Sea Technology

JAN 2018

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www.sea-technology.com January 2018 | ST 19 2,500 m of sediment cores that record how the geogra- phy, volcanism and climate of Zealandia have changed over the last 70 million years. Findings revealed that the chain of volcanism that makes up the Pacific's "Ring of Fire" may have caused Zealandia to buckle about 40 million to 50 million years ago, which also dramatically reshaped the landscape. In addition, studies of the sedi- ment cores obtained during the expedition will focus on understanding how Earth's tectonic plates move and how the global climate system works. In 2016, a team of international scientists drilled into the site of an asteroid impact, known as the Chicxulub Impact Crater, near the Yucatán region of México. The Chicxulub impact structure formed when a large aster- oid hit the Earth around 66 million years ago, which is linked to the end-Cretaceous mass extinction. The eight- week-long expedition aboard the liftboat Myrtle, a joint expedition organized by IODP and International Con- tinental Scientific Drilling Program (ICDP), recovered a nearly complete set of rock cores from 506 to 1,335 m below the modern-day seafloor. The cores include 120 m of limestone sediments deposited between 66 mil- lion years ago to around 50 million years ago, as well as some 120 m of broken and melted rocks burying a ring of mountains. Sampling and analyzing the peak ring sed- iments will provide valuable insights into the processes that govern impact formation during large impacts and the understanding of planetary crustal composition via remote sensing. Ocean Observatories Initiative The Ocean Observatories Initiative (OOI, http://ocea nobservatories.org) transitioned into operations in 2016. OOI includes a network of cabled, moored and auton- omous instrument arrays with more than 800 individual sensors distributed across four global arrays, two coastal and a cabled array. This facility is enabled by an integrat- ed system of cyberinfrastructure that collects, analyzes and disseminates the data, enabling interdisciplinary in- vestigation of short-term and long-term oceanic trends. OCE is in the process of recompeting the cooperative agreement to manage and operate OOI through an open, merit-based external peer-review process, open to U.S. institutions, universities, colleges and other nonprofit, nonacademic organizations. The awardee will serve as the single lead to fulfill the OOI objectives through strat- egies that capitalize on the federal investment to serve the scientific community and to promote world-class oceanographic research. OCE hopes to announce the outcome of this recompetition in the middle of 2018. International Ocean Discovery Program In the summer of 2017, a team of scientists with the International Ocean Discovery Program (IODP) spent two months aboard the drill ship JOIDES Resolution drill- ing into part of the 2 million-sq.-mi. mass of continental crust that lies just east of Australia. This mysterious region, called Zealandia, broke away from Australia and subsid- ed about 80 million years ago. The expedition collected

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