ACCOMPLISHMENTS AND CHALLENGES
Committee on the Review of the Scientific Accomplishments and Assessment of the Potential for
Future Transformative Discoveries with U.S.-Supported Scientific Ocean Drilling
Ocean Studies Board
Division on Earth and Life Studies
NATIONAL RESEARCH COUNCIL
Of THE NATIONAL ACADEMIES
THE NATIONAL ACADEMIES PRESS
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NOTICE: The project that is the subject of this report was approved by the Governing Board of the National Research Council, whose members are drawn from the councils of the National Academy of Sciences, the National Academy of Engineering, and the Institute of Medicine. The members of the committee responsible for the report were chosen for their special competences and with regard for appropriate balance.
This study was supported the National Science Foundation under grant number 1010773. Any opinions, findings, conclusions, or recommendations expressed in this publication are those of the author(s) and do not necessarily reflect the views of the organizations or agencies that provided support for the project.
International Standard Book Number-13: 978-0-309-21901-3
International Standard Book Number-10: 0-309-21901-9
Cover: Images of the JOIDES Resolution (front) and Chikyu (back left) are courtesy of the Integrated Ocean Drilling Program (IODP). Image of the L/B Kayd (back right) is courtesy of the European Consortium for Ocean Research Drilling, photograph by C. Cotterill. Global map of drill holes provided by Katerina Petronotis (IODP-U.S. Implementing Organization). Photos of cores provided by Rob McKay, Victoria University of Wellington, New Zealand (front) and IODP (back).
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Copyright 2011 by the National Academy of Sciences. All rights reserved.
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COMMITTEE ON THE REVIEW OF THE SCIENTIFIC ACCOMPLISHMENTS AND ASSESSMENT OF THE POTENTIAL FOR FUTURE TRANSFORMATIVE DISCOVERIES WITH U.S.-SUPPORTED SCIENTIFIC OCEAN DRILLING
ROBERT A. DUCE (Co-chair), Texas A&M University, College Station
ARTHUR GOLDSTEIN (Co-chair), Bridgewater State University, Massachusetts
SUBIR K. BANERJEE, University of Minnesota, Minneapolis
WILLIAM B. CURRY, Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution, Massachusetts
MAGNUS FRIBERG, Swedish Research Council, Stockholm
JULIE A. HUBER, Marine Biological Laboratory, Woods Hole, Massachusetts
MICHAEL E. JACKSON, Trimble Navigation, Westminister, Colorado
KEITH K. MILLHEIM, Strategic Worldwide LLC, The Woodlands, Texas
SAMUEL MUKASA, University of New Hampshire, Durham
TIMOTHY NAISH, Victoria University of Wellington, New Zealand
PAUL E. OLSEN, Columbia University, Palisades, New York
LORI L. SUMMA, ExxonMobil Upstream Research Company, Houston, Texas
ANNE M. TRÉHU, Oregon State University, Corvallis
DEBORAH GLICKSON, Senior Program Officer
ELIZABETH EIDE, Senior Program Officer
JEREMY JUSTICE, Senior Program Assistant (until July 2011)
LAUREN HARDING, Program Assistant (from August 2011)
IAN BROSNAN, Mirzayan Science and Technology Policy Fellow (Winter 2010)
OCEAN STUDIES BOARD
DONALD F. BOESCH (Chair), University of Maryland Center for Environmental Science, Cambridge
EDWARD A. BOYLE, Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Cambridge
CORTIS K. COOPER, Chevron Corporation, San Ramon, California
JORGE E. CORREDOR, University of Puerto Rico, Mayaguez
KEITH R. CRIDDLE, University of Alaska Fairbanks, Juneau
JODY W. DEMING, University of Washington, Seattle
ROBERT HALLBERG, National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration/Geophysical Fluid Dynamics Laboratory and Princeton University, New Jersey
DEBRA HERNANDEZ, Southeast Coastal Ocean Observing Regional Association, Mt. Pleasant, South Carolina
ROBERT A. HOLMAN, Oregon State University, Corvallis
KIHO KIM, American University, Washington, DC
BARBARA A. KNUTH, Cornell University, Ithaca, New York
ROBERT A. LAWSON, Science Applications International Corporation, San Diego, California
GEORGE I. MATSUMOTO, Monterey Bay Aquarium Research Institute, Moss Landing, California
JAY S. PEARLMAN, The Boeing Company (retired), Port Angeles, Washington
ANDREW A. ROSENBERG, Conservation International, Arlington, Virginia
DANIEL L. RUDNICK, Scripps Institution of Oceanography, La Jolla, California
