Expedition 368 South China Rift Margin

In Progress: 
Use more prominent map marker
Testing hypothesis about the mechanisms of lithosphere extension during continental break up.
Expedition Start Date: 
04/13/2017 - 10:35
Expedition End Date: 
06/11/2017 - 10:35
Teaser Text: 

How do continents separate? What is happening at their margins? How do we test out possible explanations in the middle of the South China Sea? What does working as an international team of scientist look like? Why are they looking for green rocks? And most important why is "hmm that's funny" more exciting than "Eureka" when doing science?

Dates: 11 April 2017 to 11 June 2017
Ports: Hong Kong, and Shanghai China
Co-chief Scientists: Zhimin Jian< & Hans Christian Larsen<
Staff Scientist: Carlos Alvarez Zarikian<

Meet the Scientists of Expedition 368! <

On-board Education Outreach Officers: Amanda Wolfe<, Shuhao Xie, and Gailun Zhang

Along the South China Sea Rifted Margin (SCSRM) a thinning crust of Earth's outermost shell, the lithosphere, creates a mystery to unravel. Expeditions 367 and 368 of the International Ocean Discovery Program worked together over the course of 4 months at sea to uncover the processes of continental break up. By retrieving core samples from the bottom of the SCSRM the team of 66 international scientists looked back in time, the geologic record, at the opening of SCSRM.

What could be happening at the SCSRM and why do we care? Scientific understanding of plate tectonics helps us explain the basic physical features around the world as well as how to predict natural disasters. Simplified, all of Earth’s land and water sit on large, moving plates made of solid rock. These plates make up the Earth’s outer shell, and when these plates move, mountains, continents and oceans are formed, volcanoes erupt, the Earth quakes, and the ripple effect of those phenomena can cause tsunamis! But what causes this movement? One of the culprits are Divergent zones which are areas where the plates are thinning and new crust is formed. The SCSRM is an example of a divergent plate boundary where a new ocean basin is being formed as the crust weakens and breaks.

There are two well known types of divergent boundaries in deep sea rifting margins. A magma-rich margin where large amount of volcanism and fast spreading occur and a low magma type where a slow hyperextension and thinning of the Earth's crust occurs.  It is predicted from previously analyzed seismic data that the SCSRM is like the later kind of divergent boundary. The SCSRM shares many features with the well-studied margins of Iberia-Newfoundland with one exception. At the Iberia-Newfoundland margin the plates are slowly spreading at a rate of 0-1 cm per year while the SCSRM spreads at an intermediate measuring 3-5 cm a year! The kind of rock found at the Iberia-Newfoundland margin was serpentinized mantle (typically a soft green rock) which would indicate that the mantle rock was exposed to water which is one of the hypotheses for how plate break up occurs. However, with the different rate of spreading at SCSRM in this 150-200 km wide zone we may be looking at a new model for the mechanisms of plate weakening. Depending on the results of the analysis of the core which will continue back on land, the scientists will be able to confirm or refute whether the South China Sea Rifted Margin is similar to the well studied Iberia-Newfoundland margin or a new type of seafloor spreading rift margin!

Please join us by following the process of discovery aboard the JOIDES Resolution! 

JOIDES Resolution 

Education Outreach Team: 

Amanda Wolfe
 is a High School Biology and Project Lead the Way Teacher who has been working with the National Science Teachers Association this school year. Amanda will work with you to provide live broadcasts with the scientist on board the JOIDES Resolution. She will be reporting stories from Expedition 368 on her blog<. Further more, she will be working to develop lessons that model real science in the field. She looks forward to working with you to share the passion for discovery at sea!

Shuhao Xie is a journalist and documentary director who works in Shanghai TV Station. He will be capturing the stories on board theJOIDES Resolution through high quality photos and video of the Expedition 368.  These stories will certainly increase public interest about the International Ocean Discovery Program and the process of science at sea!

Gailun Zhang is a reporter for the newspaper Science & Technology Daily in Beijing (http://www.stdaily.com/<). She will be producing daily reports and short videos for her column about the science happening on board the JOIDES Resolution Expedition 368. Here is an example<

Expedition 340T: Atlantis Massif

In Progress: 
Not In Progress
A mini-expedition to gather information about a previously drilled hole - in order to plan future experiments at that site.
Expedition Start Date: 
02/15/2012 - 07:00
Expedition End Date: 
03/03/2012 - 08:00
Teaser Text: 

Expedition 340T will measure rock properties, how they vary with depth, and whether adjacent seawater temperatures change. These data will test hypotheses about how crust forms and evolves at the slow-spreading Mid-Atlantic Ridge.

