Major U.S. Scientific Research Vessel To Visit Costa Rica 13-16 April
(Heredia, Costa Rica) – The 470 foot scientific research vessel JOIDES Resolution of the Integrated Ocean Drilling Program (IODP), will come to Puntarenas, Costa Rica 13-16 April 2011. During this time, Puntarenas will play an important role in two scientific ocean research expeditions: first, a team of more than 30 scientists from around the world will come to port after completing the four-week Costa Rica Seismogenesis Project, or “CRISP” Expedition (#334), which is being conducted off the coast of the Osa Peninsula. Then, another team of scientists will embark from Puntarenas on the six-week “Superfast Spreading Rate Crust 4” Expedition (#335), taking geological samples from beneath the seafloor about 900 km west of Costa Rica.
The CRISP Expedition science team is working to better understand the processes that trigger large earthquakes at subduction zones (where one tectonic plate slides under another) by examining the geologic history of the oceanic Cocos tectonic plate and volcanic ridge, which together push under the Caribbean plate in an area just off Costa Rica’s Pacific coast. This subduction system is representative of 50% of global subduction zones, making scientific insights gleaned here relevant to Costa Ricans and others living in earthquake-prone regions all around the Pacific Ocean – where more than 80% of earthquakes above 8.0 magnitude occur.
Scientists on the “Superfast Spreading Rate Crust 4” Expedition will strive to advance our understanding of how Earth’s crust is formed at mid-ocean ridges, by drilling into hitherto un-sampled rocks. Following three previous expeditions to the same site, Expedition 335 will return to Hole 1256D (6°44.2’N, 91°56.1’W), which lies in 15 million-year-old ocean crust dating back to a period of “super-fast” ocean crust formation – when it was forming at a faster rate than any ocean spreading occurring on our planet today. Hole 1256D presently penetrates about 1500 meters below the seafloor, and reaches the base of the upper, volcanic crust. This expedition will continue the mission to understand the formation of oceanic crust, by deepening Hole 1256D several hundred meters, and studying the magmatic rocks of the lower crust, which scientists expect to access for the first time in their original position.
The Integrated Ocean Drilling Program and our Costa Rican hosts at Universidad Nacional, will welcome members of the press on Friday, 15 April at 9:30am at the Marine Biology Station, Universidad Nacional, 300 m east from the main pier in Puntarenas, for welcome remarks, brief presentations by scientists from both expeditions, and a tour of the ship.
Members of the media wishing to attend the press conference and tour the ship should RSVP to Johnny Núñez, Media Relations Office, Universidad Nacional, at 2260-5109 (telephone) or by email at firstname.lastname@example.org by Wednesday, April 13, 2011. Those scheduled to attend the press conference on Friday morning should arrive at the Marine Biology Station by no later than 9:30am.
The Integrated Ocean Drilling Program (IODP) is an international research program dedicated to advancing scientific understanding of the Earth through drilling, coring, and monitoring the subseafloor. The JOIDES Resolution is a scientific research vessel managed by the U.S. Implementing Organization of IODP (USIO). Together, Texas A&M University, Lamont-Doherty Earth Observatory of Columbia University, and the Consortium for Ocean Leadership comprise the USIO. IODP is supported by two lead agencies: the U.S. National Science Foundation (NSF) and Japan’s Ministry of Education, Culture, Sports, Science, and Technology. Additional program support comes from the European Consortium for Ocean Research Drilling (ECORD), the Australian-New Zealand IODP Consortium (ANZIC), India’s Ministry of Earth Sciences, the People’s Republic of China (Ministry of Science and Technology), and the Korea Institute of Geoscience and Mineral Resources.
For more information about the Costa Rica Seismogenesis Project (“CRISP”) Expedition 334 visit:
For more information about the “Superfast Spreading Rate Crust 4” Expedition 335 visit:
For more information about the JOIDES Resolution visit:
For more information about the Integrated Ocean Drilling Program visit:
(In Costa Rica, to RSVP for press conference and ship tour)
Lic. Johnny Núñez
Oficina de Divulgación
(In the United States)
Matthew E. Wright
Communications Manager, Scientific Ocean Drilling Programs
Consortium for Ocean Leadership