ANNE M. TRÉHU, Oregon State University, Corvallis
PETER L. TYACK, Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution, Massachusetts
DON WALSH, International Maritime Incorporated, Myrtle Point, Oregon
DAWN J. WRIGHT, Oregon State University, Corvallis
JAMES A. YODER, Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution, Massachusetts
SUSAN ROBERTS, Director
DEBORAH GLICKSON, Senior Program Officer
CLAUDIA MENGELT, Senior Program Officer
KIM WADDELL, Senior Program Officer
SHERRIE FORREST, Associate Program Officer
PAMELA LEWIS, Administrative Coordinator
LAUREN HARDING, Program Assistant
GRAIG MANSFIELD, Financial Associate
Scientific ocean drilling has been at the forefront of Earth science since it was first envisioned in the late 1950s. During the intervening 50 plus years, probably the most productive period in the history of studying Earth, we have seen remarkable progress in understanding the Earth system. New theories emerged that include the discovery of plate tectonics, elucidation of global climate, the discovery of submarine hot springs and the vent biological communities they support, and the even more remarkable realization that there is an extensive subseafloor biota that may well inhabit all of the world’s oceanic sediments and much of the crystalline crust. The ability to retrieve drill cores from the ocean basins on a regular basis has been absolutely integral to all of these endeavors. Beginning in the late 1960s this work has been conducted in a highly organized, coordinated way via a variety of programs that grew increasingly complex and more international with time. Three different drillships have been commissioned expressly for scientific study of the oceans, and two are still in operation. The community has self-organized in such a way as to advance the most significant drilling projects, which stands as one of the most successful coordination efforts between an international scientific community and national funding agencies.
Our committee’s report looks backward at significant scientific accomplishments enabled by scientific ocean drilling and also looks forward to the next phase of scientific ocean drilling. Those two foci comprise the two main parts of the report. In the first part (Chapters 1-5) we discuss the scientific accomplishments that have resulted from the first three scientific ocean drilling projects, the Deep Sea Drilling Project, the Ocean Drilling Program, and the Integrated Ocean Drilling Program, which span from 1968 to the present. This committee task was both challenging and rewarding because some of the most exciting science of the times resulted from these programs. In the second part of the report (Chapter 6), we examine the plans for future drilling, which was also stimulating because the potential for future accomplishments is significant.
The committee and its Co-chairs thank the Ocean Studies Board staff for their excellent support throughout committee deliberations. In particular we thank Dr. Deborah Glickson, Senior Program Officer, for her outstanding scientific insights, her willingness to put in long hours at any time of the day or night, her constant availability for discussions, her patience with a group of widely divergent personalities from around the world, and her constant good humor and positive attitude. We could not have asked for a better partner throughout this more than year-long effort. We thank Dr. Susan Roberts, Director of the Ocean Studies Board, for her leadership and insights. We also sincerely appreciate the valuable assistance and wise advice given to us on many occasions during our meetings and during the preparation of this report by Dr. Elizabeth Eide, Senior Program Officer with the Board on Earth Sciences and Resources. Mr. Jeremy Justice handled all of our logistical arrangements promptly and expertly and seemed to anticipate our many needs even before we did. One of us particularly appreciated his ability to find Dr. Pepper wherever our meetings took place.
During the committee deliberations we held several conference calls and participated in five meetings at various locations. These meeting were as follows: Washington, DC (June 21-23, 2010); College Station, Texas (July 24-28, 2010); Victoria, British Columbia, Canada (September 6-10, 2010); Denver, Colorado (October 28-30, 2010); Boston, Massachusetts (June 14-15, 2011).