Lisbon, Portugal to San Juan, Puerta Rico; 15 February - 3 March 2012

Co-chief Scientists:  Donna Blackman and Alistair Harding, Scripps Institution of Oceanography

Expedition Project Manager/Logging Staff Scientist:  Angela Schlegel, Lamont Doherty Earth Observatory

Logging Staff Scientist:  Giles Guerin, Lamont Doherty Earth Observatory

Onboard Education Officer:  Virginia Jones, Bonneville High School, Idaho Falls, Idaho


The seafloor is anything but a flat, featureless expanse of mud. Huge mountains and deep valleys – as dramatic as anything you would find on land – give shape to the solid surfaces far beneath the waves. Most of the mountains are volcanoes or other related structures, made from the black rock (called basalt) that makes up most of the igneous ocean crust. But every so often, scientists find an undersea mountain that doesn’t quite match expectations.

One such mountain, called Atlantis Massif, sits in the middle of the Atlantic Ocean nearly 3,000 miles east of the United States. Measuring about 10 miles across and rising nearly 14,000 feet from the surrounding seafloor, it is roughly the size of Mt. Rainier in Washington State. But while its size is impressive, scientists are most interested in what Atlantis Massif is made of and how it formed.

“Vast ocean basins cover most of the Earth, yet they are formed in a narrow zone. We are working in that source zone to understand how rifting and magmatism work together to form submarine mountains.” Donna Blackman, Co-Chief Scientist, Expedition 340T Atlantis Massif

Called an Oceanic Core Complex, or OCC for short, Atlantis Massif is a giant mass of rock types (such as gabbro and peridotite) that are usually only found much deeper, below the typical basaltic upper crust. It sits close to the Atlantic oceanic spreading center, a seam that runs right down the middle of the ocean where the seafloor is constantly spreading. This rifting must have played a role in forming Atlantis Massif, but how did such a big mass of deep rock find its way to the surface? What more can this tell us about the processes that shape the ocean floor?

About seven years ago, the JOIDES Resolution was the first to drill into Atlantis Massif to answer these questions. This month, the ship will return to Atlantis Massif and revisit the same drill hole to answer even more questions. Among them:

  • How much water is flowing through the rock, compared with other types of seafloor rocks? This can give an idea of how quickly these types of rocks “weather” as they are exposed to the chemicals found in seawater.
  • How variable is the temperature at different depths within the hole? Scientists can correlate this to the layers of different rock types found on the first expedition.

While many of the expeditions onboard the JOIDES Resolution last for 8 weeks or more, the expedition to Atlantis Massif will be a very short one – just three days to collect all the data the science team needs. This is a big reason why the team is not drilling any new holes, but instead using sensitive instruments to make measurements on the rock that hosts the hole that was already drilled several years ago.

<“This is a great opportunity to ground truth our recent analysis. We’ll see if Atlantis Massif surprises us once more.” Alistair Harding, Co-Chief Scientist, Expedition 340T Atlantis Massif.


Results of the J/aRt Art Under Pressure

These are the sculptures that actually withstood the conditions mostly in one piece.The white foam coffee cup did not go down and is in the picture for scale. The Angry Bird was made of open cell Styrofoam. While he did not shrink, he did take a beating. Watch the video< of their journey!!

Wolfgang Bach

Co-Chief Scientist
Department of Geosciences
Center for Marine Environmental Sciences (MARUM)

Katrina Edwards

Co-Chief Scientist
Department of Biological Sciences & Department of Earth Sciences
University of Southern California

Expedition 334: Costa Rica Seismogenesis Project

In Progress: 
Not In Progress
Sampling and quantifying input to the seismogenic zone and fluid output
Expedition Start Date: 
03/16/2011 - 06:00
Expedition End Date: 
04/13/2011 - 08:00
Teaser Text: 

Co-chief scientists: Paola Vannucchi (University of Florence) and Kohtaro Ujiie (University of Tsukuba)

Staff Scientist: Nicole Stroncik

Logging Staff Scientist: Alberto Malinverno

Education Officer: Jennifer Saltzman (Stanford University)

