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Title: Expedition 390/393 Scientific Prospectus Addendum: South Atlantic Transect
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. In 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.  more » « less
Award ID(s):
1326927
NSF-PAR ID:
10327929
Author(s) / Creator(s):
; ; ; ; ; ;
Date Published:
Journal Name:
Scientific prospectus
Volume:
390/393
ISSN:
2332-1385
Format(s):
Medium: X
Sponsoring Org:
National Science Foundation
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  1. The South Atlantic Transect (SAT) is a multidisciplinary scientific ocean drilling experiment designed to investigate the evolution of the ocean crust and overlying sediments across the western flank of the Mid-Atlantic Ridge. This project comprises four International Ocean Discovery Program expeditions: fully staffed Expeditions 390 and 393 (April–August 2022) built on engineering preparations during Expeditions 390C and 395E (October–December 2020 and April–June 2021, respectively) that took place without science parties during the height of the Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19) pandemic. Through operations along a crustal flow line at ~31°S, the SAT recovered complete sedimentary sections and the upper ~40–340 m of the underlying ocean crust formed at a slow- to intermediate-spreading rate at the Mid-Atlantic Ridge over the past ~61 My. The sediments along this transect were originally spot cored more than 50 y ago during Deep Sea Drilling Project Leg 3 (December 1968–January 1969) to help verify the theories of seafloor spreading and plate tectonics. The SAT expeditions targeted six primary sites on 7, 15, 31, 49, and 61 Ma ocean crust that fill critical gaps in our sampling of intact in situ ocean crust with regard to crustal age, spreading rate, and sediment thickness. Drilling these sites was required to investigate the history, duration, and intensity of the low-temperature hydrothermal interactions between the aging ocean crust and the evolving South Atlantic Ocean. This knowledge will improve the quantification of past hydrothermal contributions to global biogeochemical cycles and help develop a predictive understanding of the impacts of variable hydrothermal processes and exchanges. Samples from the transect of the previously unexplored sediment- and basalt-hosted deep biosphere beneath the South Atlantic Gyre are essential to refine global biomass estimates and examine microbial ecosystems' responses to variable conditions in a low-energy gyre and aging ocean crust. The transect, located near World Ocean Circulation Experiment Line A10, provides 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. During engineering Expeditions 390C and 395E (5 October–5 December 2020 and 6 April–6 June 2021, respectively), a single hole was cored through the sediment cover and into the uppermost rocks of the ocean crust with the advanced piston corer and extended core barrel systems at five of the six primary proposed SAT sites. Reentry systems with casing were then installed either into basement or within 10 m of basement at each of those five sites. Expedition 390 (7 April–7 June 2022) conducted operations at three of the SAT sites, recovering 700 m of core (77% recovery) over 30.3 days of on-site operations. Sediment coring, basement coring, and wireline logging were conducted at two sites on ~61 Ma crust (Sites U1556 and U1557), and sediment coring was completed at the 7 Ma Site U1559. During Expedition 390, more than 1.2 km of sediments was characterized, including 793 m of core collected during Expeditions 390C and 395E at Sites U1556, U1557, and U1559 as well as Expedition 395E Site U1561, which was cored on thinly (<50 m) sedimented ~61 Ma crust. The uppermost ~342 and ~120 m of ~61 Ma ocean crust was cored at Sites U1556 and U1557, respectively. Geophysical wireline logging was achieved at both sites, but the basement hole at Site U1556 was not preserved as a legacy hole because of subsidence of the reentry cone below the seafloor. At Site U1557, the drill bit was deposited on the seafloor prior to downhole logging, leaving Hole U1557D available for future deepening and establishing a legacy borehole for basement hydrothermal and microbiological experiments. Expedition 393 (7 June–7 August 2022) operated at four sites, drilling in 12 holes to complete this initial phase of the SAT. Complete sedimentary sections were collected at Sites U1558, U1583, and U1560 on 49, 31, and 15 Ma crust, respectively, and together with 257.7 m of sediments cored during earlier operations, more than 600 m of sediments was characterized. The uppermost ocean crust was drilled at Sites U1558, U1560, and U1583 with good penetration (~130 to ~204 meters subbasement); however, at