochemistry and geophysics. Now, a team of researchers has studied the first significant sample of primitive rock from deep within the crust, retrieved earlier this year on board the JOIDES Resolution. The data is providing some critical answers to some basic questions, and the results are outlined in the December 1 Advance Online Publication of the journal Nature. more

Rocks reveal ocean ridge development, December 3, 2013
A University of Wyoming husband-and-wife research team was part of a larger group that has made the first significant recovery of layered igneous rocks from the Earth's lowest ocean crust. The discovery—found in the "Hess Deep Rift" in the Pacific Ocean—confirms a long-held belief among geologists that such rocks are a key part of the lower ocean crust formed at fast-spreading ridges. more

Texas A&M, NSF Announce Agreement For Research Ship Operations, May Total $250 Million
TAMU Times, November 22, 2013
The National Science Board has authorized the National Science Foundation to enter into a cooperative agreement with Texas A&M University to continue managing the International Ocean Discovery Program (IODP) and operating its scientific research vessel JOIDES Resolution, considered a premier research vessel for deep-ocean drilling. The new cooperative agreement with the NSF could be as high as $250 million, with the international community contributing another $87.5 million, subject to availability of funds and continued scientific priorities. more

Breathing underwater: Evidence of microscopic life in oceanic crust
The Almagest, November 24, 2013
Although long thought to be devoid of life, the bottom of the deep ocean is now known to harbor entire ecosystems teeming with microbes. Scientists have recently documented that oxygen is disappearing from seawater circulating through deep oceanic crust, a significant first step in understanding the way life in the “deep biosphere” beneath the sea floor is able to survive and thrive. more

Measuring climate change at the sea floor
Digital Journal, October 25, 2013
Tracking the development of microbial life at the level of the sea bed has proved to be a useful indicator of climate change. A new study reveals the changing features. Scientists have studied traces of past microbial life in sediments off the coast of Peru. These fragments reveal how the microbial ecosystem under the seafloor has responded to climate change over hundreds of thousands of years. more

Researcher dodges typhoons, studies monsoons in the Japan Sea, October 19, 2013
William Anderson, associate professor in the Department of Earth and Environment and the Marine Sciences Program, recently spent two months aboard the research vessel JOIDES Resolution in the Pacific Ocean. Surrounded by crashing waves reaching almost 15 feet tall, Anderson and 30 other scientists dodged five major storms on their way to the Japan Sea. more

Breathing underwater: Evidence of microscopic life in oceanic crust
Space Daily, September 30, 2013
Although long thought to be devoid of life, the bottom of the deep ocean is now known to harbor entire ecosystems teeming with microbes. Scientists have recently documented that oxygen is disappearing from seawater circulating through deep oceanic crust, a significant first step in understanding the way life in the "deep biosphere" beneath the sea floor is able to survive and thrive. more

Truly Super Sized: World’s Largest Volcano Named For Texas A&M
Geosciences News, September 27, 2013
Texas Aggies like to think their school is among the world’s biggest movers and shakers, and now science has confirmed it. An oceanographer has uncovered the world’s largest volcano in the Pacific Ocean—about the size of New Mexico—and has named it for Texas A&M University. more

Deep Microbes Live Long and Slow
BBC News, September 4, 2013
Long-lived bacteria, reproducing only once every 10,000 years, have been found in rocks 2.5 km (1.5 miles) below the ocean floor that are as much as 100 million years old. Viruses and fungi have also been found. The discoveries raise questions about how life persists in such extreme conditions. Scientists from the Integrated Ocean Drilling Program have announced the findings at the Goldschmidt conference, a meeting of more than 4,000 geochemists, in Florence, Italy. more

Sea-floor drilling tool could unlock mysteries of gas hydrates
Victoria Times Colonist, May 10, 2013
Later this month, Kate Moran will send her million-dollar baby to the bottom of the ocean. After nine years of design work, funding applications, tests and more tests, a scientific instrument that Moran invented will be pushed into the sediment 300 metres below the sea floor, 1,250 metres below sea level. “We’re going to Bullseye Vent, where gas hydrates are coming out of the water column,” Moran, president of the University of Victoria’s Ocean Networks Canada, said Friday as she reacquainted herself with equipment on the research drill vessel JOIDES Resolution, now tied up at Ogden Point. more

A Hidden Victim of Somali Pirates: Science
National Geographic, April 25, 2013
During 32 years of fieldwork in the deserts of Ethiopia, Tim White, the eminent American paleoanthropologist, has brazened through every conceivable obstacle to his research into human origins. ... “No question, it’s been a serious setback,” says White, who has waited years, in vain, for a research vessel to drill crucial seabed cores off Somalia that would revolutionize the dating of East Africa’s spectacular hominid finds. “Piracy has stopped oceanographic work in the region. There’s been no data coming out of this area for years. Zero.” more

Emergence Of Antarctic Ecosystem Triggered Rapid Biological Evolution, April 19, 2013
The development of the sea-ice ecosystem in the circum-Antarctic Southern Ocean may have triggered further adaptation and evolution of larger organisms such as baleen whales and penguins, according to a new study published Thursday in the journal Science. The area’s ecosystem can be traced back to the emergence of the Antarctic ice sheets some 33.6 million years ago and plays an important role in global marine food webs and carbon cycling. more

Sea-ice ecosystem possibly triggered evolution of baleen whales and penguins, April 18, 2013
The circum-Antarctic Southern Ocean is an important region for global marine food webs and carbon cycling because of sea-ice formation and its unique plankton ecosystem. The origin of its ecosystems can be traced back to the emergence of the Antarctic ice sheets approximately 33.6 million years ago. more

Teacher learning about Earth’s history at sea through ocean sediment cores
Troy Record, April 8, 2013
For the past week, a local high school earth science teacher has been on an international ocean drilling vessel learning about drilling ocean sediment cores off the coast of British Columbia. more

Understanding Pliocene and Our Future Climate
infoZine, April 4, 2013
Temperature patterns during Earth’s last prolonged global “hot spell”—the Pliocene, some 5.3 to 2.6 million years ago—differed dramatically from those of modern times, according to results reported in this week’s issue of the journal Nature. Cloud feedbacks, ocean mixing and other factors must have played a greater role in Pliocene warming than previously recognized, and these must be accounted for to make meaningful predictions of Earth’s future climate, the scientists said. more

Opportunity knocks: Doctoral student conducts research with international scientists
Indiana State University, March 21, 2013
For seven weeks, Ashley Burkett lived and worked on a floating laboratory far above where two tectonic plates collide under the Pacific Ocean. The research ship JOIDES (Joint Oceanographic Institutions for Deep Earth Sampling) Resolution allowed Burkett and other scientists from around the globe to drill about 1,000 meters below the ocean’s floor and pull up samples to learn more about the area where one plate dives beneath another and creates earthquakes. more

First Evidence Of Life Deep Under Oceanic Crust Realized, March 15, 2013
Scientists writing in the journal Science say they have found the first direct evidence of life in the deeply buried oceanic crust. Researchers on board the Integrated Ocean Drilling Program’s (IODP) research vessel JOIDES Resolution drilled a water depth of 1.5 miles and hundreds of feet of sediment into the oceanic crust off the west coast of North America. After examining rock samples from this depth, they were able to uncover evidence of life, suggesting this ecosystem is largely supported by chemosynthesis, which is the biological conversion of molecules using oxidation or methane as a source of energy, rather than sunlight like in photosynthesis. more

Energy from Earth’s interior supports life in global ecosystem, March 14, 2013
The Earth’s oceanic crust covers an enormous expanse, and is mostly buried beneath a thick layer of mud that cuts it off from the surface world. Scientists now document life deep within the oceanic crust that appears to be sustained by energy released from chemical reactions of rocks with water. more

Penicillin’s kin found in ocean “dead” spot
Futurity, January 24, 2013
Scientists have uncovered fungi that could be at least 100 million years old and say they are related to the species used to make penicillin. Discovering life at such incredible depths—more than 350 feet below the ocean floor and 12,000 feet under the water—could raise new questions about how life forms are able to exist in the most extreme environments. more

Scientific expedition studies geology of Costa Rican earthquake fault
Costa Rica Star, January 10, 2013
An international team of scientists has just returned from an ocean drilling expedition on board the JOIDES Resolution, near the Pacific coast of Costa Rica, designed to study the subduction zone where the Cocos tectonic plate dips beneath the Caribbean plate. This fault boundary was responsible for causing two earthquakes earlier this year, on September 5 and October 23. While the epicenter of those quakes was north of the study site, under the Nicoya Peninsula, the samples and data collected offshore will help scientists better understand how earthquakes happen—here in Costa Rica and elsewhere. more


Scientists Drill Atlantic for Climate Change Clues, December 26, 2012
Researchers on board the scientific ocean drilling vessel JOIDES Resolution recently completed an expedition to the North Atlantic, near the coast of Newfoundland, Canada. Here, near the final resting place of the ill-fated RMS Titanic, large sediment drifts contain detailed records of the Paleogene – a span of about 40 million years when EarthÕs climate shifted from a sultry ÒhothouseÓ to a cooler climate, featuring the first polar ice sheets. more

When the ice melts, the Earth spews fire: Researchers discover a link between climate and volcanic eruptions, December 19, 2012
It has long been known that volcanic activity can cause short-term variations in climate. Now, researchers at the GEOMAR Helmholtz Centre for Ocean Research Kiel (Germany), together with colleagues from Harvard University (Cambridge, Massachusetts, USA) have found evidence that the reverse process also occurs: Climate affects volcanic activity. Their study is now online in the international journal Geology. more

Does Melting Ice Cause Volcanic Eruptions?, December 19, 2012
Today, German researchers along with researchers from Harvard University in Cambridge, Massachusetts have published a study detailing how global ice affects volcanoes. While it's long been understood a volcanic eruption can bring about a short period of cooler climates, this new study shows this cause-and-effect plays out on a much larger and longer stage. more

