Forum for Science, Industry and Business

Sponsored by:     3M 
Search our Site:

 

Researchers drill historic hole in Atlantic Ocean floor

29.04.2005


Researchers from the Integrated Ocean Drilling Program (IODP) have drilled into sections of the Earth’s crust for the first time ever, and their findings could provide new insights about how Earth was formed.



Scientists aboard the research vessel JOIDES Resolution, of which Texas A&M University serves as the chief contractor, took almost three months to drill the hole, which penetrates more than 4,600 feet below the ocean floor. It is in an area called the Atlantis Massif located in the middle of the Atlantic Ocean, says Jay Miller, staff scientist at Texas A&M and one of the leaders of the project.

The new hole - the third deepest ever drilled in the "basement" area of the oceanic crust - has provided more than 3,000 feet of core samples that researchers will examine over the next three to four years, Miller said. It could provide key data on how ocean crust and other layers form, and the research may yield new perspectives on how the ocean crust was formed and has evolved through time.


"What we know about how the interior of the Earth evolved is based primarily on geophysical data," Miller explains.

"The samples we’ve collected lead us to believe that we’ve oversimplified some features. We know now that each time we drill a hole, we learn the structure of the Earth is much more complex than we had thought. Much of this drilling work is changing our understanding of how the Earth developed."

Drilling during the expedition, which was completed in early March, lasted 24 hours a day through solid rock, Miller said. Research teams from IODP’s members (the United States, Japan, China and the European Consortium for Ocean Research) involved 18 different countries.

Miller said the core samples will be analyzed and additional drilling could be possible. "The area where we were is sort of a mountain on the ocean floor," he explains. "The data from where we drilled also need to be studied thoroughly so we can develop a model to work from. This could provide us with a window to parts of the oceanic crust we’ve never seen. "From these samples, we hope to assemble pictures and data of what the entire ocean crust looks like. This hole we’ve drilled is just one part of the big puzzle below the ocean floor."

Miller said the 4,600-foot hole "is still there, open and in good condition. We could return to it at any time in the future and deepen it."

Keith Randall | EurekAlert!
Further information:
http://www.tamu.edu

All articles from Earth Sciences >>>

The most recent press releases about innovation >>>

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

Im Focus: Unraveling the nature of 'whistlers' from space in the lab

A new study sheds light on how ultralow frequency radio waves and plasmas interact

Scientists at the University of California, Los Angeles present new research on a curious cosmic phenomenon known as "whistlers" -- very low frequency packets...

Im Focus: New interactive machine learning tool makes car designs more aerodynamic

Scientists develop first tool to use machine learning methods to compute flow around interactively designable 3D objects. Tool will be presented at this year’s prestigious SIGGRAPH conference.

When engineers or designers want to test the aerodynamic properties of the newly designed shape of a car, airplane, or other object, they would normally model...

Im Focus: Robots as 'pump attendants': TU Graz develops robot-controlled rapid charging system for e-vehicles

Researchers from TU Graz and their industry partners have unveiled a world first: the prototype of a robot-controlled, high-speed combined charging system (CCS) for electric vehicles that enables series charging of cars in various parking positions.

Global demand for electric vehicles is forecast to rise sharply: by 2025, the number of new vehicle registrations is expected to reach 25 million per year....

Im Focus: The “TRiC” to folding actin

Proteins must be folded correctly to fulfill their molecular functions in cells. Molecular assistants called chaperones help proteins exploit their inbuilt folding potential and reach the correct three-dimensional structure. Researchers at the Max Planck Institute of Biochemistry (MPIB) have demonstrated that actin, the most abundant protein in higher developed cells, does not have the inbuilt potential to fold and instead requires special assistance to fold into its active state. The chaperone TRiC uses a previously undescribed mechanism to perform actin folding. The study was recently published in the journal Cell.

Actin is the most abundant protein in highly developed cells and has diverse functions in processes like cell stabilization, cell division and muscle...

Im Focus: Lining up surprising behaviors of superconductor with one of the world's strongest magnets

Scientists have discovered that the electrical resistance of a copper-oxide compound depends on the magnetic field in a very unusual way -- a finding that could help direct the search for materials that can perfectly conduct electricity at room temperatur

What happens when really powerful magnets--capable of producing magnetic fields nearly two million times stronger than Earth's--are applied to materials that...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>

Anzeige

Anzeige

VideoLinks
Industry & Economy
Event News

Within reach of the Universe

08.08.2018 | Event News

A journey through the history of microscopy – new exhibition opens at the MDC

27.07.2018 | Event News

2018 Work Research Conference

25.07.2018 | Event News

 
Latest News

Staying in Shape

16.08.2018 | Life Sciences

Diving robots find Antarctic seas exhale surprising amounts of carbon dioxide in winter

16.08.2018 | Earth Sciences

Protein droplets keep neurons at the ready and immune system in balance

16.08.2018 | Life Sciences

VideoLinks
Science & Research
Overview of more VideoLinks >>>