the youngest ~7 Ma Site U1559, only ~43 m of basement penetration was achieved in this initial attempt. Geophysical wireline logs were achieved at Sites U1583 and U1560 only. Expeditions 390 and 393 established legacy sites available for future deepening and downhole basement hydrothermal and microbiological experiments at Sites U1557, U1560, and U1559 on 61, 15, and 7 Ma crust, respectively. Highlights of the SAT expeditions include (1) recovering abundant altered glass, hydrothermal veins, complex breccias, and a wide range of alteration halos in the volcanic sequences of the uppermost ocean crust formed at 7–61 Ma, indicating low-temperature hydrothermal processes and exchanges between seawater and basalts across the western flank of the southern Mid-Atlantic Ridge for millions to tens of millions of years; (2) documenting extended redox gradients from both the seafloor and the sediment/basement interface that indicate significant subsurface fluid flow and may support a diversity of microorganisms and metabolisms; and (3) recovering an almost complete stratigraphic record of the Cenozoic (including the Paleocene/Eocene Thermal Maximum and other key climate events) composed of nannofossil oozes with varying amounts of clay indicating the shoaling and deepening of the calcite compensation depth. 
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  2. The South Atlantic Transect (SAT) is a multidisciplinary scientific ocean drilling experiment designed to investigate the evolution of the ocean crust and overlying sediments across the western flank of the Mid-Atlantic Ridge. This project comprises four International Ocean Discovery Program expeditions: fully staffed Expeditions 390 and 393 (April–August 2022) built on engineering preparations during Expeditions 390C and 395E (October–December 2020 and April–June 2021, respectively) that took place without science parties during the height of the Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19) pandemic. Through operations along a crustal flow line at ~31°S, the SAT recovered complete sedimentary sections and the upper ~40–340 m of the underlying ocean crust formed at a slow- to intermediate-spreading rate at the Mid-Atlantic Ridge over the past ~61 My. The sediments along this transect were originally spot cored more than 50 y ago during Deep Sea Drilling Project Leg 3 (December 1968–January 1969) to help verify the theories of seafloor spreading and plate tectonics. The SAT expeditions targeted six primary sites on 7, 15, 31, 49, and 61 Ma ocean crust that fill critical gaps in our sampling of intact in situ ocean crust with regard to crustal age, spreading rate, and sediment thickness. Drilling these sites was required to investigate the history, duration, and intensity of the low-temperature hydrothermal interactions between the aging ocean crust and the evolving South Atlantic Ocean. This knowledge will improve the quantification of past hydrothermal contributions to global biogeochemical cycles and help develop a predictive understanding of the impacts of variable hydrothermal processes and exchanges. Samples from the transect of the previously unexplored sediment- and basalt-hosted deep biosphere beneath the South Atlantic Gyre are essential to refine global biomass estimates and examine microbial ecosystems' responses to variable conditions in a low-energy gyre and aging ocean crust. The transect, located near World Ocean Circulation Experiment Line A10, provides 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. During engineering Expeditions 390C and 395E (5 October–5 December 2020 and 6 April–6 June 2021, respectively), a single hole was cored through the sediment cover and into the uppermost rocks of the ocean crust with the advanced piston corer and extended core barrel systems at five of the six primary proposed SAT sites. Reentry systems with casing were then installed either into basement or within 10 m of basement at each of those five sites. Expedition 390 (7 April–7 June 2022) conducted operations at three of the SAT sites, recovering 700 m of core (77% recovery) over 30.3 days of on-site operations. Sediment coring, basement coring, and wireline logging were conducted at two sites on ~61 Ma crust (Sites U1556 and U1557), and sediment coring was completed at the 7 Ma Site U1559. During Expedition 390, more than 1.2 km of sediments was characterized, including 793 m of core collected during Expeditions 390C and 395E at Sites U1556, U1557, and U1559 as well as Expedition 395E Site U1561, which was cored on thinly (<50 m) sedimented ~61 Ma crust. The uppermost ~342 and ~120 m of ~61 Ma ocean crust was cored at Sites U1556 and U1557, respectively. Geophysical wireline logging was achieved at both sites, but the basement hole at Site