Ancient fungi found in deep-sea mud
Nature, December 11, 2012
Researchers have found evidence of fungi thriving far below the floor of the Pacific Ocean, in nutrient-starved sediments more than 100 million years old. The discovery has the potential to turn the brown muck of the sea floor into pure gold for biologists looking for alternative forms of life — and possibly for pharmaceutical companies seeking antibiotics to combat the growing problem of drug-resistant bacteria. more

Major Differences Found In Motions Of Volcanic "Hotspots"
Eurasia Review, November 27, 2012
But a new study that analyzes the Louisville hotspot in the southern Pacific Ocean found very little drift of its mantle plume, suggesting it is moving independently of its Hawaiian counterpart, and not as part of a large-scale mantle wind. more

Microfossils Reveal Secrets of Ancient Ocean Changes
Live Science, November 7, 2012
No matter how many times you've been in the ocean, you've probably never noticed foraminifera. But "forams," as scientists call these microscopic organisms for short, are everywhere — from the water surface to the seafloor, all around the world. They've been here since before the time of the dinosaurs, and now they're revealing vital information about the history of the world we live in. more

New Project Aims to Drill to the EarthÕs Mantle, 3.7 Miles Down, October 4, 2012
One of the strangest facets of modern exploration is that we now have more experience with the surface of Mars than the layer of earth not too far beneath our feet. Nearly everything we know about the mantle—the 1,800-mile-thick semi-molten layer of the planet below the crust— comes indirectly: from computer simulations, mantle-derived rocks that made their way to the surface and observation of earthquake waves that move through the mantle. more

The $1 billion mission to reach the Earth's mantle
CNN, October 2, 2012
Humans have reached the moon and are planning to return samples from Mars, but when it comes to exploring the land deep beneath our feet, we have only scratched the surface of our planet. This may be about to change with a $1 billion mission to drill 6 km (3.7 miles) beneath the seafloor to reach the Earth's mantle -- a 3000 km-thick layer of slowly deforming rock between the crust and the core which makes up the majority of our planet -- and bring back the first ever fresh samples. more

Ocean science: Ancient burial at sea
Nature, August 30, 2012
A study reveals cyclic changes in the rate of burial of biogenic calcium carbonate at the Pacific ocean floor 43 million to 33 million years ago, as Earth exited a warm 'greenhouse' state to become an ice-capped planet. more

New Nature Study Illuminates 55 Million Years of the Carbon Cycle and Climate History
Nature, August 29, 2012
A study in the August 30 issue of Nature provides, in unprecedented detail, the history of a crucial indicator of the relationship between the carbon cycle and climate processes over the past 55 million years. more

Drilling for Clues to Ancient Climate
PBS Newshour, August 16, 2012
On the JOIDES Resolution research vessel, a team of scientists study the Earth's climate history by drilling deep into the ocean floor and analyzing the deep sea dirt. more

Scientists Use Ocean Drilling Data to Connect Seawater Chemistry with Climate Change and Evolution
July 23, 2012
Humans get much of the blame for modern climate change, with little attention paid to the contribution of other natural forces. But a new study in the July 20 issue of the journal Science sheds some light on one potential cause of the cooling trend of the past 45 million years. And it has everything to do with the chemistry of the worldÕs oceans. more

Drilling for dinosaur death: the JOIDES Resolution finds extinction in deep sea mud
Deep Sea News, July 10, 2012
There are scientists floating in the middle of the North Atlantic who are holding the dinosaur extinction in their hands. Really. Here it is: more

Quantum Correlations: Down There:
Life Under the Sediments Under the Sea

National Geographic News Watch, 23 April 2012
There’s buried treasure beneath the sea. James Cameron isn’t looking for it, it’s not the Heart of the Ocean, and it’s not near those fabulous deep sea vents we’ve come to adore. Rather, the prize of which I write is literally under the ocean – it’s the creatures that inhabit the sediment on the floor of the world and the basement rock below. more

Microbes may help unlock secrets of Earth's ocean, 1 January 2012
Scientists are looking to microbes to discover the secrets of the igneous ocean crust, the ecosystem that still remains largely unexplored and unknown to science. ... Now, The Integrated Ocean Drilling Program (IODP) Mid-Atlantic Ridge Microbiology Expedition has set out to explore it. more


Low CO2, global cooling linked
Yale Daily News, 7 December 2011
A new Yale study adds to the body of evidence that climate change is connected to carbon dioxide. Atmospheric carbon dioxide levels dropped shortly before ice formed in Antarctica 34 million years ago, according to a three-year study conducted by the Yale Department of Geology and Geophysics. more

Drop in carbon dioxide levels led to polar ice sheet, study finds
EurekAlert!, 1 December 2011
A drop in carbon dioxide appears to be the driving force that led to the Antarctic ice sheet's formation, according to a recent study led by scientists at Yale and Purdue universities of molecules from ancient algae found in deep-sea core samples. The key role of the greenhouse gas in one of the biggest climate events in Earth's history supports carbon dioxide's importance in past climate change and implicates it as a significant force in present and future climate. more

Observatory Safely Studies Deep-Sea Life
Wired, 29 November 2011
Miles below the ocean's surface lies one of the most inhospitable habitats on the planet. Deep inside subterranean cracks, where seawater seeps through the perpetually hot rock in Earth's crust, there's a surprisingly rich ecosystem of microorganisms. Scientists have long been eager to study these creatures—along with the larger geological setting—but drilling holes in the seafloor large enough to drop instruments down floods the habitat with cold water and kills off the fauna. more

Austria to take part in "breakthrough" deep sea expedition
Austrian Independent, 16 November 2011
An Austrian scientist will be actively involved, for the first time, in a breakthrough expedition with the Integrated Ocean Drilling Program (IODP) into the depths of the oceanic crust. more

International Ocean Drilling to Follow Simpler Structure
Science Insider, 15 November 2011
A decision by the United States to leave an international consortium for ocean drilling doesn't mean that every country must now fend for itself. That's the message from a meeting last week in Granada, Spain, at which the participants drew up a new framework for the operation of ocean drilling platforms. more

Scientists to review seabed data
The Timaru Herald, 15 November 2011
High-profile scientists from around the world are meeting in Oamaru to review results from ocean drilling off the coast of South Canterbury last year. Integrated Ocean Drilling Program scientists drilled four sites on the continental shelf off Canterbury, using the seafloor drilling ship, JOIDES Resolution, and recovered sediment cores going back as far as 35 million years. The cores were analysed over 22 months and scientists involved will discuss their findings at the conference this week. more

International Ocean Drilling Pointing the Way on Climate Change
Xinhua News Agency, 15 November 2011
The earth's oceans are rising as a result of rising levels of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere, but how fast and how high could they go? Those questions will be discussed by about 40 scientists from around the world, who will gather in New Zealand this week to discuss the results of a global seabed drilling project that could help anticipate the effects of climate change on the oceans. more

Siem Offshore Acquires 50% Interest In Overseas Drilling Ltd.
Hart Energy E&P, 5 August 2011
Siem Offshore Inc. has acquired the remaining 50% ownership interest in the shares of Overseas Drilling Ltd. (ODL) from a subsidiary of Transocean Ltd. for USD$22.5 million. ... Siem Offshore has taken over full management of the vessel "Joides Resolution" from 1st of August 2011. more

"We'll take all of it" - Siem Offshore grabs full ownership of drillship from Transocean
gCaptain, 3 August 2011
Siem Offshore has taken over the remaining 50% ownership interest in Overseas Drilling Ltd (ODL) from a subsidiary of Transocean, including full management of the scientific ocean drilling ship Joides Resolution as of August 1. more

Pacific-based earthquake triggers in the spotlight
CORDIS News, 18 July 2011
An international team of researchers is unearthing the triggering mechanisms behind large, destructive earthquakes like the Tohoku earthquake that hit Japan last March. ... Supported by the scientific drilling vessel JOIDES Resolution during the latest Integrated Ocean Drilling Program (IODP) Costa Rica Seismogenesis Project (CRISP) Expedition, the samples provide key information in relation to 2 million years of tectonic activity along a seismic plate boundary. more

Researchers shed light on magma-seawater boundary
CORDIS News, 4 July 2011
Scientists on the Integrated Ocean Drilling Program (IODP) Expedition 335 Superfast Spreading Rate Crust 4 have succeeded in recovering a set of heat-tempered basalts: these offer a comprehensive picture of the boundary between magma and seawater, something that has not been easy to get. Completing operations in Ocean Drilling Program (ODP) Hole 1256D, a deep scientific borehole over 1,500 metres below the seabed into the igneous crust of the Pacific Ocean, the research team sampled a full section of the intact oceanic crust down into gabbros in one of the planet's deepest 'hard rock' penetration sites of scientific ocean drilling, said the IODP in a statement. more

Heavy Metal Meets Hard Rock: Battling Through the Ocean Crust's Hardest Rocks
Science Daily, 30 June 2011
Scientists and drillers recovered a remarkable suite of heat-tempered basalts that provide a detailed picture of the rarely seen boundary between magma and seawater. These samples were collected during a return to ODP Hole 1256D, one of the deepest "hard rock" penetration sites of scientific ocean drilling. ODP Hole 1256D has been stabilized, cleared to its full depth, and primed for further deepening. more

Scientists study earthquake triggers in Pacific Ocean
Eureka! Science News, 30 June 2011
New samples of rock and sediment from the depths of the eastern Pacific Ocean may help explain the cause of large, destructive earthquakes similar to the Tohoku Earthquake that struck Japan in mid-March. Nearly 1500 meters (almost one mile) of core collected from the ocean floor near the coast of Costa Rica reveal detailed records of approximately 2 million years of tectonic activity along a seismic plate boundary. more

Geosciences Launches GeoX for High School Students
TAMU News, 5 June 2011
Twenty high school students are scheduled to arrive on campus Friday (June 3) to explore geosciences, learn about Texas A&M and possibly begin their paths to a lifelong career. It will be a week of firsts for the Texas high school students, who make up the inaugural GeoX class of 2011, sponsored by the College of Geosciences. more

