Expedition 343 Japan Trench Fast Drilling Project (JFAST)

Expedition 342 Paleogene Newfoundland Sediment Drifts

Expedition 340 Lesser Antilles Volcanism and Landslides

Expedition 339 Mediterranean Outflow

Expedition 336 Mid Atlantic Ridge Flank Microbiology


Expedition 343 Japan Trench Fast Drilling Project (JFAST)

April – May 2012

Japan Trench Fast Drilling Project (JFAST)
Location Map Expedition 343. © JAMSTEC

The main goal of the JFAST project was to understand the very large fault slip that occurred on the shallow portion of the subuction zone during the 2011 Tohoku earthquake. This large slip of 30 to 50 metres was the main source of the devastating tsunami that caused so much damage and loss of lives along the northeast coast of Honshu, Japan. In order to understand how the fault moved with such large displacement in this region, the JFAST project had two main objectives. The first was to sample the fault in order to analyse the physical properties of the fault zone. The second was to make temperature measurements to estimate the frictional stress during the earthquake.

Chikyu Mt Fuji
Drillship Chikyu in front of Mt Fuji. © IODP

The drilling site was in the ocean area east of the Oshika Peninsula, just west of the axis of the Japan Trench. Two boreholes were drilled at a single location; the first hole was dedicated to collecting downhole geophysical data to determine in situ stress and locate the fault zone, and the second hole was dedicated to retrieving core samples from across the Tohoku earthquake slip surface. Each hole was completed with the deployment of an observatory that comprised of a suite of temperature and pressure sensors. Observatory data from both boreholes will be retrieved by the Japan Agency for Marine Earth Science and Technology’s (JAMSTEC) Remotely Operated Vehicle (ROV) KAIKO 7000II.

Expedition 343 - Chikyu team
Expedition 343 - Chikyu team after coring finished. © JAMSTEC
Expedition 343 - Louise Anderson
Expedition 343 - Louise Anderson waits for departure at the end of Expedition 343. © JAMSTEC



  • Lin, W., Conin, M., Moore, J. C., Chester, F. M., Nakamura, Y., Mori, J. J., Anderson, L., Eguchi, N. and Expedition 343 scientists, 2013. Stress state in the largest displacement area of the 2011 Tohokuoki Earthquake. Science, 339, 687-690. doi: 10.1126/science.1229379


Expedition blog posts and news items



Expedition 342 Paleogene Newfoundland Sediment Drifts

June 2012 – August 2012

Location Map 342
Fig 1: Location map Expediton 342 ©IODP/USIO

In June 2012, the JOIDES Resolution set sail to the North Atlantic Ocean south of Newfoundland, not far from where the RMS Titanic sank 100 years ago. The aim of the expedition was to study paleoclimate events like the onset and development of Cenozoic glaciations and hyperthermals recorded in drift sediments of Paleogene age along depth transects off Newfoundland.

The main objectives were:

  • To reconstruct a detailed history of the carbonate saturation state of the North Atlantic through numerous episodes of abrupt global warming,
  • To obtain a very detailed record of the flow history of the Deep Western Boundary Current issuing from the North Atlantic,
  • To obtain a detailed record of the Eocene–Oligocene transition (EOT; ~33.7 Ma) and the onset of major glaciation following the warm climates of the Eocene, and
  • To address major uncertainties in the development of the geologic timescale by obtaining records of the Eocene that can be used to link the astronomical timescale developed for the last ~40 m.y. to the “floating” timescale of the early Paleogene developed over a series of IODP and earlier drilling expeditions.

Logging tools 342
Fig 2: Kerry Swain testing the logging tools on the helideck ©Annick Fehr

Prior to the start of Expedition 342, two operational days were spent drilling Site U1402 (the location of site 1073, ODP leg 174A) offshore New Jersey to test the Motion Decoupled Hydraulic Delivery System (MDHDS). The second of two deployments of this system successfully acquired in situ pressure measurements.
During the main leg of IODP Expedition 342, eight sites were drilled along two depth transects: four on J-Anomaly Ridge (J-A, U1403-U1406) and five on the South-Eastern Newfoundland Ridge (SENR, U1407-U1411). Two attempts to deploy the Triple-combo toolstring (resistivity, density, porosity and natural gamma radiation tools) at site U1403, failed.

Land in sight 342
Fig 3: Land in sight: Arriving in St John’s (NL, Canada) ©Annick Fehr


Expedition 340 Lesser Antilles Volcanism and Landslides

March – April 2012

Expedition 340. Montserrat Island. © Etienne Claasen IODP/TAMU

The Lesser Antilles Volcanism and Landslides expedition was designed to provide a better understanding of the constructive and destructive processes related to volcanism along island arcs.

Processes occurring along these arcs are among the most fundamental occurring on Earth, as roughly 50% of volcanism along the circum-Pacific ring of fire is associated with island arcs. Data acquired during this expedition will be utilised to further investigate magmatic evolution and eruptive activity along the Lesser Antilles arc.

