Apply to Sail

Deadline: January 15, 2016:
  • JR Exp 367 and 368 (South China Sea Rifted Margin): two expeditions in 2017 (Feb/March and April/May). 

The two South China Sea (SCS) expeditions 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.

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. Interested scientists are encouraged to read staffing information from the science operator.

Applications for IODP expeditions are made through your respective Program Member Office: