GSA Annual Meeting in Phoenix, Arizona, USA - 2019

Paper No. 245-15
Presentation Time: 11:45 AM


ST. JOHN, Kristen, Department of Geology and Environmental Science, James Madison University, Dept of Geology & Env Sci, MSC 6903, Harrisonburg, VA 22807, KOPPERS, Anthony, College of Earth, Ocean and Atmospheric Sciences, Oregon State University, Corvallis, OR 97331-5503, NEAL, Clive R., Civil Engineering, Environmental Engineering, and Earth Science, University of Notre Dame, 156 Fitzpatrick Hall, Notre Dame, IN 46556 and WRIGHT, James D., Department of Earth and Planetary Sciences, Rutgers University, Piscataway, NJ 08854

Scientific ocean drilling has passed the half-century mark, since the maiden voyage of the Glomar Challenger in 1968. Discoveries from scientific ocean drilling through the DSDP, ODP and IODP programs have helped reveal Earth’s history and have been critical to shaping our understanding of how our planet works. Today’s results from scientific ocean drilling have never been stronger, yet many challenges in the Earth sciences require future scientific ocean drilling and improved technologies. The current phase of scientific ocean drilling will end after 2023, which is only four years away. At that same time the JOIDES Resolution will be 45 years old. We are at a critical turning point, with the current science plan expiring and the JR in need of a replacement. Thus, the US instituted a steering committee to plan and take action for the continuation of scientific ocean drilling beyond 2023; similar committees have been formed by our international partners /consortia.

Our planning mission is to put into place a new international science plan that is forward thinking and based on cutting-edge ideas. This plan will provide the justification to acquire a modernized, next-generation, riserless drilling platform that will be globally ranging. Such a vessel will advance scientific ocean drilling results in challenging geological environments. It will increase the number of expedition “science days” through reduced transit times and faster pipe tripping, and improve core quality through reduction in weight-on-bit variations. We also anticipate more lab space which will increase the opportunity to grow the shipboard laboratory capabilities in the future.

Broad community input through surveys and meetings of scientists representing a diverse range of research sub-disciplines and career stages is shaping a new science plan that emphasizes cross-disciplinary connections (hazards, habitability, cycles and rates) and strategic objectives. The draft strategic objectives are outcomes-driven and are supported by fundamental research questions. In addition, we have defined a draft vision statement to guide all future scientific ocean drilling, and are exploring options for a new program name. The purpose of this presentation is to provide an overview of the planning process and an update on progress to date towards this mission.