skip to main content

Title: Expedition 390C Preliminary Report: South Atlantic Transect Reentry Systems
International Ocean Discovery Program (IODP) Expedition 390C was implemented in response to the global COVID-19 pandemic and occupied sites proposed for the postponed Expeditions 390 and 393. The objectives for Expedition 390C were to core one hole at each site with the advanced piston corer/extended core barrel (APC/XCB) system to basement for gas safety monitoring and to install a reentry system with casing through the sediment to between ~5 m above basement and <5 m into basement in a second hole. These operations will expedite basement drilling during the rescheduled South Atlantic Transect Expeditions 390 and 393. The six primary sites for those expeditions form a transect perpendicular to the Mid-Atlantic Ridge on the South American plate, overlying crust ranging in age from 7 to 61 Ma. Basement coring will increase our understanding of how crustal alteration progresses over time across the flanks of a slow/intermediate spreading ridge and how microorganisms survive in deep subsurface environments. Sediment will be used in paleoceanographic and microbiological studies. Expedition 390C started in Kristiansand, Norway, and ended in Cape Town, South Africa, after 31 days of operations. We cored a single APC/XCB sediment hole to the contact with hard rock material at four of more » the six sites and successfully installed reentry systems with casing at three. Two failed attempts at drilling in casing and a reentry system into hard rock at Site U1558 indicate that the Dril-Quip reentry cones and running tools are incompatible with use in hard rock because the release mechanism does not work when the casing string weight cannot be fully removed from the running tool. Therefore, at Sites U1558 and U1559, casing was installed to ~10 m above basement. Site U1557 has a thick sediment cover (564 m) and will require multiple casing strings to reach basement; a single 16" casing string was installed to 60 meters below seafloor at this site, and later expeditions will extend casing. « less
Authors:
; ; ; ; ; ;
Award ID(s):
1326927
Publication Date:
NSF-PAR ID:
10281778
Journal Name:
Preliminary report
Volume:
390C
ISSN:
2372-9562
Sponsoring Org:
National Science Foundation
More Like this
  1. International Ocean Discovery Program (IODP) Expeditions 390C and 395E were implemented in response to the global COVID-19 pandemic and occupied sites proposed for the postponed Expeditions 390 and 393, South Atlantic Transect 1 and 2. Expedition 395E completed most of the preparatory work that Expedition 390C did not have time to complete. The overall objective of Expeditions 390C and 395E was to core one hole at each of the South Atlantic Transect sites with the advanced piston corer/extended core barrel (APC/XCB) system to basement for gas safety monitoring and to install a reentry system with casing through the sediment tomore »a few meters into basement in a second hole. Expedition 395E started in Cape Town, South Africa, and ended in Reykjavík, Iceland, after 20 days of on-site operations. We cored to basement at two new sites, U1560 and U1561, and completed reentry systems at three sites, U1556, U1557, and U1560. These operations will expedite basement drilling during the rescheduled Expeditions 390 and 393. Hole U1560A (Proposed Site SATL-25A) lies in ~15.2 Ma crust and is composed of carbonate-rich sediments to 120 meters below seafloor (mbsf) and 2.5 m of underlying basalt. A reentry system was deployed in Hole U1560B to 122.0 mbsf. We then moved to the sites at the western end of the transect on ~61 Ma crust. In Hole U1557D, 10¾ inch casing was deployed to 571.6 mbsf to deepen the 16 inch casing that was deployed during Expedition 390C, and in Hole U1556B, a reentry system was deployed to 284.2 mbsf. The remaining operations time was insufficient to install a reentry system at the originally planned site, Proposed Site SATL-33B. Instead, we cored Hole U1561A (Proposed Site SATL-55A) to 47 mbsf. It is composed of red clay and carbonate ooze overlying 3 m of basalt. The six primary sites of the South Atlantic Transect lie perpendicular to the Mid-Atlantic Ridge on the South American plate, overlying crust ranging in age from 7 to 61 Ma. Basement coring will increase our understanding of how crustal alteration progresses over time across the flanks of a slow/intermediate-spreading ridge and how microorganisms survive in deep subsurface environments. Sediment will be used in paleoceanographic and microbiological studies.« less