U1556 was not preserved as a legacy hole because of subsidence of the reentry cone below the seafloor. At Site U1557, the drill bit was deposited on the seafloor prior to downhole logging, leaving Hole U1557D available for future deepening and establishing a legacy borehole for basement hydrothermal and microbiological experiments. Expedition 393 (7 June–7 August 2022) operated at four sites, drilling in 12 holes to complete this initial phase of the SAT. Complete sedimentary sections were collected at Sites U1558, U1583, and U1560 on 49, 31, and 15 Ma crust, respectively, and together with 257.7 m of sediments cored during earlier operations, more than 600 m of sediments was characterized. The uppermost ocean crust was drilled at Sites U1558, U1560, and U1583 with good penetration (~130 to ~204 meters subbasement); however, at the youngest ~7 Ma Site U1559, only ~43 m of basement penetration was achieved in this initial attempt. Geophysical wireline logs were achieved at Sites U1583 and U1560 only. Expeditions 390 and 393 established legacy sites available for future deepening and downhole basement hydrothermal and microbiological experiments at Sites U1557, U1560, and U1559 on 61, 15, and 7 Ma crust, respectively. Highlights of the SAT expeditions include (1) recovering abundant altered glass, hydrothermal veins, complex breccias, and a wide range of alteration halos in the volcanic sequences of the uppermost ocean crust formed at 7–61 Ma, indicating low-temperature hydrothermal processes and exchanges between seawater and basalts across the western flank of the southern Mid-Atlantic Ridge for millions to tens of millions of years; (2) documenting extended redox gradients from both the seafloor and the sediment/basement interface that indicate significant subsurface fluid flow and may support a diversity of microorganisms and metabolisms; and (3) recovering an almost complete stratigraphic record of the Cenozoic (including the Paleocene/Eocene Thermal Maximum and other key climate events) composed of nannofossil oozes with varying amounts of clay indicating the shoaling and deepening of the calcite compensation depth. 
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  3. The South Atlantic Transect (SAT) is a multidisciplinary scientific ocean drilling project that comprises four International Ocean Discovery Program (IODP) expeditions: engineering Expeditions 390C and 395E as well as Expeditions 390 and 393. Altogether, the expeditions aim to recover complete sedimentary sections and the upper 100–350 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 (December 1968–January 1969) to help verify the theories of seafloor spreading and plate tectonics. Given dramatic advances in drilling technology and analytical capabilities since Leg 3, many high-priority scientific objectives can be addressed by revisiting the transect. The SAT expeditions target six primary sites on 7, 15, 31, 49, and 61 Ma ocean crust, which fill critical gaps in our sampling of intact in situ ocean crust with regards to crustal age, spreading rate, and sediment thickness. Drilling these sites is 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 biogeochemical cycles. Samples from the transect of the previously unexplored sediment- and basalt-hosted deep biosphere beneath the South Atlantic Gyre are essential to refining global biomass estimates and examining microbial ecosystems’ responses to variable conditions in a low-energy gyre and aging ocean crust. The transect is 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. Engineering Expeditions 390C and 395E cored a single hole through the sediment/basement interface with the advanced piston corer/extended core barrel system at five of the six primary proposed SAT sites and installed a reentry system with casing either into basement or within 10 m of basement at each of those five sites. Expedition 390 (7 April–7 June 2022) conducted operations at three of the SAT sites, recovering 700 m of core (77% recovery) over 30.3 days of on-site operations. Sediment coring, basement drilling, and logging were conducted at two sites on 61 Ma crust, and sediment coring was completed at the 7 Ma crust site. At Site U1557 on 61 Ma crust, the drill bit was deposited on the seafloor prior to downhole logging, leaving Hole U1557D available for future deepening and to establish a legacy borehole for basement hydrothermal and microbiological experiments. Expedition 390 scientists additionally described, and analyzed data from, 792 m of core collected during Expeditions 390C and 395E. Expedition 393 plans to operate at four sites, conducting basement drilling and downhole logging at the 7 Ma site, in addition to sediment coring, basement drilling, and logging at the sites intermediate in age. 
