Program Update: International Ocean Discovery Program – March 2014
The JOIDES Resolution will conclude Expedition 349 (South China Sea Tectonics) this month. Under the leadership of co-chief scientists Chun-Feng Li (Tongji University) and Jian Lin (Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution), the expedition is investigating the opening of the South China Sea in the late Mesozoic, and its implications for Southeast Asian tectonics, climate, and deep mantle processes. On March 30, the ship will dock in Keelung, Taiwan, where approximately 300 VIPs, scientific colleagues and local students will tour the vessel. For more on Expedition 349, please see the expedition website.
The International Ocean Discovery Program (IODP) has begun accepting applications for two expeditions aboard the JOIDES Resolution: Expedition 355 (Arabian Sea Monsoon) and Expedition 356 (Indonesian Throughflow).
Arabian Sea Monsoon (March 31–May 31, 2015) aims to understand the interaction between the Himalayas and the Tibetan plateau uplift and the development and evolution of the Indian summer monsoon. The scientific objectives are to test whether greater Himalayan exhumation is correlated with proposed monsoon intensification after 23 Ma, determine if the monsoon strengthened or weakened at 8 Ma, constrain the timing of the Himalayas and Tibetan plateau uplift by dating the fan base and decipher the nature of the basement in the Laxmi Basin (eastern Arabian Sea) to constrain early seafloor spreading and its relation to the emplacement of the Deccan Flood Basalts.
Indonesian Throughflow (July 31–September 30, 2015) will drill a latitudinal transect on the Northwest Australian shelf to test several hypotheses, including whether tectonic restriction of the Indonesian Throughflow (ITF) was variable over the last 5 million years, whether the Australian monsoon has undergone repeated cycles of initiation and shutdown related to solar cycles in the absence of topographic effects and whether Australia’s rapid northward movement towards the Southeast Asian subduction slab graveyard induced dynamic drawdown of the Earth’s surface that progressively swept southwards across the continent.