  2. The South Atlantic Transect (SAT) is a multidisciplinary scientific ocean drilling project that will recover complete sedimentary sections and the upper ~250 m of the underlying oceanic crust along a slow/intermediate spreading rate Mid-Atlantic Ridge crustal flow line at ~31°S. These cores were originally scheduled to be collected during International Ocean Discovery Program (IODP) Expeditions 390 and 393 in October–December 2020 and April–June 2021, respectively. In 2020 and 2021, the global COVID-19 pandemic resulted in the postponement of several IODP expeditions, including Expeditions 390 and 393, chiefly because science parties were unable to travel to the R/V JOIDES Resolution. Inmore »response, the ship was used to conduct preparatory work for the postponed expeditions that did not require a science party aboard but could be carried out by the ship’s crew and a team of technicians from the JOIDES Resolution Science Operator. Two of these expeditions (390C and 395E) were in service of the SAT drilling project, to reduce the operational risks and expedite basement drilling during the rescheduled Expeditions 390 and 393. Expeditions 390C and 395E visited five of the six primary SAT sites and successfully cored a single advanced piston corer/extended core barrel hole penetrating the entire sediment section and <10 m into the underlying basalt before installing a reentry system in a second hole at each site visited. Given these accomplishments, the operations plans for the rescheduled Expeditions 390 and 393 have been revised.« less
  3. The South Atlantic Transect (SAT) is a multidisciplinary scientific ocean drilling project that comprises two International Ocean Discovery Program (IODP) expeditions (390, October–December 2020, and 393, April–June 2021). These expeditions will recover complete sedimentary sections and the upper ~250 m of the underlying oceanic crust along a slow/intermediate spreading rate Mid-Atlantic Ridge crustal flow line at ~31°S. The sediments along this transect were originally spot cored more than 50 y ago during Deep Sea Drilling Project Leg 3 to help verify the theories of seafloor spreading and plate tectonics. Given dramatic advances in drilling technology and analytical capabilities since Legmore »3, many high-priority scientific objectives can be addressed by revisiting the transect. The SAT expeditions will target six primary sites on 7, 15, 31, 49, and 61 Ma ocean crust, which will fill critical gaps in our sampling of intact in situ ocean crust with regards to crustal age, spreading rate, and sediment thickness. These sections are required to investigate the history of the low-temperature hydrothermal interactions between the aging ocean crust and the evolving South Atlantic Ocean and quantify past hydrothermal contributions to global geochemical cycles. The transect traverses the previously unexplored sediment- and basalt-hosted deep biosphere beneath the South Atlantic Gyre from which samples are essential to refine global biomass estimates and investigate microbial ecosystems’ responses to variable conditions in a low-energy gyre and aging ocean crust. The drilling operations will include installation of reentry cones and casing to establish legacy boreholes for future basement hydrothermal and microbiological experiments. The transect is also located near World Ocean Circulation Experiment Line A10, providing access to records of carbonate chemistry and deepwater mass properties across the western South Atlantic through key Cenozoic intervals of elevated atmospheric CO2 and rapid climate change. Reconstruction of the history of the deep western boundary current and deepwater formation in the Atlantic basins will yield crucial data to test hypotheses regarding the role of evolving thermohaline circulation patterns in climate change and the effects of tectonic gateways and climate on ocean acidification.« less
