CALL FOR SCIENTISTS – IODP Expedition 386: Japan Trench Paleoseismology

Applications are invited from scientists in countries participating in IODP to join the Science Party for IODP Expedition 386: Japan Trench Paleoseismology. Scientists with expertise relevant to the objectives of the proposal may apply. The proposal upon which this expedition is based was submitted as IODP Proposal #866 ‘Japan Trench Paleoseismology’, subtitle ‘TRACKing past earthquakes in the sediment record along the Japan Trench: Testing and developing submarine Paleoseismology in the deep sea (JTRACKPaleoseismology)’.

The proposal describing the primary coring sites, as well as up-to-date expedition information, can be found on the Expedition 386 webpage

Background and Objectives

Expedition 386 aims to test and develop “submarine paleoseismology” in the Japan Trench, a promising approach that overcomes the limitations of short historical and instrumental records in revealing earthquake maximum magnitude and recurrence. Examining prehistoric events preserved in the geological record is essential to reconstruct the long-term history of earthquakes and to deliver observational data that help to reduce epistemic uncertainties in seismic hazard assessment for long return periods.

Expedition 386 will adopt a multi-coring approach using a mission-specific platform equipped with a giant piston corer to sample the shallow-subsurface at up to 40 mbsf to recover the continuous Upper Pleistocene to Holocene stratigraphic successions of trench-fill basins along an axis-parallel transect of the 7-8km deep Japan Trench. The cores from 18 proposed p (and/or 13 alternate) sites will be used for multi-method applications to characterize event deposits, for which the detailed stratigraphic expressions and spatio-temporal distribution will be analysed for proxy evidence of earthquakes. Expedition 386 can potentially lead to a fascinating record unravelling an earthquake history that is 10 to 100 times longer than currently available. This would contribute to a tremendous advance in the understanding of the recurrence pattern of giant earthquakes and earthquake-induced geohazards globally.

The project has three major objectives:

1. To identify the sedimentological, physical, chemical, and biogeochemical proxies of eventdeposits in the sedimentary archive that allow for confident recognition and dating of past Mw9-class earthquakes vs. smaller earthquakes vs. other driving mechanisms.

2. To explore the spatial and temporal distribution of such event-deposits to investigate alongstrike and time-dependant variability of sediment sources, transport and deposition processes, and stratigraphic preservation.

3. To develop a long-term earthquake record for giant earthquakes.

Platforms, locations and timing

Until the Expedition 386 platforms are confirmed, all timings are provisional.

The mission-specific platform for this expedition will be the JAMSTEC-operated Research Vessel Kaimei, which is equipped with its own 40m giant piston corer. The R/V Kaimei will be mobilised and demobilised at ports to be decided in Japan.

At this time, it is envisaged that the offshore phase of Expedition 386 will take place on the R/V Kaimei for up to 50 days in spring and/or summer of 2020 (Apr-Aug, please watch the Expedition 386 webpage for schedule updates,

Only a subset of the Science Party will participate offshore. Offshore activities will focus on core recovery, curation, sampling for ephemeral properties, physical properties, and preliminary lithostratigraphy and biostratigraphy (through liner and/or on core catcher samples). The cores will be sectioned offshore, but will not be not opened or split.

Subsequently, an Onshore Science Party (OSP) will be held on board the JAMSTEC-operated Drilling Vessel Chikyu, which will be docked in the Port of Shizuoka, Japan. The OSP is expected to last a maximum of 30 days in the period October to November 2020, the exact length will be dependent on core recovery. During the OSP, the cores will be split and IODP Mission-Specific Platforms Standard Measurements taken. All members of the Science Party must attend the Onshore Science Party. Please see (and linked pages within) for an overview of Mission Specific Platforms in IODP. Please note that the

Expedition 386 OSP will be held onboard the D/V Chikyu. The link above refers to our usual OSP location at the Bremen Core Repository, located at the University of Bremen in Germany. However, the same OSP principles will still apply. Successful applicants will be invited either as an offshore-onshore participant, or as an onshoreonly participant. Please note that there are no opportunities for offshore-only participation. Expertise sought Opportunities exist for researchers (including graduate students) in all specialties. While other expertise may be considered, specialists in the following fields are required: sedimentology (with special focus on deep-water and hadal trench depositional environments, sediment fabrics, and X-ray computed tomography), event stratigraphy, micropaleontology (including expertise with siliceous microfossils and benthic foraminifera), tephra stratigraphy, paleomagnetics, stratigraphic correlation, organic geochemistry, inorganic geochemistry, physical properties, geophysics, paleoseismology, structural geology, and microbiology. For the offshore phase of the expedition, we are particularly looking for the following fields: sedimentology, micropaleontology, organic geochemistry, inorganic geochemistry, physical properties, event stratigraphy, stratigraphic correlation, geophysics and microbiology.

Information webinar

To learn more about the scientific objectives of this expedition, life at sea, and how to apply to sail, please join us for a web-based seminar on Thursday 20 June 2019 at 12pm GMT. To participate in the webinar, you will need access to the internet with a computer equipped with a speaker and microphone (optional). To register, please visit: Please note that places are limited to 100, and the webinar link will be e-mailed to the first 100 registrants.

Where to apply – IODP Program Member Offices

If you are interested in applying to join the drilling expeditions, you should apply to Leanne Armand, at (phone 02 6125 6713) using the standard Application to Sail 

DEADLINE 5 July 2019

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