An adventure on the JOIDES Resolution: One year later

Fig. 1 – (Top) One of the many magnificent sunrises observed by scientists on board the JR; (Bottom) View of the derrick, tower that holds the drill string, from the Bridge Deck, and (Top-left) all Expedition 360 participants. Images credits: William Crawford, Exp. 360 Senior Imaging Specialist; Jiansong Zhang, Exp. 360 Education/Outreach Officer.

Earlier this year Barbara wrote about ‘Life on board of a scientific drilling vessel’. That interview gave some hints in the unique experience my colleagues and I shared on board the Joides Resolution. Now, you might wonder what Joides Resolution (JR) exactly is. The JR is a drilling vessel dedicated to scientific research on ocean and ocean crust dynamics. Different disciplines are involved, from geology (to elucidate the formation of the oceanic crust), to climate change science (to understand how the Earth handled past climatic events), oceanography (to study global water circulation), or microbiology (to track extreme life in rocks forming the ocean floor).Cores of rocks are drilled under the ocean floor, giving scientists a glimpse into Earth’s dynamics. The JR works for the international research program IODP (International Ocean Discovery Program), a marine research collaboration that aims at recovering data recorded in seafloor sediments and rocks, and monitoring subseafloor environments. Continue reading

Life on board of a scientific drilling vessel

Today, we are getting an impression of how daily life is on board of a scientific drilling vessel. At the moment Carlotta is on board the Joides Resolution, one of the scientific drilling ships of the International Ocean Discovery Program (IODP). She is part of the Expedition 360 Southwest Indian Ridge with its goal to drill into rocks of the lowermost oceanic crust and the crust-mantle transition zone (see blogpost about the oceanic crust). The SW Indian Ridge is a very slow spreading ridge (that means that the oceanic plates diverge about 8 mm/yr), located south-east of Madagascar (see image 1). The expedition started on 30th November, leaving Colombo and will end 30th of January once Port Louis will be reached. You see, this is quite a long time she is spending at sea!

I asked Carlotta a few question about how it is to be part of such an adventure and how it feels to work on a ship that moves all the time with the same group of people for 2 months!

Image 1: Map showing the start (Colombo) and end (Port Louis) points of the cruise (in orange) as well as the transition (yellow dots) from Sri Lanka southwards to the drilling spot (dot in red). Map taken from IODP.

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