Expedition 340 - Antilles Volcanism Landslides
Location map Expedition 340. © IODP-USIO
Expedition 340 - Montserrat sunset
Montserrat sunset from the Joides Resolution. © Sally Morgan, IODP

The aim is to achieve a better understanding of the mechanisms involved in both the transport and deposition of volcanic debris avalanche deposits and to assess the potential for volcanic hazards associated with these avalanches.

Identification of the controlling mechanisms of these processes is essential because of their potential association with large geohazards (explosive eruptions and tsunamis).



  • Wall-Palmer, D., Coussens, M., Talling, P.J., Jutzeler, M., Cassidy, M., Marchant, I., Palmer, M.R., Watt, S.F.L., Smart, C.W., Fisher, J.K., Hart, M.B., Fraass, A., Trofimovs, J., Le Friant, A., Ishizuka, O., Adachi, T., Aljahdali, M., Boudon, G., Breitkreuz, C., Endo, D., Fujinawa, A., Hatfield, R., Hornbach, M.J., Kataoka, K., Lafuerza, S., Maeno, F., Manga, M., Martinez-Colon, M., McCanta, M. Morgan, S., Saito, T. Slagle, A.L., Stinton, A.J., Subramanyam, K.S.V., Tamura, Y., Villemant, B. and Wang, F. 2014. Late Pleistocene stratigraphy of IODP Site U1396 and compiled chronology offshore of south and south west Montserrat, Lesser Antilles. G-cubed, 15, 3000–3020. doi: 10.1002/2014GC005402
  • Hornbach, M.J., Manga, M., Genecov, M., Valdez, R., Miller, P., Saffer, D., Adelstein, E., Lafuerza, S., Adachi, T., Breitkreuz, C., Jutzeler, M., Le Friant, A., Ishizuka, O., Morgan, S., et al. 2015. Permeability and pressure measurements in Lesser Antilles submarine slides: Evidence for pressure-driven slow-slip failure. Journal of Geophysical Research: Solid Earth, 120, 7986-8011, doi:10.1002/2015JB012061
  • Le Friant, A., Ishizuka, O., Boudon, G., Palmer, M.R., Talling, P.J., Villemant, B., Adachi, T., Aljahdali, M., Breitkreuz, C. & Brunet, M. (Morgan, S). 2015. Submarine record of volcanic island construction and collapse in the Lesser Antilles arc: First scientific drilling of submarine volcanic island landslides by IODP Expedition 340. Geochemistry, Geophysics, Geosystems, 16, 420-442.
  • Jutzeler, M., White, J.D.L., Talling, P.J., McCanta, M., Morgan, S., Le Friant, A. & Ishizuka, O. 2014. Coring disturbances in IODP piston cores with implications for offshore record of volcanic events and the Missoula megafloods. Geochemistry, Geophysics, Geosystems, 15, 3572-3590, doi: 10.1002/2014GC005447.
  • Iturrino, G., Liu, T., Goldberg, D., Anderson, L., Evans, H., Fehr, A., Guerin, G., Inwood, J., Lofi, J., Malinverno, A.,Morgan, S., Mrozewski, S., Slagle, A., and Williams, T. 2013. Performance of the wireline heave compensation system onboard D/V JOIDES resolution. Sci. Drill, 15, 46-50.


Expedition 339 Mediterranean Outflow

November 2011 –January 2012

Expedition 339 was primarily paleoceanographic in nature, focusing mainly on the investigation of  Mediterranean Outflow Water (MOW) through the Strait of Gibraltar (Gibraltar Gateway) and its influence on North Atlantic Ocean circulation and climate. This expedition offered a rare opportunity to understand the global link between paleoceanographic, climatic, and sea level changes from Messinian to recent time and to address the effects of tectonic activity on evolution of the gateway and margin sedimentation.

Expedition Location Map
Location map for Expedition 339 - Mediterranean Outflow © IODP-USIO

During Expedition 339, the scientific vessel JOIDES Resolution drilled and cored into the sea bed at seven sites. One of the sites was positioned at the Shackleton site on the Portuguese margin to produce a marine reference section of Pleistocene millennial-scale climate variability and changes in surface and deepwater circulation. The six other sites were specifically located in the Gulf of Cadiz in order to study the contourite depositional system (CDS) generated by MOW influence and its evolution and environmental implications. This CDS has developed at very high rates of sediment accumulation over the past 5 m.y., providing an expanded sedimentary record that permits detailed examination of paleocirculation patterns linked to past environmental change. Of the seven sites drilled, five sites were logged.

Downhole Logging Tool
Assembling a downhole logiing tool string. © Johanna Lofi, IODP
Expedition Scientists
Co-chief, expedition scientists, and Johanna Lofi looking at the drilled contourite depositional system on a seismic profile © Lucas Lourens, IODP.