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  4. The South Atlantic Transect (SAT) is a multidisciplinary scientific ocean drilling experiment designed to investigate the evolution of the oceanic crust and overlying sediments across the western flank of the Mid-Atlantic Ridge. This project comprises four International Ocean Discovery Program expeditions: fully staffed Expeditions 390 and 393 (April–August 2022) built on engineering preparations during Expeditions 390C and 395E that took place without science parties during the height of the Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19) pandemic. Through operations along a crustal flow line at ~31°S, the SAT recovered complete sedimentary sections and the upper ~40–340 m of the underlying ocean crust formed at a slow to intermediate spreading rate at the Mid-Atlantic Ridge over the past ~61 My. The sediments along this transect were originally spot cored more than 50 y ago during Deep Sea Drilling Project Leg 3 (December 1968–January 1969) to help verify the theories of seafloor spreading and plate tectonics. The SAT expeditions targeted six primary sites on 7, 15, 31, 49, and 61 Ma ocean crust that fill critical gaps in our sampling of intact in situ ocean crust with regards to crustal age, spreading rate, and sediment thickness. Drilling these sites was required to investigate the history, duration, and intensity of the low-temperature hydrothermal interactions between the aging ocean crust and the evolving South Atlantic Ocean. This knowledge will improve the quantification of past hydrothermal contributions to global biogeochemical cycles and help develop a predictive understanding of the impacts of variable hydrothermal processes and exchanges. Samples from the transect of the previously unexplored sediment- and basalt-hosted deep biosphere beneath the South Atlantic Gyre are essential to refine global biomass estimates and examine microbial ecosystems’ responses to variable conditions in a low-energy gyre and aging ocean crust. The transect is located near World Ocean Circulation Experiment Line A10, which provides a baseline for 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. During engineering Expeditions 390C and 395E, a single hole was cored through the sediment cover and into the uppermost rocks of the ocean crust with the advanced piston corer (APC) and extended core barrel (XCB) systems at five of the six primary proposed SAT sites. Reentry systems with casing were then installed either into basement or within 10 m of basement at each of those five sites. Expedition 390 (7 April–7 June 2022) conducted operations at three of the SAT sites, recovering 700 m of core (77%) over 30.3 days of on-site operations. Sediment coring, basement coring, and wireline logging were conducted at two sites on 61 Ma crust (Sites U1556 and U1557), and sediment coring was completed at the 7 Ma Site U1559. Expedition 393 operated at four sites, drilling in 12 holes to complete this initial phase of the SAT. Complete sedimentary sections were collected at Sites U1558, U1583, and U1560 on 49, 31, and 15 Ma crust, respectively, and together with 257.7 m of sediments cored during earlier operations, more than 600 m of sediments was characterized. The uppermost ocean crust was drilled at Sites U1558, U1560, and U1583 with good penetration (~130 to ~204 meters subbasement), but at the youngest ~7 Ma Site U1559, only ~43 m of basement penetration was achieved in this initial attempt. Geophysical wireline logs were aquired at Sites U1583 and U1560. Expeditions 390 and 393 established legacy sites available for future deepening and downhole basement hydrothermal and microbiological experiments at Sites U1557, U1560, and U1559 on 61, 15, and 7 Ma crust, respectively. 
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  5. 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 to 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. 
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