  4. The primary objectives of International Ocean Discovery Program (IODP) Expedition 367/368 to the northern South China Sea (SCS) margin were to (1) examine its history of continental breakup and (2) compare it with other nonvolcanic or magma-poor rifted margins with the broader goal of testing models for continental breakup. A secondary objective was to further our understanding of the paleoceanographic and environmental development of the SCS and southeast Asia during the Cenozoic. Four primary sites were selected for the overall program: one in the outer margin high (OMH) and three seaward of the OMH on distinct, margin-parallel basement ridges. Thesemore »three ridges are informally labeled A, B, and C and are located in the continent–ocean transition (COT) zone ranging from the OMH to the interpreted steady-state oceanic crust (Ridge C) of the SCS. The main scientific objectives include the following: Determining the nature of the basement in crustal units across the COT of the SCS that are critical to constrain style of rifting, Constraining the time interval from initial crustal extension and plate rupture to the initial generation of igneous ocean crust, Constraining vertical crustal movements during breakup, and Examining the nature of igneous activity from rifting to seafloor spreading. In addition, the sediment cores from the drill sites targeting primarily tectonic and basement objectives will provide information on the Cenozoic regional environmental development of the Southeast Asia margin. Site U1499 on Ridge A and Site U1500 on Ridge B were drilled during Expedition 367. Expedition 368 was planned to drill at two primary sites (U1501 and U1503) at the OMH and Ridge C, respectively, but based on drilling results from Expedition 367, Expedition 368 chose to insert an alternate site on Ridge A (Site U1502). In addition, Expedition 368 added two more sites on the OMH (Sites U1504 and U1505). Expedition 367/368 completed operations at six of the seven sites (U1499–U1502, U1504, and U1505). Site U1503, however, was not completed beyond casing without coring to 990 m because of mechanical problems with the drilling equipment that prevented the expedition, after 25 May 2017, from operating with a drill string longer than 3400 m. New alternate Site U1504, proposed during Expedition 367, met this condition. Original Site U1505 also met the operational constraints of the 3400 m drill string (total) and was an alternate site for the already-drilled Site U1501. At Site U1499, we cored to 1081.8 m in 22.1 days with 52% recovery and then logged downhole data from 655 to 1020 m. In 31 days at Site U1500, we penetrated to 1529 m, cored a total of 1012.8 m with 37% recovery, and collected log data from 842 to 1133 m. At Site U1501, we cored to 697.1 m in 9.4 days with 78.5% recovery. We also drilled ahead for 433.5 m in Hole U1501D and then logged downhole data from 78.3 to 399.3 m. In 19.3 days at Site U1502, we penetrated 1679.0 m in Holes U1502A (758 m) and U1502B (921 m), set 723.7 m of casing and cored a total of 576.3 m with 53.5% recovery, and collected downhole log data from 785.3 to 875.3 m and seismic data through the 10¾ inch casing. At Site U1503, we penetrated 995.1 m and set 991.5 m of 10¾ inch casing, but no cores were taken because of a mechanical problem with the drawworks. At Site U1504, we took 40 rotary core barrel (RCB) cores over two holes. The cored interval between both holes was 277.3 m with 26.8% recovery. An 88.2 m interval was drilled in Hole U1504B. At Site U1505, we cored 668.0 m with 101.1% recovery. Logging data was collected from 80.1 to 341.2 m. Operations at this site covered 6.1 days. Except for Sites U1503 and U1505, all sites were drilled to acoustic basement. A total of 6.65 days were lost due to mechanical breakdown or waiting on spare supplies for repair of drilling equipment, but drilling options were severely limited from 25 May to the end of the expedition by the defective drawworks limiting deployment of drill string longer than 3400 m. At Site U1499, coring ~200 m into the interpreted acoustic basement sampled sedimentary rocks, possibly including early Miocene chalks underlain by Oligocene polymict breccias and poorly cemented gravels of unknown age comprising sandstone pebbles and cobbles. Preliminary structural and lithologic analysis suggests that the gravels might be early to late synrift sediment. At Site U1500, the main seismic reflector corresponds to the top of a basalt sequence at ~1379.1 m. We cored 149.90 m into this volcanic package and recovered 114.92 m (77%) of sparsely to moderately plagioclase-phyric basalt comprising numerous lava flows, including pillow lavas with glass, chilled margins, altered veins, hyaloclastites, and minor sediment. Preliminary geochemical