The drillship JOIDES Resolution ("JR") has returned to international operations, and will make a port call in Honolulu, Hawaii, May 5-9.
When it arrives, an international team of scientists studying
seafloor sediments will have completed the first of two 9-week Integrated Ocean
Drilling Program (IODP) expeditions to the equatorial Pacific Ocean.
After more than 2 years of rebuilding, the JR has new
capabilities that include an upgraded sub-sea camera system, improved core-handling
capability, and new core research stations and software, among others.
The National Science Foundation (NSF), the University of
Hawaii at Manoa's School of Ocean & Earth Sciences & Technology
(SOEST), and the Integrated Ocean Drilling Program-US Implementing Organization
will welcome guests to the ship on Wednesday, May 6.
"The Resolution carries science teams whose research
will help us better understand Earth's current climate and its ancient sea
levels," says NSF Director Arden Bement, Jr. "This research will help
resolve the puzzles of continental drift, volcano formation and the onset of
During the first phase of IODP drilling operations from
2004-2006, 12 expeditions were conducted. Ten of those expeditions were
conducted aboard the JR prior to its redesign.
"Having twice sailed as an ocean drilling expedition
co-chief scientist, I'm especially pleased to see the lab upgrades and return
to operations of this amazing educational asset," says Brian Taylor, dean
IODP is an international marine research program dedicated
to advancing scientific understanding of the Earth through drilling, coring and
monitoring the subseafloor. The program operates three drilling platforms:
Chikyu, a riser-equipped vessel provided by Japan; the JOIDES Resolution, the
newly refurbished research vessel provided by the United States; and
mission-specific drilling platforms, such as jack-up rigs similar to those that
drill for oil in the Gulf of Mexico, managed by ECORD, the European
Consortium for Ocean Research Drilling.
During the first week of May 2009, all three platforms will
be conducting investigations.
The Chikyu will disembark from Shingu in Japan for the Nankai
Trough Seismogenic Experiment (NanTroSEIZE), a multi-expedition drilling
project focused on an earthquake-generating zone.
The JOIDES Resolution will continue the Pacific Equatorial
Age Transect (PEAT) Expedition, sampling Pacific Ocean sediments and studying
the transition from climates that existed 15 million to 50 million years
ago to today's conditions. Scientists aboard the JR will investigate warm
periods in Earth's history that share many features with the warm period Earth currently
ECORD, through its operator the British Geological Survey,
will core continental shelf sediments off New Jersey to study changes in sea level
from 14 million to 24 million years ago.
See the May 4 news article, ”Scientists Launch Drill
Rig off New Jersey Shore,” for additional information on the ECORD project.
Drillship JOIDES Resolution Arrives at Port
May 7, 2009