Ocean Current Changes Led To Dramatic Global Cooling
Irish Weather Online, 28 May 2011
Thirty-eight million years ago, tropical jungles thrived in what are now the cornfields of the American Midwest and furry marsupials wandered temperate forests in what is now the frozen Antarctic. The temperature differences of that era, known as the late Eocene, between the equator and Antarctica were half what they are today. A debate has been ongoing in the scientific community about what changes in our global climate system led to such a major shift from the more tropical, greenhouse climate of the Eocene to modern and much cooler climates. more

Down to the Core: Craig Fulthorpe Co-Leads Expedition to Canterbury Basin
Jackson School of Geoscience, University of Texas, 27 May 2011
Craig Fulthorpe was a grad student when his advisor walked into his office and asked if he would like to be part of the first scientific expedition organized by the Ocean Drilling Program (ODP). ... "Going on ODP Leg 101 introduced me to this whole community in a way that might not have happened otherwise," he says. more

Climate shift: Currents play vital role
Global Adventures, 27 May 2011
Antarctica ( Thirty-eight million years ago, tropical jungles thrived in what are now the cornfields of the American Midwest and furry marsupials wandered temperate forests in what is now the frozen Antarctic. The temperature differences of that era, known as the late Eocene, between the equator and Antarctica were half what they are today. more

What lies beneath the seafloor? Paper provides results from first microbial subsurface observatory experiment
EurekAlert!, 3 May 2011
An international team of scientists report on the first observatory experiment to study the dynamic microbial life of an ever-changing environment inside Earth's crust. University of Miami (UM) Rosenstiel School of Marine and Atmospheric Science professor Keir Becker contributed the deep-sea technology required to make long-term scientific observations of life beneath the seafloor. more

Royal wedding: Your party pictures
BBC News, 30 April 2011
An international team of scientists report on the first observatory experiment to study the dynamic microbial life of an ever-changing environment inside Earth's crust. University of Miami (UM) Rosenstiel School of Marine and Atmospheric Science professor Keir Becker contributed the deep-sea technology required to make long-term scientific observations of life beneath the seafloor. more

Science: Journey to the center of the earth
Global Post, 21 April 2011
It's a big step on scientists' dream journey to the center of the earth. A team of 30 researchers is on an expedition to extract rocks from the deepest point ever reached beneath the ocean floor. The team hopes to drill over 6,200 feet (1.2 miles) down a hole some 560 miles off the Pacific coast of this Central American country. more

Drilling into the planet: Why we want to sample the mantle (and why we already have)
Big Think, 28 March 2011
I've had multiple discussions with colleagues of mine in the geosciences on why we can't seem to capture the public's attention/fascination like our neighbors in the sciences - physics and astronomy (and for me, literal neighbors in the same building). ... One idea is to do to the Earth was Apollo did to the Moon - that is, to go boldly* where no man (or drillbit) has gone before: the mantle. more

Journey to the mantle of the Earth
Nature, 23 March 2011
Retrieving a sample of Earth's mantle has been an overarching ambition of the geoscience community for more than a century. ... A new Mohole campaign is now under way, thanks to improved technology, a better understanding of the rocks far below our feet and a deeper appreciation of the challenges of drilling through them. more

Probing the Moho Boundary - Earth's Own Unexplored Frontier
Universe Today, 23 March 2011
The boundary where Earth's crust gives way to the unexplored mantle was first detected in 1909, because of a change in the travel of seismic waves. Named the Moho boundary for Andrija Mohorovicic, who listened to those seismic waves, the crust-mantle boundary is a frontier that remains elusive and compelling ... Damon Teagle and Benoit Ildefonse have written about the ongoing efforts for an article in the journal Nature, released today. more

Natural global warming period illuminated by new data, 28 February 2011
Documentable knowledge of the effects of the PaleoceneÐEocene Thermal Maximum (PETM) on plant and ocean life has been reported from a new Arctic drill site on Spitsbergen was reported by scientists on February 25, 2011, at the EurekaAlert site. The PaleoceneÐEocene Thermal Maximum (PETM) occurred about 56 million years ago. The global sea surface temperature rose about 5 degrees Celsius during that time. more

Volcano voyage seeks truth about hotspots
Australian Geographic, 21 February 2011
Deep-sea volcanoes created by hotspots are helping scientists understand the movement of Earth's continents through history. A RECENT EXPEDITION TO a great chain of underwater volcanoes 1500 km north-east of New Zealand may provide new insight into the geography of the Earth millions of years ago. more

Shaded reefs record sea level
Science Alert, 21 February 2011
Limestone terraces - the relics of the Great Barrier Reef of the past - could give hints on a "tipping point" that could trigger catastrophic climate change in the greenhouse in future, according to new research from the University of Sydney. more

Submarine Volcanoes Hint at Earth's Formation
Cosmos, 16 February 2011
The Louisville Seamount Trail of volcanoes are thought to have been created up to 85 million years ago, as the Pacific oceanic plate passed over a Ôhotspot' - a plume of material originating from a region deep within the mantle - according to David Buchs from The Australian National University in Canberra, who took part in the study. more

Underwater Volcanoes a Hotbed of Clues to Earth's Movements
Our Amazing Planet, 16 February 2011
Nearly half a mile of rock retrieved from beneath the seafloor is yielding new clues about how underwater volcanoes are created and whether the underlying hot spots of molten rock that lead to their formation have moved over time. Geoscientists have just completed an expedition, part of the Integrated Ocean Drilling Program (IODP), to a string of underwater volcanoes , or seamounts, in the Pacific Ocean known as the Louisville Seamount Trail. more

Volcano study lays foundations for ancient maps
University of Queensland News, 14 February 2011
Research into submarine volcanoes in the Pacific Ocean will lay the groundwork for scientists to map the Earth as it was millions of years ago. An international team of scientists has just returned from a two-month expedition to the Louisville Seamount Trail, a 4300km-long chain of extinct, underwater volcanoes 1500km northeast of New Zealand. more

Kids delve into the deep
The Aucklander, 2 February 2011
Silence envelops the Oceans Gallery in Auckland's War Memorial Museum. ... This is a typical scene at the Ship to Shore talks, one of five Monday sessions during which scientists, on a two-month expedition to study deep Earth, use Skype to discuss their findings and experiences with the public. ... Speaking from mid-ocean aboard the cutting-edge research vessel Joides Resolution, the scientists have everyone's attention. more


Ocean may contain nuclear powered microbes
ABC Science, 14 December 2010
New ocean sediment cores are expected to contain ultra tough microbes that can survive without organic matter or sunlight, researchers say. The US research vessel JOIDES Resolution as part of the Integrated Ocean Drilling Program docked in Auckland on Monday, carrying a payload of sediment cores containing microbes which are expected to shed light on how life might exist on Mars, or Jupiter's moon Europa and other planets. more

Half of life could be hidden undersea, 13 December 2010
Half of the Earth's living matter could be locked two to three kilometres below the ocean floor. New Zealand co-ordinator for the Integrated Ocean Drilling Program, Guiseppe Cortese says the findings are thanks to IODP geosciences research programme. For two months a crew of international scientists onboard the IODP's research vessel the JOIDES Resolution have studied the subsurface life in a largely unexplored region of the ocean between South America and Australia called the South Pacific Gyre. more

Pliocene Warm Period Takes Us Back To The Future
science 2.0, 13 December 2010
The Bering Sea, northward extension of the Pacific Ocean between Siberia and Alaska, was ice-free and full of life during the last major warm period, a new study has shown. Deep sediment cores retrieved from the Bering Sea floor indicate that the region was ice-free all year and biological productivity was high during the last major warm period in Earth's climate history. more

Bering Sea was ice-free and full of life during last warm period, study finds
EurekAlert!, 13 December 2010
Deep sediment cores retrieved from the Bering Sea floor indicate that the region was ice-free all year and biological productivity was high during the last major warm period in Earth's climate history. ... Ravelo and co-chief scientist Kozo Takahashi of Kyushu University, Japan, led a nine-week expedition of the Integrated Ocean Drilling Program (IODP) to the Bering Sea last summer aboard the research vessel JOIDES Resolution. The researchers drilled down 700 meters through rock and sludge to retrieve sediments deposited during the Pliocene Warm Period, 3.5 to 4.5 million years ago. more

URI oceanographers on ship in South Pacific to host videoconference with students at Jamestown school, 7 December 2010
Three oceanography professors at the University of Rhode Island's Graduate School of Oceanography, who are now aboard a research ship in the South Pacific, will use videoconferencing technology to talk about their research with students at Lawn Avenue School and Melrose School in Jamestown on Dec. 9 at 10:15 a.m. ... Professors Steven D'Hondt, David Smith and Art Spivack, will join the school's sixth grade students on a virtual tour of the ship and participate in a question and answer session about the expedition. more

Life Found Deep Underground
Earthweek, 26 November 2010
A U.S. drilling project attempting to reach the level just above Earth's mantle has found evidence of life 4,500 feet beneath the surface, where temperatures are higher than the boiling point of water. ... A team from Oregon State University found unique types of bacteria there, which feed off hydrocarbons like methane and benzene, similar to microorganisms present in underground oil deposits. more

South Rowan students tour marine research vessel via Skype
Salisbury Post, NC, 25 November 2010
Karen Miller's South Rowan High School marine biology students had a special tour recently of a marine research vessel out in the middle of the Pacific. The students came to South Rowan Regional Library to participate in a Skype videoconferencing session where they were able to ask questions of "Teacher at Sea" Joe Monaco, who gave students a live video tour of the research vessel JOIDES Resolution and its scientific operations, including drilling through the sea floor and core sample research. more

Carbon-eating Microbes Discovered Deep in Oceanic Crust
Environment News Services, 22 November 2010
Deep in the Earth's oceanic crust, scientists have found bacteria that can eat hydrocarbons and natural gas, and have the genetic potential to store carbon. ... Now, the findings by researchers from Oregon State University reveal a possible role for the deep ocean crust in carbon dioxide storage and fixation by pumping carbon dioxide into deep subsea layers where it might be sequestered permanently. more

Life found in deep layer of Earth's crust
United Press International (, 18 November 2010
A U.S. expedition drilling into the deepest layer of the Earth's oceanic crust, just above the mantle, has found evidence of life there, researchers say. The Integrated Ocean Drilling Program sank its drill into the Atlantis Massif in the central Atlantic Ocean where seismic forces have pushed the deep layer, known as the gabbroic layer, to within 230 feet of the ocean floor making it easier to reach, reported. more