analyses indicate that the basalt is tholeiitic. Sampling of the Pleistocene to lower Miocene sedimentary section at Sites U1499 and U1500 was not continuous for two reasons. First, there was extremely poor recovery in substantial intervals interpreted to be poorly lithified sands, possibly turbidites. Second, we chose to drill down without coring in some sections at Site U1500 to ensure sufficient time to achieve this site’s high-priority deep drilling objectives. The upper Miocene basin sequence, which consists of interbedded claystone, siltstone, and sandstone can be correlated between the two sites by seismic stratigraphic mapping and biostratigraphy. At Site U1501 on the OMH, coring ~45 m into the acoustic basement sampled prerift(?) deposits comprising sandstone to conglomerate of presumed Mesozoic age. These deposits are overlain by siliciclastic synrift sediments of Eocene to Oligocene age followed by primarily carbonaceous postrift sediments of early Miocene to Pleistocene age. Site U1502 on Ridge A was cased to 723.7 m. No coring was attempted shallower than 380 m to save operational time and because of low expectations for core recovery in the upper Plio–Pleistocene sequence. At this site, we recovered 180 m of hydrothermally altered brecciated basalts comprising sheet and pillow lavas below deep-marine sediments of Oligocene to late Miocene age. At Site U1503 on Ridge C, 991.5 m of casing was installed in preparation for the planned deep drilling to ~1800 m. No coring was performed due to mechanical failures, and the site was abandoned without further activity except for installation of a reentry cone. Coring at Site U1504 on the OMH, located ~45 km east of Site U1501, recovered mostly foliated, greenschist facies metamorphic rocks below late Eocene(?) carbonate rocks (partly reef debris) and early Miocene to Pleistocene sediments. At Site U1505, we cored to 480.15 m through Pleistocene to late Oligocene mainly carbonaceous ooze followed at depth by early Oligocene siliciclastic sediments. Efforts were made at every drill site to correlate the core with the seismic data and seismic stratigraphic unconformities interpreted in the Eocene to Plio–Pleistocene sedimentary sequence prior to drilling. The predrilling interpretation of ages of these unconformities was in general confirmed by drilling results, although some nontrivial corrections can be expected from detailed postexpedition work on integrating seismic stratigraphic interpretations with detailed bio- and lithostratigraphy. As a result of the limited length of drill string that could be deployed during the later part of Expedition 368, the secondary expedition objectives addressing the environmental history of the SCS and Southeast Asia received more focus than originally planned, allowing Site U1505 (alternate to Site U1501) to be included. Despite this change in focus, Expedition 367/368 provided solid evidence for a process of breakup that included vigorous synrift magmatism as opposed to the often-favored interpretation of the SCS margin as a magma-starved margin or a margin possibly overprinted at a much later stage by plume-related magmatism. In this broader perspective, Expedition 367/368 accomplished a fundamental objective of the two-expedition science program.« less
  5. International Ocean Discovery Program Expedition 368 is the second of two consecutive cruises that form the South China Sea Rifted Margin program. Expeditions 367 and 368 share the common key objectives of testing scientific hypotheses of breakup of the northern South China Sea (SCS) margin and comparing its rifting style and history to other nonvolcanic or magma-poor rifted margins. Four primary sites were selected for the overall program: one in the outer margin high (OMH) and three seaward of the OMH on distinct, margin-parallel basement ridges. These three ridges are informally labeled A, B, and C. They are located withinmore »the continent–ocean transition (COT) zone ranging from the OMH to the interpreted steady-state oceanic crust (Ridge C) of the SCS. The main scientific objectives include 1. Determining the nature of the basement within crustal units across the COT of the SCS that are critical to constrain style of rifting, 2. Constraining the time interval from initial crustal extension and plate rupture to the initial generation of igneous ocean crust, 3. Constraining vertical crustal movements during breakup, and 