March 15, 2011 - April 13, 2011

Leaving from and returning to Puntarenas, Costa Rica

Co-chief scientists: Paola Vannucchi (University of Florence) and Kohtaro Ujiie (University of Tsukuba)

Staff Scientist: Nicole Stroncik

Logging Staff Scientist: Alberto Malinverno

Education Officer: Jennifer Saltzman (Stanford University)

The Costa Rica Seismogenesis Project (CRISP) is designed to better understand the processes that control large earthquakes at subduction zones. CRISP involves the only known erosional end-member of convergent margins within reach of scientific drilling. With a low sediment supply, fast convergence rate, abundant seismicity, and subduction erosion, CRISP offers excellent opportunities to learn causes of earthquake nucleation and rupture propagation. This expedition will focus on understanding the boundary conditions of lithology, fluid flow, and thermal structure that trigger unstable slip in the seismogenic zone along a drilling transect at two slope sites. These slope sites might also serve as pilot holes for potential future drilling projects to reach the aseismic/seismic plate boundary.

Big Questions and Objectves:

1. What is the top of the plate material like in this area where one plate is moving under an other?  Estimate the composition, texture, and physical properties of the upper plate material.
2. What is the rate of the Cocos Plate moving under Costa Rica?  Assess the subduction channel thickness and the rate of subduction erosion.
3. How do fluids contribute to the start of earthquakes? Evaluate fluid/rock interaction, the hydrologic system, and the geochemical processes (indicated by composition and volume of fluids) active within the upper plate.
4. How is the stress in the rocks distributed in this area of earthquakes? Measure the stress field across the updip limit of the seismogenic zone.

Follow along with our blogs, Facebook and Twitter posts and more!


United States
8° 35' 32.4816" N, 84° 4' 37.8372" W

Expedition 327: Juan de Fuca Hydrogeology

In Progress: 
Not In Progress
Installing CORKS on the Juan de Fuca Ridge
Expedition Start Date: 
07/09/2010 - 13:00
Expedition End Date: 
09/04/2010 - 08:00
Teaser Text: 

During Expedition 327 we installed subseafloor observatories in two new holes in oceanic crust, replaced an observatory in an existing hole to facilitate long-term monitoring, recovered and replaced an instrument string deployed in one of the Expedition 301 subseafloor borehole observatories; and completed remedial cementing of another Expedition 301 observatory that is not sealed at the seafloor.

Expedition 327 included an international education and outreach program to develop tools and techniques that facilitate the communication of exciting scientific drilling results to a broad audience, build educational curricula, and create media products that will help achieve critical outreach goals.

Juan de Fuca Ridge Flank Hydrogeology*

Dates: 5 July 2010 - 5 September 2010

Co-Chiefs: Andrew Fisher, University of California, Santa Cruz

Takeshi Tsuji, Kyoto University

Staff Scientist: Katerina Petronotis, Integrated Ocean Drilling Program</Texas A&M University

Staff Educator: Leslie Peart, Deep Earth Academy</Consortium for Ocean Leadership

For more about this expedition, follow the team listed below, listen to one< of our Ocean Gazing podcasts<, read what scientist Amanda Turner has to say on her blog<, or watch Beth Orcutt's all new video< about CORKS and how they're put together.

This expedition is part of an experiment that builds on results from Leg 168 and Expedition 327 to the Juan de Fuca Ridge in 1996 and 2004. We've been working in this area for quite a long time! Our main goal is to measure how water moves in the ocean's crust and how the water changes the rock around it. We want to know more about the role of heat and pressure in the water's movements, where and how it is stored, and connections between its pathways.

We're also very interested in the microbes< scientists have been finding there. Think about it -- microbes living where there's no light or oxygen. How are they adapted to living in the seafloor water and rock, and what changes do they cause in the rock around them?

But why spend 60 days at sea working 'round the clock to sample water in the seafloor? To have a better understanding of the role this groundwater plays in the the processes of the Earth and ocean.  During Expedition 327, our scientists, engineers, and drillers will lower sampling tools known as CORKs in two new holes we're drilling in the oceanic crust below. The tops of the holes will be sealed from the ocean water above, and each CORK will sample water and microbes while collecting temperature and pressure measturements for several years. Future expeditions with submersibles will recover the tools and allow us to conduct water flow experiments in a network of CORKs in the area.

The Expedition 327 team includes an international education and outreach program intended to develop tools and techniques that facilitate the communication of exciting scientific drilling results to a broad audience, build educational curricula, and create media products that will help achieve critical outreach goals.

