Science News

Apply to Sail: South China Sea Rifted Margin

The International Ocean Discovery Program (IODP) is now accepting applications for scientific participants on Expeditions 367-368 South China Sea Rifted Margin, aboard the JOIDES Resolution.

The two South China Sea (SCS) Rifted Margin Expeditions (based on IODP Proposals 878-CPP and 878-Add) aim to understand the mechanisms of lithosphere extension during continental breakup at a non-volcanic rifted margin.

The SCS margin shows similarities to the hyper-extended Iberia-Newfoundland margins, possibly including exhumed and serpentinized mantle within the Continent-Ocean-Transition (COT). However, modeling studies suggest that there can be mechanisms of plate weakening other than serpentinization of sub-continental lithospheric mantle. Two competing models for plate rupture (in the absence of excessively hot asthenospheric mantle) have widely different predictions for development of the SCS margin.

To discriminate between these models, a series of deep-penetration sites will be drilled across a 150-200 km wide zone of highly extended seaward-thinning crust with a well-imaged COT zone. Coring and logging deep/basal sediments and underlying basement is the primary objective.

The proposed drill sites determine the nature of crust within the COT and constrain (a) post-breakup crustal subsidence, (b) how soon after breakup igneous crust started to form, (c) timing of rifting, and (d) rate of extension. The science objectives can be effectively addressed at these drill sites because of the existing constraints on SCS formation and stratigraphy that include industry drilling, ODP Leg 184 and IODP Expedition 349 drilling, as well as due to the young (Paleogene) rifting of the margin and absence of excessively thick post-rift sediments.

Expedition 367 is currently scheduled to run from 7 February to 9 April in 2017 and Expedition 368 from 9 April to 9 June in 2017. Because both expeditions are part of one scientific program, a single application form will be used. Applicants can indicate an expedition preference on the application if desired. Additional information on these expeditions can be found here.

Opportunities exist for researchers (including graduate students) in all specialties – including but not limited to sedimentologists, structural geologists, petrologists, paleontologists, biostratigraphers, paleomagnetists, petrophysicists, borehole geophysicists, microbiologists, and inorganic/organic geochemists.

U.S.-affiliated scientists interested in participating in this expedition should apply to sail through the U.S. Science Support Program. The deadline to apply is 15 January 2016.

For questions, please email This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..

 

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