Seafloor Drilling Expedition Finds Deepest Life Yet Discovered
Popular Science, 11 November 2010
The "life is persistent" argument is often used to bolster the idea that life exists elsewhere in the universe. While that remains to be seen, the notion certainly keeps proving true here on the home planet. Scientists have found life thriving in near superheated ocean vents, in inhospitable parts of Antarctica, and in the depths of subterranean oil reservoirs. Now, a drilling expedition to the deepest layer of the Earth's crust has found life there as well, and the evidence suggests there could be more life even deeper. more

Probing the depths of the biosphere
We, beasties, 10 November 2010
Rarely do I read papers whose title really sums up exactly what is so cool about the study in a succinct way, free of jargon. I think that "First Investigation of the Microbiology of the Deepest Layer of Ocean Crust" does just that. It isn't trying to be sexy... it just is! Examining the microbial communities in the so-called "deep subsurface biosphere" is a relatively new field. Until recently people didn't think there was much, or really any, life deep in Earth's crust. As with many scientific assumptions made before scientists had the opportunity to actually study a new environment... these were clearly wrong! more

Hydrocarbon consuming microbes found independent of BP
Birmingham, 8 November 2010
A team of scientists has reported the discovery of a variety of hydrocarbon consuming microbes that exist in the deep sea areas around deep sea oil drilling operations. The research was published at the Public Library of Science on November 5, 2010. more

Cross-country connection, 25 October 2010
A local educator created a cross-country connection last month when she went on a 10-day ocean science research expedition and allowed students here the opportunity to participate in a video conference with scientists aboard a research vessel. Amy Work, geospatial information systems (GIS) analyst and education coordinator, can usually be found in the Institute for the Application of Geospatial Technology at Cayuga Community College. more

Smoky Hill teacher: Adventure has a place in learning
Aurora Sentinel, 14 October 2010
Ken Hamner wanted to have an adventure. For most of the school year, the Smoky Hill High School teacher is satisfied teaching students about osmosis and cell division. But when Hamner learned about an opportunity to participate in the "School of Rock" program, an annual excursion led by the Integrated Ocean Drilling Program, he didn't hesitate to apply. more

NSF Celebrates 50 Years of U.S.-Japan Collaborations
ScienceInsider, 7 October 2010
"Science diplomacy is a hot topic, but no one knows exactly what it means," Norman Neureiter, a chemist with a distinguished career both in the U.S. Government and at Texas Instruments, said at a symposium in Tokyo on 6 October. more

URI oceanographer to lead return visit to least inhabited place on Earth
EurekAlert!, 30 September 2010
Four University of Rhode Island oceanographers depart next week for an international research expedition to the middle of the South Pacific Gyre - an area that is as far from any continent as is possible to go on Earth's surface - to look for evidence of life far beneath the seafloor. ... This year's nine-week expedition seeks to look for evidence of life in the older, deeper sediment and "the basaltic basement." more

Observatory Network Installed Under Ocean Floor
Softpedia, 8 September 2010
Scientists with the IODP initiative this year conducted a new expedition off the coasts of Canada, in a bid to install a sensor network deep under the ocean floor. The array will be used for running innovative, cutting-edge marine experiments. The team spent about two months aboard the scientific research vessel JOIDES Resolution, in waters off British Columbia. During this time, marine geologists drilled deep holes into the ocean floors, and installed advanced scientific equipment within. more

Adapting to a changing climate
Planet Earth, 3 September 2010
The British Geological Survey's climate change programme is just two years old, but is already tackling some of the toughest questions to emerge from climate science. Mike Ellis explains how. more

Great Barrier Reef's great-grandmother is unearthed
NewScientist, 19 August 2010
Just 600 metres away from the Great Barrier Reef, the jewel in Australia's crown, a less spectacular but more ancient reef has been discovered. ... Confirmation arrived in February this year, when an international team extracted 34 sediment cores from three sites on the seabed, revealing a fossilised coral reef that reaches 110 metres into the sea floor. Preliminary dating of the core indicates that the coral is up to 169,000 years old. more

Coral cores show sea history
ScienceAlert, 3 August 2010
A team of international scientists, including Dr Jody Webster from the University of Sydney, have taken part in a groundbreaking voyage to the Great Barrier Reef between February to April this year to acquire fossil coral reef cores from the edge of the continental shelf. more

Challenges Await Ocean Drilling Projects
Texas A&M University, 27 July 2010
Scientific ocean drilling has a bright future, but a number of challenges loom on the horizon, attendees said Monday at the conclusion of their workshop organized by the National Research Council's Committee on Scientific Ocean Drilling. more

Ocean Drilling Projects Have Changed Scientific Thinking, Experts Say
Texas A&M University, 26 July 2010
Scientific ocean drilling projects have broadened mankind's knowledge of Earth, opened doors to new fields and raised key questions for future groundbreaking endeavors, said speakers attending the National Research Council's Committee on Scientific Ocean Drilling. more

Cool Jobs: Scientist drills deep into ocean's crust
Federal News Radio (1500 AM), 14 July 2010
Jamie Allan's job is to drill deep holes into the ocean's crust. Really deep. As program officer for the National Science Foundation's Integrated Ocean Drilling Program, Allan drills some of the deepest holes ever dug into the floor of the ocean. But IODP is not just a group of kids in a sandbox. Allan says his team is working on multiple important scientific projects. more

China outlines deep-sea ambitions
Nature, 6 July 2010
China is setting its sights on exploring and exploiting the deep sea. Until recently, the country's ocean research focused largely on coastal and offshore waters. But with its breakneck economic development demanding ever more resources, and a growing desire to have more influence in territory disputes and international waters, China is investing heavily in its deep-sea research and exploration programme, experts revealed at a meeting in Shanghai last week. more

Polar extremes affect tropics
European Commission CORDIS, 21 June 2010
A Spanish-led team of scientists has proven that there is a link between ocean temperatures at Earth's polar extremes and the climate at the equator, thousands of miles away. The finding serves as further evidence that oceanic behaviour does indeed influence global climate. Results from the study are published in the journal Science. more

CO2 is The Missing Link To Past Global Climate Changes
redOrbit, 18 June 2010
CO2 levels explain why temperatures in tropical and arctic waters have risen and fallen together for the past 2.7 million years... Now, a research team led by Brown University has established that the climate in the tropics over at least the last 2.7 million years changed in lockstep with the cyclical spread and retreat of ice sheets thousands of miles away in the Northern Hemisphere. more

The key role of the oceans' subpolar regions in the climate control of the tropics is confirmed
e! Science News, 18 June 2010
An international team of researchers, led by the members of the Institut de Ciencia i Tecnologia Ambientals (ICTA) at the Universitat Autonoma de Barcelona (UAB), has published the first registers of the evolution of Northern Pacific and Southern Atlantic sea-surface temperatures, dating from the Pliocene Era -some 3.65 million years ago- to the present. more

Antarctica's Past Revealing Earth's Future
Planetsave, 3 May 2010
New sediment cores taken from the seabed in Antarctica may give us clues as to our planet's future climate. Scientists participating in the Wilkes Land Glacial History expedition of the Integrated Ocean Drilling Program have recently returned home with 2,000 metres of sediment cores from Wilkes Land, directly south of Australia, in an effort to add more data to global climate models. more

Ocean Drilling Expedition off Antarctica May Predict Ice Sheet's Response to Warmer Global Temperatures, 4 May 2010
New results from a drilling expedition off Antarctica may help scientists learn more about a dramatic turn in climate 34 million years ago, when the planet cooled from a "greenhouse" to an "icehouse" state. In just 400,000 years - a blink of an eye in geologic time - carbon dioxide levels dropped, temperatures plunged and ice sheets formed over what was then the lush continent of Antarctica. more

Antarctic Ice Cores Hold Clues of Future Climate
Softpedia, 30 April 2010
Between January 4 and March 8 this year, an international team of experts conducted the Wilkes Land Glacial History Expedition in Antarctica, as part of the Integrated Ocean Drilling Program (IODP). During the study, the scientists collected ice core samples from the location, which they then transported back to the lab for analysis. Now, the data they obtained is being used to inform a new generation of computer models aimed at simulating future climate events based on our planet's past evolution. more

Data could help unlock mystery of undersea supervolcanoes
Thaindian News, 12 April 2010
cientists drilling into a large volcanic mountain chain lying underwater off the coast of Japan have collected new data that may provide clues to unlocking the mystery of undersea supervolcanoes. In 2009, they undertook the Integrated Ocean Drilling Program (IODP) Expedition 324, drilling five sites on the Pacific Ocean floor to study the origin of the 145 million-year-old Shatsky Rise volcanic mountain chain. more

New Research into How Supervolcanoes Erupt
Softpedia, 10 April 2010
For many years, researchers have been proposing that one of the primary reasons for some of the world's most devastating extinction events was the explosion of supervolcanoes. These are massive relatives of their smaller counterparts, and have the ability to release vast amounts of lava, gas and ash around them. One example is the Yellowstone Caldera, which, if it were to blow up, would cover the entire United States in a thick layer of ash, and would cloud the skies for decades. more

Deciphering the Mysteries of an Ancient Seafloor Goliath
Texas A&M University, 9 April 2010
The eruptions of "supervolcanoes" on Earth's surface have been blamed for causing mass extinctions, belching large amounts of gases and particles into the atmosphere, and re-paving the ocean floor. The result? Loss of species, increased greenhouse gases in the atmosphere, and changes in ocean circulation. Despite their global impact, the origin and triggering mechanism of these eruptions remain poorly understood. New data collected during a recent Integrated Ocean Drilling Program (IODP) scientific research expedition in the Pacific Ocean may provide clues to unlocking this unsolved mystery in Earth's geologic record. more

Antarctica once had tropical climate, scientists say
APC News (Australia), 12 March 2010
An international team of scientists who have arrived back in Hobart from Antarctica say they have evidence the icy continent once had a tropical climate. The team studied ice and mud cores from the Antarctic sea floor. more

