Integrated Ocean Drilling Program

The year 2000 saw Ireland, through the Geological Survey of Ireland (GSI) with the Marine Institute and Enterprise Ireland, becoming a member of the Ocean Drilling Program (ODP) by joining the European Science Foundation Consortium for Ocean Drilling (ECOD).

The ODP is international and quite distinct from the GSI's Seabed Project. It has been running since 1985 as the successor to the Deep Sea Drilling Project (DSDP) that began almost 35 years ago. In contrast with DSDP, which in the infancy of plate-tectonics was largely exploratory and looked to see 'what is there', ODP projects represent a more focused study of oceanic basins and their margins. High priority has been given to testing models of global tectonics, climate change and sea level variations, and a series of borehole laboratories has been used to monitor fluid fluxes, crustal stress and global seismicity. The final phase of the ODP which ended in September 2003 was concerned with a better understanding of tectonic processes that shape oceans and continents, including erosion of continents and climate change.

The successor to the ODP is the Integrated Ocean Drilling Program (IODP) which runs until 2013. Objectives of the Initial Science Plan cover 'Earth, oceans and life: scientific challenges in studying the planet Earth system using new drilling technologies and multiple platforms'. The European Science Foundation (ESF) has identified specific initiatives for Europe, namely, 1, Deep biosphere; bacterial extremophiles; 2, Gas hydrates; 3, Arctic Ocean, including change from warm greenhouse conditions to ice-covered ocean; 4, Deep water rifted margins and fans - develop models with industry for hydrocarbon charge and reservoir characterization; 5, Tectonic processes and fluid pathways - drilling in seismically active areas combined with use of sea floor observatories.

We have some additional, more specific, information about the OPD available here....

Irish scientists participated in an IODP cruise in Irish waters in 2005.  More on this...

Joides Resolution
ODP drillship "JOIDES Resolution"

Those interested should consult these websites

Integrated Ocean Drilling Programme European Consortium for Ocean Research Drilling

Annual deadlines for receipt of proposals are 15th March and 1st October. The GSI will be as supportive as possible to those willing and able to submit proposals.