A team of researchers is going to investigate the Atlantic breakup through drilling the magmatic and sedimentary Paleogene succession.
The large team of international researchers, led by Ritske Huismans from Bergen University, will sample the basalts and intercalated sediments deposited during the break-up of the Atlantic Ocean in Paleogene times. The campaign is in the agenda for August-October 2021.
The main aim of the expedition is to better understand the mantle processes behind the emplacement of the large volumes of magma in the area. In addition, the extrusion and intrusion of magma also coincided with global greenhouse (hot) climate in the early Paleogene. To better understand the link between both short-term (Paleocene-Eocene Thermal Maximum) and long-term (early Eocene Climate Optimum) global warming and the magmatic events, the timing of the magmatism is of key importance. This will be further constrained through analysis of material collected during the expedition.
3D seismic data collected by the oil and gas industry during the past decade have provided unique insights into the nature and distribution of both the volcanic and sub-basalt sequences along the margin, enabling the identification of optimal drill sites.
The IODP boreholes will break a record in terms of distance from the mainland, as most of them are planned to the west of the wells that have so far been drilled in the Norwegian Sea.
The drilling campaign is part of the International Ocean Drilling program (IODP). This marine research collaboration explores Earth’s history and dynamics using ocean-going research platforms to recover data recorded in seafloor sediments and rocks and to monitor subseafloor environments.
IODP depends on facilities funded by three platform providers with financial contributions from five additional partner agencies. Together, these entities represent twenty-three nations whose scientists are selected to staff IODP research expeditions conducted throughout the world’s oceans. Scientist activities are managed by the IODP Program Member Offices.
Read the drilling proposal here.