IODP At a Glance
The International Ocean Discovery Program (IODP) is an international research collaboration that conducts seagoing expeditions to study the history of the Earth recorded in sediments and rocks beneath the seafloor.
The Earth deep below the seafloor contains a unique record of our planet’s history and structure. Scientists study the subseafloor to better understand Earth’s components, processes, and phenomena. This research helps answer questions about fundamental aspects of our planet such as the past global environment, the deep biosphere, plate tectonics, and deep fluid flow.
Since its beginnings in the mid-20th century, scientific ocean drilling represents the longest running and most successful international collaboration among the Earth sciences. Over the years, this scientific collaboration has provided deep insight into Earth’s dynamic nature including tectonic processes, ocean circulation, climate change, continental rifting, bulk chemistry, subseafloor microbiological communities, and ocean basin formation.
Today, scientists who conduct this ship-board research are drawn from 26 countries that make financial contributions to operate the IODP drilling platforms. Scientist participate in expeditions conducted using multiple ships and drilling platforms. Reviewd by international representatives on a scientific advisory panels and before selection foer implementation by facility boards, hypothesis-driven scientific proposals undertake to sample and study the subsurface at specific locations in the Earth’s oceans. Samples and data collected during IODP expeditions are available for investigation by the global scientific community.
By deploying state-of-the-art ocean drilling technologies, IODP advances the scientific understanding of the Earth and unifies the international research community to understand Earth as a system.