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New ODP Member

Korea Joins The International Scientific Ocean Drilling Program

August 1996
During the port call events for the JOIDES Resolution research vessel in Victoria, British Columbia, Dr. Richard Haworth, Director General of the Sedimentary and Marine Geoscience Branch of the Earth Sciences Sector of Natural Resources, Canada announced that the Australia-Canada Consortium of the Ocean Drilling Program (ODP) was expanding its membership to include the Korea Institute of Geology, Mining and Materials (KIGAM), Taejon, South Korea. With the addition of KIGAM, the Ocean Drilling Program increases to nineteen countries, the last to join was Australia in 1988.

A memorandum of understanding (MOU) was signed between KIGAM and The Australian Geological Survey Organization (AGSO) in Canberra, Australia and was then signed by the Geological Survey of Canada (GSC) in Ottawa, Canada. "The agreement of MOU among Australia, Canada and Korea is a significant achievement of global cooperation that deserves our celebration to commemorate as a historical event," noted Dr. Pil-Chong Kang, President of KIGAM.

"A key component of the recently announced federal Strategy for Science and Technology for Canada is the proactive development of international alliances and technology partnerships," said Haworth, "The Ocean Drilling Program has always represented a superb example of such an international partnership." The addition of Korea to the Consortium may lead to a larger Pan-Pacific Consortium within the Program.

AGSO, GSC and KIGAM, as members of the Consortium will each pay a share of the full member financial contribution as stipulated in the MOU between the National Science Foundation (NSF) and AGSO. The annual budget for the ODP is 44.4 million US dollars. The Consortium's annual contribution is $2.21 million. NSF provides approximately 60% of the annual Program budget and the remaining member countries contribute 40%.

The Ocean Drilling Program (ODP) is an international partnership of 19 nations enabling scientists and research institutions to explore the history and structure of the Earth beneath the ocean basins. During these scientific cruises, each approximately eight weeks long, scientists drill holes deep into the seafloor.

From these holes, scientists retrieve sediment, rock samples and geophysical data from the layers beneath the seafloor. The cores -- slender cylinders approximately 9.5 meters long -- reveal clues about Earth's basic processes including the rearrangement of continents, the evolution of life in the sea, and the changes over time of global climate, ocean currents, worldwide sea levels and Earth's magnetic field. These layers span millions of years of geologic history. ODP provides samples, shipboard and shore-based facilities for the study of these samples, and downhole measurements (e.g., wireline logging) and opportunities for special experiments to determine in situ conditions beneath the seafloor.

The drill ship, JOIDES Resolution, is 143 meters long and 21 meters wide with a derrick that towers 62 meters above the waterline. A computer-controlled positioning system maintains the ship over a specific location. The ship can drill in water depths up to 8,200 meters and can deploy as much as 9,100 meters of drill pipe.

The Program is funded by the U.S. National Science Foundation, Canada, Australia, Korea,the European Consortium for Ocean Drilling: Belgium, Denmark, Finland, Iceland,Italy, the Netherlands, Norway, Sweden, Switzerland, Turkey; Germany, France, Japan, and the United Kingdom. Joint Oceanographic Institutions for Deep Earth Sampling (JOIDES), an international group of scientists, provides scientific planning and program advice. Joint Oceanographic Institutions, Inc., a nonprofit consortium of ten major U.S. oceanographic institutions, manages the program. Texas A&M University, science operator, operates and staffs the drill ship, and Lamont-Doherty Earth Observatory of Columbia University is responsible for downhole logging.

U.S. members of JOIDES are: University of California at San Diego, Columbia University; University of Hawaii, University of Miami; Oregon State University; University of Rhode Island: Texas A&M University; University of Texas at Austin; University of Washington and Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution.

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