  • Hernández-Molina, F. J., Stow, D. A. V., Alvarez-Zarikian, C. A., Acton, G., Bahr, A., Balestra, B., Ducassou, E., Flood, R., Flores, J. A., Furota, S., Grunert, P., Hodell, D., Jimenez-Espejo, F., Kyoung Kim, J., Krissek, L., Kuroda, J., Li, B., Llave, E.,  Lofi, J., Lourens, L., Miller, M., Nanayama, F., Nishida, N., Richter, C., Roque, C., Pereira, H., Sanchez Goñi, M. F., Sierro, F. J., Deo Singh, A., Sloss, C., Takashimizu, Y., Tzanova, A., Voelker, A., Williams. T., and Xuan, C. 2014. Onset of Mediterranean outflow into the North Atlantic. Science. 1244-1250. DOI: 10.1125/science.1251306
  • Bahr A., Jiménez-Espejo F., Kolasinac N., Grunert P., Röhl U., Escutia C., Stow D., Hernández-Molina F.J., Hodell D., Alvarez-Zarikian C.A. and Expedition 339 Scientists. 2014 Deciphering bottom current strength and paleoclimate signals from contourite deposits in the Gulf of Cádiz during the last 140 kyr: an inorganic geochemical approach. Geochemistry, Geophysics, Geosystems. doi: 10.1002/2014GC005356
  • Dorador, J., Rodríguez-Tovar, F.J. and IODP Expedition 339 Scientists, 2014. Quantitative estimation of bioturbation based on digital image analysis. Marine Geology, 349, 55-60.
  • Dorador J, Rodríguez-Tovar FJ, Hernández-Molina FJ, Stow DAV, Alvarez-Zariken C. and IODP Expedition 339 Scientists. 2014 Digital image treatment applied to ichnological analysis of marine core sediments. Facies, doi: 10.1007/s10347-013-0383-z
  • Flecker, R., Krijgsman, W., Capella, W., de Castro Martíns, C., Dmitrieva, E., Mayser, J.P., Marzocchi, A., Lofi, J., et al. 2015. Evolution of the Late Miocene Mediterranean–Atlantic gateways and their impact on regional and global environmental change. Earth-Science Reviews, 150, 365-392, doi: 10.1016/j.earscirev.2015.08.007.
  • Ducassou, E., Fournier, L., Sierro, F., Zarikian, C.A., Lofi, J., Flores, J. & Roque, C. 2015. Origin of the large Pliocene and Pleistocene debris flows on the Algarve margin. Marine Geology, doi: 10.1016/j.margeo.2015.08.018
  • Hernández-Molina, F., Sierro, F., Llave, E., Roque, C., Stow, D., Williams, T., Lofi, J., Van der Schee, M., Arnáiz, A. & Ledesma, S. 2015. Evolution of the gulf of Cadiz margin and southwest Portugal contourite depositional system: Tectonic, sedimentary and paleoceanographic implications from IODP expedition 339. Marine Geology.
  • Hernández-Molina, F., Sierro, F., Llave, E., Roque, C., Stow, D., Williams, T., Lofi, J., et al. 2015. Evolution of the gulf of Cadiz margin and southwest Portugal contourite depositional system: Tectonic, sedimentary and paleoceanographic implications from IODP expedition 339. Marine Geology, 377, 7-39, doi: 10.1016/j.margeo.2015.09.013
  • Lofi, J., Voelker, A.H.L., Ducassou, E., et al. 2016. Quaternary chronostratigraphic framework and sedimentary processes for the Gulf of Cadiz and Portuguese Contourite Depositional Systems derived from Natural Gamma Ray records. Marine Geology, 377, 40-57, doi: 10.1016/j.margeo.2015.12.005.
  • Hodell, D., Lourens, L., and the Shackelton Site Project Members (Lofi, J). 2015. A reference time scale for Site U1385 (Shackleton Site) on the SW Iberian Margin. Global and Planetary Change, 133, 49-64, doi: 10.1016/j.gloplacha.2015.07.002.


Expedition 336 Mid Atlantic Ridge Flank Microbiology

September – November 2011

This expedition examined the microbiology of a sediment pond and the underlying young, cold, and hydrologically active flank of the Mid-Atlantic Ridge.

Logging in action
Expedition 336 - logging in action. Picture credit: William Crawford IODP

The Ocean Drilling Program (1985-2002) made the key discovery that organisms thrived in the Earth's crust beneath the ocean floors. Important for understanding the evolution of life on Earth, and potentially on other planets, the data on the subsurface microbial communities gathered on this expedition will expand our understanding of their diversity and extent in young ridge flanks and their role in crustal weathering.

The scientific vessel JOIDES Resolution revisited a previously CORK'ed hole (395A) and drilled into the seabed at two main sites. Operations included sediment/basalt coring, basement logging, and installation of two long-term subseafloor observatories.

Expedition 336 - Logging Team
Expedition 336 - Louise Anderson with Logging Team. Picture credit: William Crawford IODP

As the Logging Staff Scientist Louise was responsible for the supervision and quality control of basement downhole measurements acquired by Schlumberger. The new, unique DEBI-T tool, supported by USC and developed by JPL and Photon Systems Inc., was deployed for the first time on this expedition. The DEBI-T was run in combination with the standard Schlumberger tools and assessed the relative bioload on the borehole walls.


Expedition blog posts and news items


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