Antarctica once had tropical climate, scientists say
Australia's ABC News, 12 March 2010
Scientists on United States-based research drillship, the Joides Resolution, have docked in Wellington to offload kilometres of core samples from sediments in the Canterbury Basin. The scientists drilled four holes on the continental shelf and slope off south Canterbury over the past month. more

Buried Alive: Half of Earth's Life May Lie Below Land, Sea
McClatchy Newspapers, 9 March 2010
While astronomers scour the skies for signs of life in outer space, biologists are exploring an enormous living world buried below the surface of the Earth. Scientists estimate that nearly half the living material on our planet is hidden in or beneath the ocean or in rocks, soil, tree roots, mines, oil wells, lakes and aquifers on the continents. more

Studying Life in Earth's 'Basement'
KidGlue, 9 March 2010
Nearly half of the living material on our planet is hidden deep under ground or under water. Science calls this world of deep dwelling life the "subsurface biosphere" a dark place where light from the sun and stars has never fallen. Or, for those who want to be less technical about it, "Earth's basement." more

The Undersea Hunt for Intraterrestrial Life
Popular Science, 9 March 2010
Despite the impact of mankind, the size of trees, and the sheer numbers of bugs, multicellular terrestrial life only makes up a small portion of the planet's biomass. The majority of life on Earth lives at the bottom of the ocean, much of it beneath the ocean floor. Thanks to those extreme depths, science knows virtually nothing about the majority of the planet's lifeforms. But a series of deep sea drilling expeditions over the course of the next year looks to finally shine a light on our planet's richest, and most mysterious, habitats. more

Tiny shelled creatures shed light on extinction and recovery 65 million years ago
EurekAlert!, 1 March 2010
An asteroid strike may not only account for the demise of ocean and land life 65 million years ago, but the fireball's path and the resulting dust, darkness and toxic metal contamination may explain the geographic unevenness of extinctions and recovery, according to Penn State geoscientists. more

Hamilton students to participate in live broadcast with scientists in Antarctica
The Westside Story (CY-FAIR ISD), 24 February 2010
Third-grade students at Hamilton Elementary School will have the unique opportunity to serve as an "interactive school" on Wednesday, Feb. 24. Using satellite communications technology provided by IOCOM, the students will participate in a live video conference with scientists, technicians and crew on board the scientific ocean drilling vessel JOIDES Resolution on its way to Antarctica. more

On Thick Ice: Live From An Antarctic Drilling Trip
Popular Mechanics, 18 February 2010
About 140 miles from the Antarctic coast, the scientific research ship JOIDES Resolution is drilling deep into the ocean floor. The objective: To find out how Antarctica changed from a warm and vegetated continent, as it was 50 million years ago, to the frozen, ice-covered continent we see today. more

Fossils 'record past sea changes'
BBC News, 15 February 2010
Fossilised coral reefs in the Great Barrier Reef could help scientists understand how sea levels have changed over the past 20,000 years. An international team of researchers will spend 45 days at sea, gathering core samples from about 40 sites. more

Mineral veins hold clues to ancient seawater
PlanetEarth, 16 February 2010
Seawater has changed over time. Now scientists have found a new way to determine how, by looking at the chemical composition of carbonate veins found in the ocean crust. 'The chemistry of seawater is controlled by what has been added to or taken out of the ocean,' explains Dr Rosalind Coggon, a geochemist working at Imperial College, London. more

Queens College geologist journeys to Antarctica to study global warming
NY Daily News, 9 February 2010
Studying global warming in the coldest place on Earth may sound like an oxymoron. But Queens College geologist Stephen Pekar is on a ship off the coast of Antarctica, doing just that. more

Carbonate Veins Reveal Chemistry of Ancient Seawater
ScienceDaily, 8 February 2010
The chemical composition of our oceans is not constant but has varied significantly over geological time. In a study published in Science, researchers describe a novel method for reconstructing past ocean chemistry using calcium carbonate veins that precipitate from seawater-derived fluids in rocks beneath the seafloor. more

Scientists Drill Deepest Hole off New Zealand, 4 February 2010
Scientists aboard the research ship the JOIDES Resolution recently drilled two kilometers into Earth's crust, setting a new record for the deepest hole drilled through the seafloor on a single expedition. more

Drilling project to reveal climate change in Antarctic
The Hindu, 29 January 2010
The world's largest marine geoscience project is underway to drill deep beneath the Antarctic to discover clues to climate change. That would involve boring through two km of rock in the sea bed, seven km deep in the ocean. Rob McKay, post-doctoral fellow at Victoria University's Antarctic Research Centre, is aboard the Joides Resolution research ship bound for Wilkes Land, Antarctica. more

Climate Research Group Drills Deepest Hole in the Ocean
Softpedia, 26 January 2010
At this point in time, the effects of global warming and climate change are becoming increasingly obvious, and researchers need to work together with authorities to produce valid science and policies, aimed at preventing devastating effects. But in order to do that, policymakers need to base their decisions on accurate model. For that to happen, scientists have to make the models, based on data collected from expeditions to some of the harshest places on the planet. more

Canterbury Basin drilled for climate clues
NZPA, 5 January 2010
Scientists on United States-based research drillship, the Joides Resolution, have docked in Wellington to offload kilometres of core samples from sediments in the Canterbury Basin. The scientists drilled four holes on the continental shelf and slope off south Canterbury over the past month. more


Montclair University professors heading up Antarctica trips to study global warming effects
New Jersey News, 25 December 2009
Two Montclair State University professors are heading to Antarctica on separate expeditions to collect sediment samples scientists can use to study the effects of global warming. A rise in sea level of just a few meters from melting ice caps could put coastal areas like Atlantic City in jeopardy, said Sandra Passchier, an assistant professor of earth and environmental studies. more

Global warming likely to be amplified by slow changes to Earth systems
EurekAlert, 20 December 2009
Researchers studying a period of high carbon dioxide levels and warm climate several million years ago have concluded that slow changes such as melting ice sheets amplified the initial warming caused by greenhouse gases. more

Global temperatures could rise more than expected, new study shows
EurekAlert, 20 December 2009
The kinds of increases in atmospheric carbon dioxide taking place today could have a significantly larger effect on global temperatures than previously thought, according to a new study led by Yale University geologists. Their findings appear December 20 in the advanced online edition of Nature Geoscience. more

Meteor hit unlikely cause for climate change, study finds
Star Bulletin, 13 December 2009
It's "very unlikely" that a meteor or asteroid colliding with the Earth caused an abrupt climate change leading to the extinction of the woolly mammoth and other large mammals 13,000 years ago, says the University of Hawaii at Manoa leader of a team that investigated the theory. more

Research project worth saving
Japan Times, 10 December 2009
Prime Minister Yukio Hatoyama will support science, but wasteful construction projects under review by the Government Revitalization Unit (GRU) include large, complex scientific research projects. more

Core data on climate
ScienceWise, 27 November 2009
Australia and New Zealand have recently signed up to the world's largest ocean research program - The Integrated Ocean Drilling Program (IODP). IODP is a multi-national scientific collaboration aimed at extracting data from core samples taken at numerous points throughout the worldÕs oceans. more

Sifting the past for clues to present, 26 November 2009
Miriam Katz sees the world in a grain of sand. The fossils she plucks from the deep sea floor are tiny, but can reveal much about sea level, temperature, and ocean conditions on Earth millions of years ago. The assistant professor of earth and environmental sciences at Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute has spent two decades collecting the complex little shells of calcium carbonate, known as foraminifera. more

Seabed drilling probes sea level change
GNS Science, 16 November 2009
An international team of 33 scientists will spend the next two months drilling beneath the seabed off the Canterbury coast in a bid to pin down the link between climate and sea level changes over the last 35 million years. more

Seafloor fossils to reconstruct EarthÕs climates up to 250 million years ago
Thaindian News, 8 November 2009
In a research lasting two decades, a scientist has studied ancient, deep-sea fossils to reconstruct the climates of Earth up to 250 million years ago. more

Drilling expedition to find cause of changing sea levels
Drilling Exploration, 6 November 2009
The research drilling ship JOIDES resolution has welcomed two Australian scientists on a voyage to investigate changing sea levels. James Cook University's Professor Bob Carter and Associate Professor Simon George from Macquarie University will be joining the ship. more

Drill team probes sea changes
James Cook University, 6 November 2009
Two Australian scientists will join an international group of researchers on a voyage to investigate changing sea levels. They will be part of the research drilling ship JOIDES Resolution expedition to the Canterbury Basin off New Zealand. more

Seafloor Fossils Provide Clues on Climate Change, 22 October 2009
Deep under the sea, a fossil the size of a sand grain is nestled among a billion of its closest dead relatives. Known as foraminifera, these complex little shells of calcium carbonate can tell you the sea level, temperature, and ocean conditions of Earth millions of years ago. That is, if you know what to look for. more

Bering Sea: coming back to reality
ETH Life, 13 October 2009
ETH researcher Gretta Bartoli spent two months working on board the research ship in the northern Pacific. Now back in Zurich, she takes a look back at an eventful period far removed from her daily routine. more

'Scary' Climate Message from Past
BBC News, 12 October 2009
A new historical record of carbon dioxide levels suggests current political targets on climate may be "playing with fire", scientists say. Researchers used ocean sediments to plot CO2 levels back 20 million years. Levels similar to those now commonly regarded as adequate to tackle climate change were associated with sea levels 25-40 m (80-130 ft) higher than today. more

Just How Sensitive Is Earth's Climate to Atmospheric Carbon Dioxide?
Scientific American, 8 October 2009
Carbon dioxide levels climbing toward a doubling of the 280 parts per million (ppm) concentration found in the preindustrial atmosphere pose the question: What impact will this increased greenhouse gas load have on the climate? more

Stuck in the mud
Planet Earth, 5 October 2009
How can microscopic bullet splatter on the clothing of murder victims help climate scientists? Guy Rothwell describes some of the remarkable techniques sedimentary core specialists are using to piece together past climates. more

