The JOIDES Resolution (JR) of the Integrated Ocean Drilling Program (IODP) docked at the port of Wellington, New Zealand during the week of January 4, 2010.
On Monday, the ship pulled into port, completing an eight-week IODP expedition to Canterbury Basin off New Zealand’s South Island. On January 9, the ship travels to Antarctica on IODP Expedition 318 Wilkes Land to investigate links between Earth’s climate and ice sheet dynamics.
While in port, the JOIDES Resolution has hosted members of the media, members of the public, schoolchildren, as well as local and international dignitaries.
On Wednesday January 6, expedition leaders gave evening talks on the exciting results of the Canterbury expedition, the aims of the Wilkes Land expedition, and the role of IODP in understanding global change.
Also linked to the port visit, a select group of school students have been participating in a seven-day holiday programme run by geologists from New Zealand’s Institute of Geological and Nuclear Sciences (GNS Science), with the help of staff and students from Victoria University.
Based at the Museum of Wellington City and Sea and GNS Science, the programme gives the students hands-on experience in exploring Earth history through scientific drilling. The students have been given a tour of the JOIDES Resolution and will also have the opportunity to mount their own shore-based expedition to collect a sediment core from Wellington Harbour.
Expedition 317 (Canterbury Basin) successfully drilled four sites on the continental shelf and slope offshore south Canterbury. Two of the sites broke records for the drilling program, one being the deepest hole drilled on the shallow shelf (1024 meters) and another being the deepest hole drilled on a single IODP expedition (1928 meters). The expedition has achieved its aims of recovering a 10 million year record of sea level cycles across the shelf-slope transect, with one drill hole extending back to 35 million years.