Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

Revered Scientific Drilling Ship Gets Extreme Makeover

Date:
January 2, 2006
Source:
National Science Foundation
Summary:
After 20 years of service, the JOIDES Resolution, the pioneering scientific ocean drilling vessel that allowed scientists to retrieve samples of the Earth’s crust and sediments from deep beneath the ocean, is undergoing an extreme makeover. The new and improved vessel, which promises to increase the quality and rate of core samples brought up from the deep, will be virtually unrecognizable from the old ship and will be given a new name.

The current ocean drilling ship, Joides Resolution
Credit: Joint Oceanographic Institutions, Inc.

After 20 years of service, the JOIDES Resolution, the pioneering scientific ocean drilling vessel that allowed scientists to retrieve samples of the Earth’s crust and sediments from deep beneath the ocean, is undergoing an extreme makeover.

Related Articles


The new and improved vessel, which promises to increase the quality and rate of core samples brought up from the deep, will be virtually unrecognizable from the old ship and will be given a new name. It is estimated the new research vessel will be ready for science expeditions in mid-2007.

Scientists have conducted 122 expeditions onboard the 470-foot (143-meter) JOIDES Resolution, first through the Ocean Drilling Program (ODP, 1985-2003) and now in the Integrated Ocean Drilling Program (IODP, 2003-present).

Over the ship’s 20-year history, the core samples it has recovered have helped scientists validate the theory of plate tectonics, provided extensive information about Earth’s past climate, and found evidence of the catastrophic asteroid impact that wiped out the dinosaurs 65 million years ago.

"The enhanced vessel will greatly increase the efficiency and scope of drillship scientific operations, allowing IODP scientists to continue expanding our knowledge of the Earth," said Jamie Allan, program director for IODP at the National Science Foundation (NSF), which is funding the effort.

“To get a sense for the kinds of improvements, imagine how Steve Austin was rebuilt to become the Six Million-Dollar Man,” said Steve Bohlen, president of Joint Oceanographic Institutions (JOI), Inc. The JOI Alliance is the U.S. implementing organization for IODP, and is responsible for the vessel's science operations.

The JOI Alliance is funded by NSF and consists of JOI, which has the principal responsibility for overseeing programmatic, contractual, and fiscal management activities; Texas A&M University, which subcontracts drill ship operations, conducts platform-related tool development, and provides expedition staffing, logistics, engineering development, outfitting of shipboard laboratories, shipboard- and shorebased-curation of samples, and distribution of core samples and data; and the Lamont-Doherty Earth Observatory of Columbia University, which provides downhole logging tools and support and log data processing, distribution, and database services.

JOI has a 10-year, $626 million contract with NSF, signed in Sept. 2003, after a competitive bid process, to provide integrated science services in support of the U.S. drillship for IODP. Under the contract, this drillship was selected in open competition, with an NSF-approved contact signed in Dec. 2005, between Overseas Drilling Limited, the provider of the vessel, and Texas A&M University Research Foundation, science operator and subcontractor to JOI, for $288 million.

During its history, the vessel has been adapted and upgraded several times. But the scale of the conversion planned now will be far beyond any past upgrades, said Allan, "and the finished vessel will meet the expanding needs of ocean-drilling scientists for a generation to come."

There will be at least a 50 percent increase in laboratory space aboard ship, allowing for a greater variety of instrumentation that onboard scientists can use to analyze cores samples while at sea.

An enhanced drilling instrumentation system, a sub-sea camera system with improved handling, and a new drill string with upgraded drilling tools will allow the crew to retrieve core samples faster and with better quality. Changes to the ship's hull and machinery will improve the fuel efficiency and increase the transit speed, allowing for more time "on station."

Gone are the days of crowded four-person staterooms and shared bathrooms, much to the delight of the scientists and crew who live aboard the vessel during expeditions, which last two months on average. Instead, rooms on the enhanced ship will be double occupancy with an adjacent bathroom. During the conversion, space for 23 additional berths will be added.

With the start of the Integrated Ocean Drilling Program (IODP) and the construction of the Japanese-built drilling vessel Chikyu (Japanese for Earth,) which is scheduled to begin IODP expeditions in 2007, the U.S. government is fulfilling its commitment to provide a state-of-the-art scientific ocean drilling vessel to the international research community.


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by National Science Foundation. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Cite This Page:

National Science Foundation. "Revered Scientific Drilling Ship Gets Extreme Makeover." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 2 January 2006. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2006/01/060102121406.htm>.
National Science Foundation. (2006, January 2). Revered Scientific Drilling Ship Gets Extreme Makeover. ScienceDaily. Retrieved December 18, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2006/01/060102121406.htm
National Science Foundation. "Revered Scientific Drilling Ship Gets Extreme Makeover." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2006/01/060102121406.htm (accessed December 18, 2014).

Share This


More From ScienceDaily



More Earth & Climate News

Thursday, December 18, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Navy Unveils Robot Fish

Navy Unveils Robot Fish

Reuters - Light News Video Online (Dec. 18, 2014) The U.S. Navy unveils an underwater device that mimics the movement of a fish. Tara Cleary reports. Video provided by Reuters
Powered by NewsLook.com
Arctic Warming Twice As Fast As Rest Of Planet

Arctic Warming Twice As Fast As Rest Of Planet

Newsy (Dec. 18, 2014) The Arctic is warming twice as fast as the rest of the planet, thanks in part to something called feedback. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Prenatal Exposure To Pollution Might Increase Autism Risk

Prenatal Exposure To Pollution Might Increase Autism Risk

Newsy (Dec. 18, 2014) Harvard researchers found children whose mothers were exposed to high pollution levels in the third trimester were twice as likely to develop autism. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Ivory Trade Boom Swamps Law Efforts

Ivory Trade Boom Swamps Law Efforts

Reuters - Business Video Online (Dec. 17, 2014) Demand for ivory has claimed the lives of tens of thousands of African elephants and now a conservation report says the illegal trade is overwhelming efforts to enforce the law. Amy Pollock reports. Video provided by Reuters
Powered by NewsLook.com

Search ScienceDaily

Number of stories in archives: 140,361

Find with keyword(s):
Enter a keyword or phrase to search ScienceDaily for related topics and research stories.

Save/Print:
Share:

Breaking News:

Strange & Offbeat Stories


Plants & Animals

Earth & Climate

Fossils & Ruins

In Other News

... from NewsDaily.com

Science News

Health News

Environment News

Technology News



Save/Print:
Share:

Free Subscriptions


Get the latest science news with ScienceDaily's free email newsletters, updated daily and weekly. Or view hourly updated newsfeeds in your RSS reader:

Get Social & Mobile


Keep up to date with the latest news from ScienceDaily via social networks and mobile apps:

Have Feedback?


Tell us what you think of ScienceDaily -- we welcome both positive and negative comments. Have any problems using the site? Questions?
Mobile: iPhone Android Web
Follow: Facebook Twitter Google+
Subscribe: RSS Feeds Email Newsletters
Latest Headlines Health & Medicine Mind & Brain Space & Time Matter & Energy Computers & Math Plants & Animals Earth & Climate Fossils & Ruins