Experts Draw Up Ocean-Drilling Wish List
Nature, 1 October 2009
Earth scientists have laid the groundwork for the future of ocean drilling. More than 500 scientists — almost twice as many as organizers had initially expected — gathered last week in Bremen, Germany, to discuss priorities and research goals for the second phase of the Integrated Ocean Drilling Program (IODP), which is expected to begin in late 2013. more

IOCOM and Integrated Ocean Drilling Program Partner for Educational Video Conferencing Tutorials
IOCOM, 28 September 2009
IOCOM, a leading software provider for enterprise-class video conferencing and collaboration capabilities, today announced its ongoing partnership with the Integrated Ocean Drilling ProgramÕs (IODP) Deep Earth Academy to offer educational video conferencing for students to witness live, deep-sea voyages. more

International Conference To Plan Future Of Ocean Drilling, 10 September 2009
The future of scientific ocean drilling will be planned Sept. 23-25 in Bremen, Germany, when 11 faculty and scientists and four graduate students from Texas A&M University join an international assemblage of nearly 500 scientists at the INVEST conference Ð IODP New Ventures in Exploring Scientific Targets. more

Researchers report successful riser-drilling operations in seismogenic zone
EurekAlert, 30 July 2009
Kumano Basin off Kii Peninsula, approximately 58 km southeast of Japan — Despite harsh atmospheric and ocean conditions, and complex geological characteristics of its drill site, the deep-sea drilling vessel CHIKYU, for the first time in the history of scientific ocean drilling, conducted riser-drilling operations to successfully drill down to a depth of 1,603.7 meters beneath the sea floor (at water depth of 2,054 meters). more

Scientists Drill a Mile Into Active Deep Sea Fault Zone
Wired Science, 30 July 2009
In the first deep sea drilling expedition designed to gather seismic data, scientists have successfully drilled nearly a mile beneath the ocean floor into one of the world's most active earthquake zones. more

Major Arctic Sea-ice Formed Earlier Than Thought
Science Daily, 28 July 2009
Significant sea ice formation occurred in the Arctic earlier than previously thought is the conclusion of a study published this week in Nature. "The results are also especially exciting because they suggest that sea ice formed in the Arctic before it did in Antarctica..." more

Drilling ship to probe sea floor: Resolution sets off from Ogden Point today for the Bering Sea
Times Colonist, 10 July 2009
The scientific drilling ship JOIDES Resolution isn't much to look at, with its jutting cranes and derrick -- a contrast to the smooth lines of cruise ships at Ogden Point's other pier. But what the 144-metre-long vessel lacks in grace it makes up for in scientific gusto. The Resolution is the only American ship dedicated to drilling the sea floor for scientific purposes. more

UCSC Professor Seeks Climate Answers in the Bering Sea
Santa Cruz Sentinel, 8 July 2009
Instead of taking the summer off this year, UC Santa Cruz ocean studies professor Christina Ravelo will sail into the Bering Sea with hopes of peeking back into 5 million years worth of geological history — and bringing scientists closer to understanding global climate change. more

Sediment Yields Climate Record For Past Half-million Years
Science Daily, 16 June 2009
Researchers here have used sediment from the deep ocean bottom to reconstruct a record of ancient climate that dates back more than the last half-million years. The record, trapped within the top 20 meters (65.6 feet) of a 400-meter (1,312-foot) sediment core drilled in 2005 in the North Atlantic Ocean by the Integrated Ocean Drilling Program, gives new information about the four glacial cycles that occurred during that period. more

Earth's Climate and Ocean Acidification History
ScienceDaily, 22 May 2009
A scientific research cruise following the palaeo-equator has uncovered nearly 53 million years of climate and ocean acidification history. Three scientists from the National Oceanography Centre, Southampton were onboard. more

Quibbletown Science Teacher to Join School of Rock Science Expedition, 20 May 2009
Quibbletown Science Teacher Ed Cohen was chosen to participate in the School of Rock 2009 workshop on board the ship, the JOIDES Resolution from June 23 to July 5. There, alongside scientists and technicians, educators will study a very active tectonic plate in the Pacific Ocean known as the Juan de Fuca plate, examining core samples of the Earth. more

Drill Ship Unfolds 'Pages of a History Book'
Star Bulletin, 9 May 2009
Scientists aboard the JOIDES Resolution are unlocking the earth's life story with sediment recovered from far beneath the Pacific ocean floor.
The Integrated Ocean Drilling Program ship arrived Monday with core samples that date back in time to the warmest sustained "greenhouse" period on Earth — about 53 million years ago. more

A research expedition begins to wrap
Scientific American, 26 April 2009
SOMEWHERE IN THE MID-PACIFIC I just came back inside from watching the rig floor crew trip pipe—that is, go through the process of extracting the over four kilometers (2.5 miles) of drill string that hung beneath the ship as we drilled the final hole at the final site (U1336B, for those keeping score). more

Ocean Drilling: How the Past Can Provide Clues to our Planet's Future Climate
Popular Mechanics, 3 April 2009
On a remote patch of ocean 1250 miles southwest of Hawaii, the crew of the scientific drilling ship JOIDES Resolution have lowered a massive drill bit through 3 miles of pipe to the seafloor below. By pulling cores of ancient ooze from beneath the ocean floor, scientists hope to learn how the Earth responded to climate change 50 million years ago—and how it may react to future warming. more

Scientists plan to drill climate secrets from Pacific sediment
PlanetEarth, 9 March 2009
An international team of scientists is set to sail to the equatorial Pacific to recover a continuous record of climate conditions over the last 55 million years. The researchers plan to drill sediment cores at a succession of eight sites that once lay on the equator. more

U-M, other scientists seek Pacific climate data
Chicago Tribune, 5 March 2009
An international expedition sets out from Honolulu next week to drill deep holes in the Pacific Ocean floor in search of clues about the past and future of our planet. The research vessel Joides Resolution makes two nine-week trips this year as part of the Integrated Ocean Drilling Program. more

Global Cooling Formed Glaciers in Antarctica: A massive CO2 drop also played a part
Softpedia, 27 February 2009
According to climate change models covering the Ancient history of the Earth, the Antarctic became covered with the ice sheets it's losing today some 33.5 million years ago, when the overall climate cooled significantly and the planet got converted from a greenhouse to an "ice house." In the February 27th issue of the journal Science, a team of researchers offers new insight into the changes that affected the global climate and eventually led to the relatively rapid transformation of the Antarctic into an ice field. more

CO2 Drop Caused Greenhouse-To-Icehouse Shift
redOrbit, 27 February 2009
A team of Yale geologists has a new perspective on the greenhouse-to-icehouse shift where global climate changed from an ice-free world to one with massive ice sheets in the Antarctic nearly 34 million years ago. The study, which is detailed in the February issue of Science, disproves a long-held theory that massive ice growth was accompanied by very little global temperature change. more

Spa-like seawater conditions 50 million years ago, scientists find
InSciences, 24 February 2009
If you lived in New Zealand 50 million years ago, you would have been able to enjoy a hot swim in the sea all year round, scientists have found. ... In a study that will be published in the international scientific journal Geology next month, scientists have inferred warm climate conditions in New Zealand for this time period from a wide range of fossil evidence, but until now the degree of warmth was uncertain. more

Project explores mechanics of major earthquake faults
Univ. Wisconsin-Madison, 15 February 2009
Deep-sea drilling into one of the most active earthquake zones on the planet is providing the first direct look at the geophysical fault properties underlying some of the world's largest earthquakes and tsunamis. more

A&M ship returns to sea
The Eagle, 2 February 2009
A scientific drilling ship that is part of Texas A&M University's largest research program has returned to the seas after a $115 million renovation.
The JOIDES Resolution left a Singapore shipyard last week to make its way to Honolulu. more

JOIDES Resolution is Back in Business
Marine Technology Reporter, 29 January 2009
Senior officials from the U.S. National Science Foundation and the U.S. Implementing Organization for the Integrated Ocean Drilling Program recently marked the occasion of the research vessel JOIDES Resolution sailing off from Singapore for science sea trials and transit to Honolulu, after a complete transformation to modernize and upgrade the ship in a Singapore shipyard. more

U.S. Ocean Drilling Ship Returns to the Sea
ScienceInsider, 27 January 2009
The deep-sea scientific drilling ship JOIDES Resolution, the JR for short, has finally left the shipyards. The newly renovated vessel departed Singapore on Sunday, marking the end of an unprecedented 3-year hiatus in U.S. drilling. more

JOIDES Resolution Sails Again!
Deep-Sea News, 26 January 2009
The JOIDES Resolution, once workhorse of the deep sea scientific drilling research community, is currently at sea trials following a major overhaul. more

Ocean Treasure Stored at Texas A&M
Red Orbit, 9 January 2009
Priceless treasure from the bottom of the sea is locked away at Texas A&M University, stacked on floor-to-ceiling racks and kept secure in 15,000 square feet of refrigerated space. Although itÕs not gold bullion or precious gems, this treasure dazzles oceanographers, geologists, geophysicists and other geoscientists who come from around the world to College Station to sample it. more

School of Rock
Discovery News, 9 January 2009
The Integrated Ocean Drilling Program (IODP), Deep Earth Academy, and the Consortium for Ocean Leadership have announced their School of Rock for 2009 -- Cores, CORKS and Hydrology on the Juan de Fuca Ridge. The "corks" part does not refer to red wine, nor will Jack Black will be teaching (sigh), but it sounds like a pretty fun week at sea for any science teachers interested to apply. more


Methods of Ocean Drilling in Climate Research
ScienceDaily, 24 November 2008
The oceans are our climate regulators, cover the sites of fundamental geodynamic, geochemical and biological processes and have high-resolution records of the Earth's history in store for us. Scientific marine drilling and coring is crucial to cast light on both the deep and shallow (sub-) seafloors to advance our knowledge in the Earth and environmental sciences. more

Deep-Sea Scientific Drilling Hit By a Cost Double Whammy
Science, 24 October 2008
As the oil industry gears up for the ongoing offshore-oil boom, scientists who study the sea floor say competition for scarce drilling resources is leaving them high and dry. ÒFunding goes down, oil goes up,Ó laments paleoceanographer Henk Brinkhuis of Utrecht University in the Netherlands. more

