blank blue column
ODP Legacy logo with link to Home

D/V JOIDES Resolution

The D/V JOIDES Resolution began operations in 1978 as the Sedco/BP 471, originally an oil exploration vessel. In January 1985, after being converted for scientific research, the vessel began operations for the Ocean Drilling Program (ODP). Drilling with ODP continued until September 2003. The JOIDES Resolution is operated by Overseas Drilling Limited, which is owned by Transocean.

The vessel is named for Joint Oceanographic Institutions for Deep Earth Sampling (JOIDES) and the HMS Resolution, which explored the Pacific Ocean and the Antarctic region under the command of Captain James Cook over 200 years ago. Like its namesake, the purpose of the current Resolution is to conduct scientific exploration. But this time, those discoveries lie deep beneath the oceans.

JOIDES Resolution photo

The physical dimensions of the ship are remarkable. Fitted with a derrick standing 61.5 m (202 ft) above the water line, the 143 m (469 ft) long ship is 21 m (68.9 ft) wide. The rig can suspend as much as 9,150 m (30,020 ft) of drill pipe to an ocean depth as great as 8,235 m (27,018 ft). Near the center of the ship is the "moon pool," which is a 7 m (23 ft) wide hole through which the drill string is lowered. Each pipe joint is ~28.5 m (93.5 ft) and weighs ~874 kg (1925 lb). The drill crew uses the draw works to thread each joint to the drill string. The process of lowering the drill bit, which is affixed to the end of the drill string, takes ~12 hours in 5,500 m (18,045 ft) water depth (see Lowering the Drill String; 1-Mb mpeg animation). To core through the seafloor, the entire drill string is rotated. During operations, the crew positions the ship over the drill site using 12 computer-controlled thrusters (dynamic positioning) as well as the main propulsion system. For more details on the ship's layout, laboratories, and living quarters, take our virtual tour.

JOIDES Resolution cross section

The JOIDES Resolution replaced the Glomar Challenger, which conducted operations for the Deep Sea Drilling Project.

Program administration | Scientific results | Engineering & science operations | Samples, data, & publications | Outreach | Overview | Site map | Search | Home

For comments or questions, please contact

Copyright Consortium for Ocean Leadership