*For a more detailed scientific explanation, see the Expedition Prospectus<.

L’expédition 327 fait partie d’une expérience à long terme regroupant plusieurs disciplines et poursuit les travaux entrepris lors de l’expédition 301.

L'objectif de ces missions est de collecter des données pour améliorer la compréhension des échanges d’eau entre l’océan et les roches du fond des océans. Les chercheurs veulent savoir comment l’eau circule à travers ces roches encore chaudes nées dans la dorsale. L’objectif est aussi d’établir des relations entre la circulation des liquides, la transformation des roches et l’activité des micro-organismes vivants mais aussi les rapports entre mesures sismiques – réalisées lors d’une mission précédente - et les propriétés aquifères de ces roches.
Durant l’expédition 327, deux nouvelles stations de mesures vont être placées dans deux nouveaux forages. Il y aura également une révision de la fixation d’une station installée par l’expédition 301 alors qu'une autre va être remplacée pour améliorer les études à long terme. 
Grâce à l’expédition 327, des expériences menées à l’aide de sous-marins vont être réalisées dans chaque forage. De plus, grâce au réseau de stations de mesures installées, les scientifiques auront accès à des données relatives à la circulation de l'eau à travers la croûte océanique.
Cette expédition va aussi inclure un projet international d’éducation et de promotion. Cette équipe aura pour mission de rendre plus accessible les données scientifiques de ce programme de forage, de construire des documents à usage éducatif et d'assurer les objectifs de communication.

Meet our fantastic Education and Outreach Team for Expedition 327!

Jackie Kane<; St Ursula Academy (high school), Toledo, Ohio

Jackie Kane joins JOIDES Resolution Expedition 327 and its team of educators to continue the outreach of shipboard science to academics and the public worldwide. She holds two master degrees in education and approaches her 24th year of teaching in Ohio, grades 7-12. Jackie participates in workshops and research experiences, particularly in remote sensing and nanotechnology at the University of Toledo, vacuum science through the American Vacuum Society, and alternate energy through a BP grant (constructing a wind and solar powered-lamppost outside her classroom at school, 2007). She advises JETS and Science clubs at her school, each of which has recently won Engineering and NASA competitions.

Jackie’s experiences with webcasts, publishing, inventing, and presenting, combined with other life experiences, equip her for this capstone work aboard the JR. She enjoys presenting at conferences and workshops and developing solutions to problems. And though she marvels at the process for preparing articles for publications, Jackie has authored and co-authored articles in science education journals.

In what seems like a long time ago, Jackie believes her trip around the world on the Universe Campus ship, repelling off cliffs and careening down the Green River in Colorado Outward Bound, finessing her way through motherhood, while relying heavily on her faith and husband of 36 years, adds to the way she looks at science, education and communication. Jackie hopes to stir up the sediment of buried curiosity for ocean research in her home area on the western shore of Lake Erie. Come join her on Expedition 327, summer 2010, as she studies alongside the experts to explore the largest lab on Earth, the ocean floor and below!

Stephanie Keske<; College of Architecture, Texas A&M University

I am a student in the Department of Visualization within the College of Architecture at Texas A&M University. I received my B.S. in Visualization in May, and I will be continuing at A&M in pursuit of a M.S. in Visualization starting in the fall. My interests include computer graphics, photography, videography, and traditional art.

Though I attend college in Texas, I am from the Midwest at heart. I grew up in Ohio and completed high school in Michigan. When I'm not spending time doing projects and staring at a computer screen, I love to be outdoors. In the summer, I enjoy backpacking, rock climbing, and kayaking, and in winter I ski and snowboard.

Bejonty Richardson<; Virginia State University; Petersburg, VA; HBCU Fellow

I am currently a rising sophomore at Virginia State University, majoring in Manufacturing Engineering. My concentration is in green engineering and processes.  I was born in Atlanta, Georgia to an Air Force mom. Moved to Washington State when I was 2 and resided there until 5 years ago when I moved to Virginia.  I am a lifetime student. I enjoy being in class, learning new things and things that challenge me. I'm especially interested in all things hands-on, if I don't know what it is, I'm liable to take it apart, which led me to my first great love, Legos.  I have been a tutor since I was in the sixth grade and played the violin since the fifth. I have an ever increasing love for snakes and other animals which is apparent from the 30 walking sticks, 5 frogs, 3 lizards, 2 snakes, 4 cats, 25 fish and 3 dogs I have owned in my life thus far. I have aspirations to travel all over the world.  I can be found either reading or studying more often then not, although I would love to spend more of my time doing the things I love like camping, rock climbing, caving, white water rafting and other extreme sports 