Hispanic Business Announces 2008 EOY Winner's Circle Scholarship Recipients, 29 September 2008
Hispanic Business Inc. has announced the recipients of the 2008 EOY Winner's Circle Scholarships, to be awarded at Hispanic Business' annual EOY event honoring entrepreneurial excellence... Ms. Padilla's participation in the Integrated Ocean Drilling Program (IODP) Science Steering and Evaluation Panel in Potsdam, Germany solidified her career choice to become a scientist when she was able to witness first hand the opportunity to have her voice heard at an international forum. more

Study could help with Pacific earthquake preparation
El Defensor Chieftain, 16 August 2008
New Mexico Tech geophysics professor Dr. Glenn Spinelli has discovered that the area where earthquakes may occur off the coast of Washington and Oregon probably extends further inland than previously believed. Spinelli's research could impact estimates of the hazard due to ground shaking, and therefore earthquake preparedness plans for the cities of Seattle and Portland — and similar locations around the Pacific, where one tectonic plate moves under another. more

From Forests to Ice, June 2008
Extensive spruce forests used to cover the southern half of Greenland, according to a Canadian study that gives a remarkable glimpse of the icy island's green past and possible future. more

Inside the Tsunami Factory
Popular Science, May 2008
Over the past 1,300 years, the Nankai Trough, the 500-mile-long boundary between two tectonic plates off the southwestern coast of Japan, has been one of the world's most active tsunami hotspots. Now an international team of scientists has embarked on a multiyear project to drill four miles down into the heart of this subterranean wave machine. more

To the Core and Beyond
Lodi News Sentinel, 26 April 2008
As part of an elite group of scientists, Lodi native Michael Underwood is making history with a project that is drilling deep into the EarthÕs core. Discovering the secrets of the core may lead to earthquake forecasts and predictions, and may ultimately save thousands of lives. more

Global Warming and Antarctic Ice
CO2 Science, 2 April 2008
The authors used delta18O data, which are responsive to both temperature and salinity, that were derived from both surface- and bottom-dwelling foraminifera samples taken from a 40-m-thick core of laminated organic-carbon-rich marlstone retrieved from the western equatorial Atlantic Ocean at Ocean Drilling Program Site 1259... to infer variations in both sea surface temperature and global ice sheet volume during portions of the Turonian period of 93.5 to 89.3 million years ago. more


Ocean-drilling vessel should soon be afloat again
Nature, 3 October 2007
Sir -- Those involved in the Integrated Ocean Drilling Program (IODP) are delighted by your encouragement of their work in your Editorial 'Drill often, drill deep' (Nature 449, 260; 2007) and News Feature 'Staying afloat' (Nature 449, 280; 2007). However, it is not correct to state that the IODP's US platform, the JOIDES Resolution, has languished at a shipyard since 2003. This research vessel completed 10 expeditions between June 2004 and December 2005, each with a full complement of scientists from the United States, Europe and Japan. more

School of Rock: Teacher studies sediment, sea floor
The Forecaster, 23 August 2007
Inside a 14,000-square-foot facility in the middle of sweltering southeast Texas are hundreds of miles of sea floor. The geological samples are kept at just above freezing, 40 degrees. This is home to the School of Rock, a summer program for teachers. more

Deep Drilling Unlocking PlanetÕs Secrets: Finding Facts Before Conclusions
The Integrated Ocean Drilling Program (IODP) is all about science. An international marine research drilling project, it is dedicated to advancing scientific understanding of the earth -- including but certainly not limited to a further understanding of global warming -- and to do so in a non-partisan, non-political way. more


Earth's Climate Changes in Tune With Eccentric Orbital Rhythms, 29 December 2006
Ocean sediment reveals the pattern behind the rise and fall of ice ages and the shape of Earth's orbit. more

Methane ices pose climate puzzle
BBC News, 13 December 2006
Scientists drilling ocean sediments off Canada have discovered methane ices at much shallower depths than expected. The finding has important implications for climate studies, they believe. more

Discovery could lead to mining of solid gas for fuel
The Guardian, 13 December 2006
The discovery of a mysterious solid form of natural gas off the east coast of Canada could bring one of Earth's biggest untapped sources of energy a step closer to commercial use, according to scientists. more

Shallow fuels bring bad news: Buried deposits of greenhouse gases may be more unstable than thought
Nature, 12 December 2006
Geologists have discovered underwater deposits of hydrates — icy deposits of frozen methane gas — at far shallower depths under the ocean floor than expected. The finding suggests that, in a globally warmed world, the hydrates could melt suddenly and release their gas into the atmosphere, thus warming the planet even more. more

Shallow Gas Hydrates Offer Mixed Bag
Discovery News, 12 December 2006
Deep-sea researchers have unearthed frozen mixtures of methane and ice — called gas hydrates — at surprisingly shallow depths in the Pacific Ocean. more

Eisknollen aus Wasser und Methan
Deutschlandfunk, 12 December 2006
Gashydrate oder Methanknollen am Meeresgrund gelten als wichtige Energiequelle der Zukunft. So richtig erforscht sind sie allerdings nicht, denn es ist schwierig, ihnen mit Bohrungen zu Leibe zu rücken. Jetzt hat ein groß angelegtes Bohrprogramm vollkommen unerwartete Ergebnisse gebracht, die auf der Herbsttagung der Amerikanischen Geophysikalischen Gesellschaft vorgestellt wurden. more [in German]

Geologist discusses global warming research
Appalachian State Uiversity News, 12 October 2006
Dr. Ken Miller will present a talk titled "The Phanerozoic Record of Global Sea-Level Change: ODP Constrains the Last 100 Million Years." His presentation is part of the U.S. Science Support Program's Joint Oceanographic Institutions Distinguished Lecturer Series and is sponsored by Appalachian's Department of Geology. more

Lucky find off Galapagos
EurekAlert!, 21 September 2006
Ocean Scientists Discover How Bacteria Produce Propane in the Deep Seafloor. During an expedition off the South American coast, an international team of ocean scientists discovered that the gases ethane and propane are widespread, and are being produced by microorganisms in deeply buried sediments. More

Frozen methane could be boon or disaster
Nunatsiaq News, 21 September 2006
Ice that burns? Such ice exists, and it may soon provide the world with a vast amount of fuel - or its melting may speed up climate change and increase Arctic temperatures to tropical levels not seen for 55 million years. more

Frozen fuel find rewrites rule book
Royal Society of Chemistry, 23 August 2006
Earth scientists are revising their ideas about natural gas hydrates after discovering that large deposits of the water and methane mixture can form at surprisingly shallow depths below the sea floor. more

Drilling Into Fossil Magma Chamber Deep Under the Ocean, 11 August 2006
Researchers aboard the research drilling ship JOIDES Resolution have, for the first time, drilled into a fossil magma chamber under intact ocean crust. There, 1.4 kilometers beneath the sea floor, they have recovered samples of gabbro: a hard, black rock that forms when molten magma is trapped beneath Earth's surface and cools slowly. more

Korea Now Scientific Ocean-Drilling Member
The Korea Times, 5 July 2006
South Korea has become the 21st member of an international organization committed to scientific ocean drilling research, raising hope for the nation to make progress in the oceanic science field, the government said Wednesday. more

Science of global warming
Providence Journal (editorial), 23 June 2006
The Arctic expedition (supported by the Integrated Ocean Drilling Program, an international partnership of scientists and research institutions) has helped scientists understand that a natural eruption of greenhouse gases caused the planetary warm-up during what they call the Paleocene Eocene Thermal Maximum. more

Earth is hottest now in 2,000 years; humans responsible for much of the warming
Associated Press, 23 June 2006
For all but the most recent 150 years, the academy scientists relied on "proxy" evidence from tree rings, corals, glaciers and ice cores, cave deposits, ocean and lake sediments, boreholes and other sources. more

Rock samples provide insight into Earth's history
The (Texas A&M) Battalion, 22 June 2006
Rock samples taken from oceanic crust are the buried treasure of geologists' dreams. ... A team of scientists and researchers from organizations and universities throughout the world, including Texas A&M, struck geological gold when they drilled into a fossilized magma chamber. more

Experts hope rocks unravel Earth's secrets
Associated Press, 18 June 2006
"I would say this is just like a voyage of discovery to the planet Mars, except this is inner space rather than outer space," said Neil Banerjee, staff scientist for the Integrated Ocean Drilling Program at Texas A&M. "We're learning about the fundamental dynamics of how our planet works." more

"Changing Earth" report
CNN, 18 June 2006
Two years ago an international team of scientists set out to uncover the original makeup of the Arctic Ocean, what they found was anything but expected. The team, known as the Integrated Ocean Drilling Program, drilled down to take rock samples from below the seafloor.

