Scientific ocean drilling represents one of Earth sciences' longest running and most successful international collaborations.
In 1961 when drilling technology was successfully used to recover the first sample of oceanic crust by the CUSS, scientific drilling took root as a new scientific discipline. This Project Mohole led by the American Miscellaneous Society with funding from the National Science Foundation was an ambitious attempt to drill through the Earth's crust into the Mohorovičić discontinuity and to provide an Earth science complement to the high profile Space Race.
The next phrase of scientific ocean drilling, the Deep Sea Drilling Project (DSDP), began in 1966 and operated using the D/V Glomar Challenger. This pioneer vessel for DSDP conducted drilling and coring operations in the Atlantic, Pacific and Indian oceans as well as the Mediterranean and Red Seas. The Glomar Challenger also advanced the technology of deep-ocean.
In 1985, JOIDES Resolution replaced the Glomar Challenger at the start of a new program, the Ocean Drilling Program (ODP). ODP was truly an international cooperative effort to explore and study the composition and structure of the Earth's subseafloors. During ODP, the JOIDES Resolution, a larger and more advanced drilling ship, was used to conduct 110 expeditions with 2000 holes from major geological features located throughout the ocean basins of the world.
Integrated Ocean Drilling Program (IODP)builds upon earlier successes of the Deep Sea Drilling Project (DSDP) and Ocean Drilling Program (ODP) to revolutionize our view of Earth history and global processes through ocean basin exploration. The program, begun in 2003, distinguishes itself from its legacy programs by employing multiple drilling platforms, JOIDES Resolution, Chikyu and Mission-Specific-Platforms and collaborating with 26 worldwide nations.
Currently, a new program called the "The International Ocean Discovery Program -Exploring the Earth Under the Sea-" is being planned by 26 nations and is scheduled to start in October 2013.
Detailed information on each program, scientific details, engineering operations, samples, data and publications and outreach materials is located on the following website :