4. Examining the nature of igneous activity from rifting to seafloor spreading. In addition, the sediment cores from the drill sites targeting primarily tectonic and basement objectives will provide information on the Cenozoic regional environmental development of the Southeast Asia margin. Expedition 368 was planned to drill at two primary sites (U1501 and U1503) at the OMH and Ridge C, respectively. However, based on drilling results from Expedition 367, Expedition 368 chose to insert an alternate site on Ridge A (Site U1502). In total, the expedition completed operations at four sites (U1501, U1502, U1504, and U1505). Site U1503, however, was not completed beyond casing to 990 m because of mechanical problems with the drilling equipment that limited the expedition from 25 May 2017 to the end of the expedition to operate with a drill string not longer than 3400 m. New alternate Site U1504 proposed during Expedition 367 met this condition. Site U1505 also met the operational constraints of the 3400 m drill string (total) and was an alternate site for the already drilled Site U1501. At Site U1501, we cored to 697.1 m in 9.4 days, with 78.5% recovery. We also drilled ahead for 433.5 m in Hole U1501D and then logged downhole data from 78.3 to 399.3 m. In 19.3 days at Site U1502, we penetrated 1679.0 m, set 723.7 m of casing and cored a total of 576.3 m with 53.5% recovery, and collected downhole log data from 785.3 to 875.3 m and seismic data through the 10¾ inch casing. At Site U1503, we penetrated 995.1 m, setting 991.5 m of 10¾ inch casing, but no cores were taken. At Site U1504, we took 40 rotary core barrel (RCB) cores over two holes. The cored interval between both holes was 277.3 m with 26.8% recovery. An 88.2 m interval was drilled in Hole U1504B. At Site U1505, we cored 668.0 m with 101.1% recovery. Logging data was collected from 80.1 to 341.2 m. Operations at this site covered 6.1 days. Except for Site U1505, we drilled to acoustic basement, which prior to the expedition, except for Site U1501, had been interpreted to be crystalline basement. A total of 6.65 days were lost due to mechanical breakdown or waiting on spare supplies for repair of drilling equipment. At Site U1501 on the OMH, coring ~45 m into the acoustic basement sampled highly lithified sandstone to conglomerate of presumed Mesozoic age overlain by siliciclastic Eocene pre- to synrift sediments of Oligocene age and topped by primarily carbonaceous postrift sediments of early Miocene to Pleistocene age. Site U1502 on Ridge A was cased to 723.7 m. At this site, we recovered 180 m of hydrothermally altered brecciated basalts comprising sheet and pillow lavas below deep-marine sediments of Oligocene to late Miocene age. Coring was not performed within the upper 380 m (~Pliocene–Pleistocene) at Site U1502. At Site U1503 on Ridge C, 991.5 m of casing was installed in preparation for the planned deep drilling to ~1800 m, but no coring was performed due to mechanical failures, and the site was abandoned without further activity. Coring at Site U1504 on the OMH ~45 km east of Site U1501 recovered metamorphic schist to gneiss (greenschist facies) below late Eocene (?) carbonate rocks (partly reef debris) and early Miocene to Pleistocene sediments. At Site U1505, we cored to 480.15 m through Pleistocene to late Oligocene mainly carbonaceous ooze followed at depth by early Oligocene to late Eocene siliciclastic sediments. Efforts were made at every drill site to correlate the core with the seismic data and seismic stratigraphic unconformities interpreted within the Eocene to Plio–Pleistocene sedimentary sequence prior to drilling. The predrilling interpretation of ages of these unconformities was in general confirmed by drilling results. As a result of the constraints on the length of drill string that could be deployed during the later part of Expedition 368, the secondary expedition objectives addressing the environmental history of the SCS and Southeast Asia received more focus than planned because these sites are located in shallower water depths and required less penetration depth. This forced change in emphasis, however, was without fatal consequences for the primary tectonic objectives. The two expeditions together provided solid evidence for a process of breakup that included vigorous synrift magmatism as opposed to the often-favored interpretation of the SCS margin as a magma-starved margin.« less