New Data on Earth's Climate History
NPR, 2 June 2006
New data obtained from an Arctic drilling expedition indicates that about 49 million years ago, the Arctic was green, with fresh surface water and ferns covering the water—at least during the summer months. The finding, researchers say, indicates that they may have seriously underestimated the power of greenhouse gases to warm Arctic areas. more

Scientists say Arctic once was tropical
Associated Press, 1 June 2006
Scientists have found what might have been the ideal ancient vacation hotspot with a 74-degree Fahrenheit average temperature, alligator ancestors and palm trees. It's smack in the middle of the Arctic. more

Sediment core hold secrets of Arctic climate
Reuters News Service, 1 June 2006
Sediment drilled from the floor beneath the Arctic Ocean holds prehistoric climate records that show Arctic temperatures reached subtropical levels about 55 million years ago, according to research reported on Wednesday. more

Studies portray tropical Arctic in distant past
Blog Espen, 1 June 2006
The first detailed analysis of an extraordinary climatic and biological record from the seabed near the North Pole shows that 55 million years ago the Arctic Ocean was much warmer than scientists imagined—a Floridian year-round average of 74 degrees. more

Polar core is hot stuff, 31 May 2006
more (requires subscription or registration)

Arctic Once Felt Like Florida, Studies Say
The New York Times 31 May 2006
more (requires subscription or registration)

Arctic's tropical past uncovered
BBC News 31 May 2006
Fifty-five million years ago the North Pole was an ice-free zone with tropical temperatures, according to research. more

Study Reveals Ancient Arctic Climate Swings, 31 May 2006
Scientists have uncovered the Arctic region's history of climate change buried beneath layers of ocean ice from a newly collected sediment core. more

Tropical Arctic? Scientists say it was hot 55 million years ago
Scripps Howard News Service, 30 May 2006
Sediment samples taken from a unique drilling expedition in the center of the Arctic Ocean appear to have solved a major mystery about Earth's climate over the last 50 million years. more

Scientist at Work | Douglas Wilson
With Time Running Out, a Discovery Deep in the Crust of the Earth

The New York Times, 16 May 2006
It was not exactly a journey to the center of the earth. But if it succeeded, it would take geologists through the earth's crust for the first time ever. more (requires subscription or registration)

Fish Teeth Reveal When Atlantic and Pacific Oceans United
Meryl.met, 3 May 2006
Scientists studying ancient fish teeth have now proposed that the passageway where the Pacific and Atlantic oceans join began opening around 41 million years ago, much earlier than originally estimated. more

Drill digs deeper than ever into Earth's crust
New Scientist, 29 April 2006
SINCE the 1950s, people have dreamed of drilling through the Earth's crust to the mantle. We are now a step closer, having reached the "gabbro" layer of oceanic crust for the first time. more

Ocean crust is giving up its secrets
Santa Barbara News Press, April 21, 2006
A hole drilled deep below the Pacific Ocean is helping a UCSB scientist and colleagues learn how ocean crust forms.

Drilled Core Exposes Hitherto Unseen Layer of Earth's Crust
Scientific American, 21 April 2006
Since the 1950s, scientists have been trying to drill through the oceanic crust to expose the mantle below. Although that goal remains out of reach—the crust is more than four miles thick—a new drilling project at the bottom of the Pacific Ocean has reached almost a mile below the sea-floor and exposed what lies beneath the uppermost layer of crust for the first time. more

Scientists Find the Elusive Gabbro, 20 April 2006
Scientists onboard the drilling ship JOIDES Resolution in the Pacific Ocean, about 500 miles west of Costa Rica, bored into the planet's crust and recovered black rocks called gabbro from intact crust. more

Drillers Hit Deep-Sea Pay Dirt
ScienceNOW Daily News, 20 April 2006
Marine geologist Douglas Wilson of the University of California, Santa Barbara, and colleagues from three expeditions of the drill ship JOIDES Resolution report that they finally hit gabbro last December. more (requires subscription or registration)

Fire in Ice
Popular Mechanics, April 2006
Natural gas locked up in methane hydrates could be the world's next great energy source—if engineers can figure out how to extract it safely. more

Ocean hot in days of dinosaurs, study finds
Scripps Howard News Service, 17 February 2006
Sometimes we make that first dash into the ocean on summer vacation and happily announce, "It's warm as bathwater." But a new study based on ancient sediments collected off South America indicates that the tropical Atlantic Ocean really did hit temperatures as high as 107 degrees Fahrenheit back when dinosaurs ruled.

Deep-Sea Drill Set for Climate Research
Associated Press, 28 January 2006
The CHIKYU is studded with superlatives. Completed last year, the ship houses the world's biggest deep-sea drill, sports a high-tech floating laboratory and boasts a $500 million price tag. more

Ancient Global Warming Flipped Ocean Circulation, May Do So Again
Environment News Service, 5 January 2006
In today's issue of the journal "Nature," scientists Flavia Nunes and Richard Norris describe how they examined a four to seven degree warming period that occurred some 55 million years ago during the closing stages of the Paleocene and the beginning of the Eocene eras. more

Upgrade aims to put drill ship at cutting edge
Nature, 5 January 2006
After 20 years as the flagship of scientific ocean drilling, the JOIDES Resolution is taking a holiday. The ship is heading to dry dock for what its operators describe as an "extreme makeover".


Scientific Drill Ship to Be Reborn
Science, 23 December 2005
CALIFORNIA--The JOIDES Resolution ends its 20-year career as the world's lone deep-sea scientific drilling ship next week. But the National Science Foundation (NSF) hopes that $115 million will bring her back into the water, better than ever. more

Ocean Drilling Takes Teacher to New Depths: Hoover science teacher spends two weeks at sea
The [Potomac, MD] Almanac, 2 November 2005
MARSTELLER and 12 other educators from around the country joined the ship's resident scientists and engineers for a collaborative expedition dubbed the "School of Rock" beginning Oct. 31. more

Scientists to study drill cores
Times Colonist (Victoria, British Columbia), 1 November 2005
The 143-metre exploration vessel JOIDES Resolution has returned to port with 1,200 metres of muddy drill cores pulled out of the seafloor off Vancouver Island's west coast.

Arctic Ocean ridge yields clues that tell of warm past
Anchorage Daily News (Alaska), 30 October 2005
From the depths of a long ridge spanning the floor of the Arctic Ocean, researchers have pulled up evidence of a plant that now grows in rice fields in Vietnam. This suggests that the top of the world was once a very warm place. more

Corvallis teacher goes to sea
Corvallis Gazette-Times, 28 October 2006
When the research ship JOIDES Resolution leaves Victoria, British Columbia, next week, a Corvallis science teacher and 12 other educators will join scientists from the Integrated Ocean Drilling Program for a 16-day ocean-going teacher education expedition nicknamed the "School of Rock." more

Expedition drills deep in study of climate issues
Times Colonist (Victoria, British Columbia), 17 October 2005
Just off the coast of Vancouver Island, a ship that looks more like an oil rig is digging deep beneath the ocean floor, unearthing chunks of ice that could tell scientists about climate change, landslides and even the next tsunami.

Paleoclimatology: A Record from the Deep
NASA, October 2005
Clad in a hard hat and steel-toe boots, paleoceanographer Jerry McManus strides onto the deck of the JOIDES Resolution, staring through the steel rigging that supports the shipÕs drilling equipment at the brilliant star-studded sky. Here, in the middle of the ocean, city lights do not dim the night sky, and the clear view is spectacular. McManus, an associate scientist at the Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution, has just completed another 12-hour shift in one of the ship's six science labs, where he has been analyzing samples of the sea floor to glean bits of evidence about past climates. more

Familiar research vessel back in Astoria
The Daily Astorian, 19 September 2005
The JOIDES (Joint Oceanographic Institutions Deep Earth Sampling) Resolution returned to Astoria last week and is getting ready for a scientific research mission off Vancouver Island, Canada. more

Drilling to The Core
Newsweek International Edition, 12 September 2005
In Jules Verne's classic 19th-century novel "Journey to the Center of the Earth," Professor Lidenbrock travels to a mysterious subterranean world. Now a Japanese ship is aiming to replicate his adventure, striking out on its own quest to explore the earth's depths. In August, the massive 57,000-metric-ton Chikyu ("Earth"), a cutting-edge deep-sea drilling vessel, left Nagasaki on a test run. more

Scientists studying lava under the ocean that shaped Earth's climate
Knight Ridder, 25 August 2005
Scientists on drill ships are studying colossal slabs of volcanic lava under the sea that shaped its climate, helped determine its life forms and record Earth's violent past. They think their research can help explain what's happening to our warming world today.

Getting to the Core of Climate Change
University of Florida, 23 August 2005
"The scenario of an abrupt climate change suddenly affecting us in a short period of time is not science fiction, that could happen," says Geology Professor Jim Channell. As a member of the Integrated Ocean Drilling Program—an international consortium made up of scientists from America, Europe and Japan—Channell recently co-led a two-month drilling expedition off the coast of Greenland to gather sediment samples from the floor of the North Atlantic. more

Underwater Sand Avalanches Linked To Sea-Level Changes In Gulf Of Mexico
Science Daily, 20 July 2005
New evidence has been found linking underwater catastrophic sand avalanches to rapid sea-level changes in deep waters of the Gulf of Mexico, according to marine geologists affiliated with the Integrated Ocean Drilling Program (IODP). more

Expedition 304/305 interview with Jay Miller on NPR's Science Friday segment.
NPR, 2 May 2005
WeÕll check in with the leader of a journey to the center of the EarthÑwell, almost. A several-month-long expedition aimed at drilling deep into the ocean floor recently ended. WeÕll talk about the deep geology of the planet, and why scientists want to find their Moho. audio

Hole Drilled to Bottom of Earth's Crust, Breakthrough to Mantle Looms
Live Science, 7 April 2005
Scientist said this week they had drilled into the lower section of Earth's crust for the first time and were poised to break through to the mantle in coming years. The Integrated Ocean Drilling Program (IODP) seeks the elusive "Moho," a boundary formally known as the Mohorovicic discontinuity. It marks the division between Earth's brittle outer crust and the hotter, softer mantle. more


Deep Drilling at Sea
Science News for Kids, 8 September 2004
Beakers and chemical bottles sit on shelves, just like in a normal science lab. High-powered microscopes, incubators for growing bacteria, and other equipment line the room, just like in a normal science lab. more

Drilling for Knowledge
Earth Radio, 30 August 2004
A new, international ocean drilling program boldly goes where no drill has gone before. more

Venture drills water from rock
The Daily Astorian, June 28, 2004
The JOIDES Resolution left Astoria Sunday on an expedition to learn more about a part of our world that, while right in our backyard, we know less about than the moon or Mars. more

New clues to Earth's magnetic flip-flops, 7 April 2004
Next time Earth's magnetic field flips, compass needles will point South instead of North. But scientists can't say when it will occur, and until now they've disagreed on how long the transitions take. more

Quick flip of Earth's magnetic field revealed, 7 April 2004
The Earth's magnetic field takes an average of only 7000 years to reverse its polarity, but the switch happens much more quickly near the equator, according to the most comprehensive study yet of the last four reversals. more

Scientists plan extensive sampling of ocean beds
KnightRidder, 3 March 2004
In a new research program getting under way this summer, ship-board scientists will punch thousands of holes in the ocean bottom and take samples from greater depths than ever before. They will be investigating the biology, chemistry and physics of "inner space," as they call the vast world hidden beneath the seas.