Robert Duce, Committee Co-chair
Arthur Goldstein, Committee Co-chair
This report was greatly enhanced by the participants of the meetings held as part of this study. The committee would like to acknowledge the efforts of the individuals who made presentations during committee meetings: Keir Becker (University of Miami), Michael Bickle (University of Cambridge), Robert DeConto (University of Massachusetts, Amherst), David Divins, Robert Gagosian, and Charna Meth (Consortium for Ocean Leadership), David Feary (National Research Council), and Christina Ravelo (University of California, Santa Cruz).
The committee is also grateful to the individuals who made presentations and provided white papers for the work-shop: Keir Becker (University of Miami), Jim Channell (University of Florida), Hans Christian Larsen (Integrated Ocean Drilling Program Management International, Inc.), Millard Coffin (National Oceanography Centre), Henry Dick (Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution), Robert Duncan (Oregon State University), Katrina Edwards (University of Southern California), Susan Humphris (Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution), Dennis Kent (Rutgers University), Jerry McManus (Columbia University), Kenneth Miller (Rutgers University), Casey Moore (University of California, Santa Cruz), Theodore Moore (University of Michigan), Dick Norris (Scripps Institution of Oceanography), Carolyn Ruppel (U.S. Geological Survey), Dale Sawyer (Rice University), Doug Wilson (University of California, Santa Barbara), and James Zachos (University of California, Santa Cruz).
The committee also thanks Bradford Clement and Mitch Malone (Integrated Ocean Drilling Program-U.S. Implementing Organization) for providing background data on the previous and current scientific ocean drilling programs and for hosting the committee at the Texas A&M Gulf Coast Core Facility; Jeffrey R. Seemann, Vice-President for Research, and Kate C. Miller, Dean of the College of Geosciences (Texas A&M University) for hosting a reception for the committee and workshop guests; Katerina Petronotis (Integrated Ocean Drilling Program-U.S. Implementing Organization), for providing maps for this report; and Kristin Ludwig (formerly of the Consortium for Ocean Leadership) for facilitating continuous coordination between the Integrated Ocean Drilling Program and the committee and for arranging the committee’s tour of the JOIDES Resolution.
This report has been reviewed in draft form by individuals chosen for their diverse perspectives and technical expertise, in accordance with procedures approved by the NRC’s Report Review Committee. The purpose of this independent review is to provide candid and critical comments that will assist the institution in making its published report as sound as possible and to ensure that the report meets institutional standards for objectivity, evidence, and responsiveness to the study charge. The review comments and draft manuscript remain confidential to protect the integrity of the deliberative process. We wish to thank the following individuals for their participation in their review of this report:
KEIR BECKER, University of Miami, Florida
EDWARD BOYLE, Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Cambridge
BARRY JAY KATZ, Chevron Energy Technology Group, Houston, Texas
PETER KELEMAN, Lamont-Doherty Earth Observatory, Columbia University, Palisades, New York
JOSEPH MEERT, University of Florida, Gainesville
ELDRIDGE MOORES, University of California, Davis
KEN NEALSON, University of Southern California, Los Angeles
HEDI OBERHÄNSLI, GFZ German Research Centre for Geosciences, Potsdam, Germany
ANDREW ROBERTS, Australian National University, Canberra
WILLIAM RUDDIMAN, University of Virginia, Charlottesville
DAVID SCHOLL, U.S. Geological Survey, Menlo Park, California
Although the reviewers listed above have provided many constructive comments and suggestions, they were not asked to endorse the conclusions or recommendations nor did they see the final draft of the report before its release. The review of this report was overseen by Andrew R. Solow, Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution, appointed by the Divison on Earth and Life Studies, who was responsible for making certain that an independent examination of this report was carried out in accordance with institutional procedures and that all review comments were carefully considered. Responsibility for the final content of this report rests entirely with the authoring committee and the institution.