Forum for Science, Industry and Business

Sponsored by:     3M 
Search our Site:

 

IODP Tahiti sea level expedition gets underway

10.10.2005


Scientists from nine nations have set sail for the Integrated Ocean Drilling Program (IODP) Tahiti Sea Level Expedition, a research expedition initiated to investigate global sea level rise since the last glacial maximum, approximately 23,000 years ago. For six weeks, aboard the DP HUNTER, the expedition science party will work on the most extensive geological research investigation ever undertaken in a coral reef area. Off the coast of Tahiti, IODP scientists will take samples of fossil corals from the ocean seafloor to analyze the environmental records that are inside them. Scientists expect the coral reefs to yield records on changes in sea surface temperature during the circumscribed period and information on climatic anomalies, including El Niño/Southern Oscillation events.

Through this research expedition, IODP scientists aim to learn more about the timing and course of past global sea level changes to better understand present and future sea level rise due to global greenhouse conditions. Since the climax of the last ice age, global sea level has risen by about 120 meters, primarily because of the melting of large inland ice sheets and thermal expansion of the global body of ocean waterattributable to rising temperatures.

According to IODP scientists, Tahiti is well situated for these investigations because the island is located in a tectonically stable region. Consequently, changes in sea level here can be related solely to global effects. Because the corals off Tahiti have strict ecological requirements and are extremely sensitive to environmental changes, both natural and human-induced, they are accurate, sensitive recorders of past sea level and climatic change.



The science party will analyze fossil, i.e. dead corals, because they form archives that help decipher the long-term behavior of the tropical ocean-atmosphere system and how it has responded to manmade and natural impacts. Live corals will not be cored, nor analyzed.

Because corals live in a sufficiently narrow depth range, they can be used as absolute sea level indicators. Corals can be considered chronometers as they can absolutely date by radiometric methods, methods so accurate that even in the oldest coral rocks to be studied, scientists will be able to accurately determine the age of corals to within 50 years.

Expedition co-chief scientist Yasufumi Iryu of Japan’s Tohoku University says, “We are very excited about being able to understand these past environmental changes in such detail for the first time.”

French co-chief scientist Gilbert Camoin of the CEREGE Institute adds, “Understanding the rate at which sea level and environments have changed is vital to understanding the effects that human activity now have on Earth’s environment.”

At the conclusion of the expedition, the fossil coral core material will be shipped to an IODP core repository located at the University of Bremen, Germany. In mid-February 2006, IODP scientists will gather again in Bremen to further analyze the fossil corals and associated reef rocks in greater detail.

ESO, the ECORD (European Consortium for Ocean Research Drilling) Science Operator, is managing the Tahiti Sea Level Expedition on behalf of IODP. Coordinated by the British Geological Survey, ESO includes the University of Bremen and the European Petrophysics Consortium (Universities of Leicester, Montpellier, Aachen and Amsterdam). In addition to ECORD funding, ESO is supported by IODP, in part, with commingled funds from the U.S. National Science Foundation and Japan’s Ministry of Education, Culture, Science, and Technology. See www.ecord.org for more information.

The Integrated Ocean Drilling Program (IODP) is an international marine research program dedicated to advancing scientific understanding of the Earth by monitoring and sampling subseafloor environments. Through multiple platforms, IODP scientists explore the program’s principal themes: the deep biosphere, climate change, and Earth processes. Mission-specific drilling platforms are operated by the ECORD Science Operator (ESO), one of three IODP Implementing Organizations. Two othersin Japan and in the United Statesconduct riser-equipped and riserless drilling operations, respectively. IODP’s initial 10-year, $1.5 billion program is supported by two lead agencies, the U.S. National Science Foundation and Japan’s Ministry of Education, Culture, Sports, Science, and Technology. ECORD and the People’s Republic of China Ministry of Science and Technology give additional support.

Nancy Light | EurekAlert!
Further information:
http://www.iodp.org
http://www.ecord.org

More articles from Earth Sciences:

nachricht Less radiation in inner Van Allen belt than previously believed
21.03.2017 | DOE/Los Alamos National Laboratory

nachricht Mars volcano, Earth's dinosaurs went extinct about the same time
21.03.2017 | NASA/Goddard Space Flight Center

All articles from Earth Sciences >>>

The most recent press releases about innovation >>>

Die letzten 5 Focus-News des innovations-reports im Überblick:

Im Focus: Giant Magnetic Fields in the Universe

Astronomers from Bonn and Tautenburg in Thuringia (Germany) used the 100-m radio telescope at Effelsberg to observe several galaxy clusters. At the edges of these large accumulations of dark matter, stellar systems (galaxies), hot gas, and charged particles, they found magnetic fields that are exceptionally ordered over distances of many million light years. This makes them the most extended magnetic fields in the universe known so far.

The results will be published on March 22 in the journal „Astronomy & Astrophysics“.

Galaxy clusters are the largest gravitationally bound structures in the universe. With a typical extent of about 10 million light years, i.e. 100 times the...

Im Focus: Tracing down linear ubiquitination

Researchers at the Goethe University Frankfurt, together with partners from the University of Tübingen in Germany and Queen Mary University as well as Francis Crick Institute from London (UK) have developed a novel technology to decipher the secret ubiquitin code.

Ubiquitin is a small protein that can be linked to other cellular proteins, thereby controlling and modulating their functions. The attachment occurs in many...

Im Focus: Perovskite edges can be tuned for optoelectronic performance

Layered 2D material improves efficiency for solar cells and LEDs

In the eternal search for next generation high-efficiency solar cells and LEDs, scientists at Los Alamos National Laboratory and their partners are creating...

Im Focus: Polymer-coated silicon nanosheets as alternative to graphene: A perfect team for nanoelectronics

Silicon nanosheets are thin, two-dimensional layers with exceptional optoelectronic properties very similar to those of graphene. Albeit, the nanosheets are less stable. Now researchers at the Technical University of Munich (TUM) have, for the first time ever, produced a composite material combining silicon nanosheets and a polymer that is both UV-resistant and easy to process. This brings the scientists a significant step closer to industrial applications like flexible displays and photosensors.

Silicon nanosheets are thin, two-dimensional layers with exceptional optoelectronic properties very similar to those of graphene. Albeit, the nanosheets are...

Im Focus: Researchers Imitate Molecular Crowding in Cells

Enzymes behave differently in a test tube compared with the molecular scrum of a living cell. Chemists from the University of Basel have now been able to simulate these confined natural conditions in artificial vesicles for the first time. As reported in the academic journal Small, the results are offering better insight into the development of nanoreactors and artificial organelles.

Enzymes behave differently in a test tube compared with the molecular scrum of a living cell. Chemists from the University of Basel have now been able to...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>

Anzeige

Anzeige

Event News

International Land Use Symposium ILUS 2017: Call for Abstracts and Registration open

20.03.2017 | Event News

CONNECT 2017: International congress on connective tissue

14.03.2017 | Event News

ICTM Conference: Turbine Construction between Big Data and Additive Manufacturing

07.03.2017 | Event News

 
Latest News

Pulverizing electronic waste is green, clean -- and cold

22.03.2017 | Materials Sciences

Astronomers hazard a ride in a 'drifting carousel' to understand pulsating stars

22.03.2017 | Physics and Astronomy

New gel-like coating beefs up the performance of lithium-sulfur batteries

22.03.2017 | Materials Sciences

VideoLinks
B2B-VideoLinks
More VideoLinks >>>