Dinah Bowman<; Illustrator/Adventure Artist, Portland, TX 

 I have been a professional artist for the past 30 years. My gallery and frame shop is located in Portland, Texas, a little town on the Gulf of Mexico. I work in a variety of media including watercolor, acrylic, collage, scratchboard, and GYOTAKU (Japanese fish printing). I enjoy doing illustrations of fish, birds, plants and other biota found in marine and estuarine environments. My fine art pieces can be found in public and private collections across the U.S. During my spare time, I enjoy traveling, nature watching,fishing, visiting art galleries and museums, SCUBA diving, "junqueing", and reading.

Brigitte Thiberge<, High School Teacher, Normandy, France

My name is Brigitte. I'm a 41-year-old French teacher living in Normandy.

I graduated in 1992 and passed an agregation in Rennes. I was happy studying biology and geology for 5 years after the baccalaureat (end of high school ) but then it was the end of my studies and the beginning of another story, being a teacher in a quite difficult area where I could learn real teaching!  Three years later, I had a quieter place in a high school in Bayeux where I stayed. I love this job but I'm interested in plenty of other things - that is why I'm always exploring other experiences when I can, other types of lessons, other levels, other topics. It's why I'm so happy to jump into the JOIDES Resolution - I remember my own teachers speaking of it at university! It's why I'm also very glad to discover and work with all of you. See you soon! 

Jean Marie Gautier<; High School Teacher, Normandy, France

Jean Marie is from France and is 36 years old. He graduated from a French Agregation of biology and geology. As a teacher in High school, he worked for 5 years in French Guyana. There, he managed several innovative educational programs. When he returns to Normandy in September, he hopes to carry on with exciting educational programming.

Getting involved in this a project is a youthful dream for Jean Marie!


July 1010
United States
47° 45' 39.7188" N, 127° 45' 40.4388" W

Expedition 318: Wilkes Land Glacial History

In Progress: 
Not In Progress
Expedition 318 will provide a long-term record of Antarctic glaciation and its intimate relationships with global climate change.
Expedition Start Date: 
01/09/2010 - 07:00
Expedition End Date: 
03/09/2010 - 10:00
Teaser Text: 

Co-chief Scientists: Carlota Escutia Dotti (Spain) and Henk Brinkhuis (The Netherlands)

Logging Staff Scientists: Annick Fehr and Trevor Williams

Staff Scientist: Adam Klaus

Videographer: Dan Brinkhuis

Adam Klaus explains IODP Expedition 318 to Young Explorers in Texas (and we thought you might like it, too)

The Wilkes Land Glacial history expedition started in Wellington, New Zealand on 4 Jan 2010 and returned to Hobart, Tasmania on 9 March.  While off the coast of Antarctica, we took cores from the seafloor to investigate when and why the ice sheet started growing on Antarctica and how the ice sheet has grown and melted during the last 35 million years.

We focused on learning about the interaction of climate, ice sheet growth, and ocean currents.  The sediment cores we brought into the labs on the ship covered periods in Earth's history that were extremely warm - think palm trees and crocodiles at the poles - instead of polar bears and penguins!

At one of the expedition sites, we obtained a super-high resolution record (very detailed) of just the last 10,000 years - the sediment at this site was deposited so quickly that each yearly layer is about 3 cm thick.  This gives us an Antarctic climate history record just like what tree rings can give. 

Why did we do this?  If we want to have any chance of predicting how our climate might change in the future, we must understand how the Earth's climate system (air, ice, oceans) worked in the past.  The sediments deposited on the seafloor record the climatic and oceanographic conditions at the time they were deposited - our sediment cores are one of the only and best ways we can get at this important information. 

C0-CHIEF SCIENTISTS:  Carlota Escutia Dotti (Spain) and Henk Brinkhuis (The Netherlands)

LOGGING STAFF SCIENTISTS:  Annick Fehr and Trevor Williams


Follow along with these great resources!





January 19, 2010
United States
63° 50' 28.932" S, 138° 49' 23.8692" E

Koichi Hoyanagi

Co-Chief Scientist
Department of Geology
Shinshu University



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