Jackson Mccaffrey a University of Melbourne PhD student (supervised by A/Prof Stephen Gallagher and A/Porf Malcolm Wallace) has used detailed subsea seismic data and information from cores obtained from IODP Expedition 356 to discover an ancient great barrier reef off Australia’s coast.
Our research shows that a 2000 km long reef similar to the present east coast Great Barrier Reef persisted and expanded for millions or years around 15 million years ago off North West Australia and pretty much disappeared by 10 million years ago.
Nevertheless, the modern “less great” remnants of this reef are still present today as smaller patches off the Kimberley coast, the Rowley Shoals, Ningaloo Reef and the Houtman-Abrolhos reefs.
What could have led to the death of the North West Australian Great Barrier Reef?
We suggest that a combination of ocean/climate change and subsidence (the region started sinking at a very fast rate just prior to reef demise) caused the drowning of this huge feature, leaving a few small modern reefs today.
Scientific ocean drilling is more than half a century old this
year. Discoveries from scientific ocean drilling through the DSDP, ODP and IODP
programs have helped reveal Earth’s history, and have been critical to shaping
our understanding of how our planet works. But despite the wealth of knowledge
gained though five decades of scientific ocean drilling, there remain many new scientific
challenges that directly impact our society and that can only be addressed with
future scientific ocean drilling.
Planning for a new science plan for the post-2023 era is
now underway. International planning workshops have been
held over the last year in India, Australia, Japan, Europe, and the United
States, to capture the opinions of these international science communities. Another
workshop will be held this month in China. By the end of this process, more
than 800 participants will have worked together to assess the continuing
relevance of the 2013-2023 science plan, and to explore possibilities for a new,
post-2023 science plan in support of future scientific ocean drilling. The highlights
and key outcomes of those planning workshops are now available.
In July 2019, eighteen international delegates comprising the Science
Plan Working Group (see below my signature) met to produce a Science
Plan Structure and Road Map document highlighting the
commonalities in the workshop outcomes and indicating a potential way
forward towards a new science plan. Key aspects of this proposed new science
plan, entitled Exploring Earth by Scientific Ocean Drilling, are:
A strong emphasis on interdisciplinary science at the
crosslinks between science themes;
Enabling the next generation in scientific ocean
drilling through a science plan that extends to 2050;
Eight open-ended strategic objectives that form the
core of the science plan;
Five long-term, interdisciplinary flagship initiatives
that address critical societal challenges;
Five-year programmatic reviews that allow intermediate
adjustment or additions.
This Science Plan Structure and Road Map document was available for viewing. In January and March 2020 there will be two commenting cycles, when successive drafts of the future science plan will be made available to the community on the IODP.org website. As this is a new plan in support of the future generations of scientific ocean drilling researchers, we especially seek input from early- and mid-career scientists.
Thank you so much for your continued support and energy in
providing scientific ocean drilling with a bright future into the mid-21st
Anthony Koppers, Chair
Scientific Ocean Drilling Beyond 2023
on behalf of the Science Plan Working Group
of the Science Plan Working Group:
Anthony Koppers (Chair) Oregon
State University U.S.
Cristiano Chiessi University
of São Paulo Brazil
Gail Christeson University
of Texas at Austin U.S.
Mike Coffin University
of Tasmania Australia
Rosalind Coggon University
of Southampton U.K. (ECORD)
Diatom paleontologist Dr. Linda Armbrecht wants to use the past to understand how modern climate change might affect marine life. But the microfossils she looks at every day through the microscope are only one piece of the puzzle. To answer questions about how ocean ecosystems have changed over the last 12,000 years and beyond, she’s looking for something else in the mud: ancient DNA.
On 14 April 2019, more than 75 scientists from Australia, New Zealand, and abroad gathered in Canberra, at the ANU campus to formulate research themes and define new challenges for a new decadal (2024-2034) plan for global scientific ocean drilling. Many attendees were early- and mid-career researchers, highlighting the wide interest in continued engagement in this international program. Report HERE
South Atlantic Transect 1, Expedition 390
– 5 October to 5 December 2020
For more information about the expedition science objectives and the JOIDES Resolution Expedition Schedule seehttp://iodp.tamu.edu/scienceops/ – this site includes links to individual expedition web pages and the original IODP proposal and expedition planning information.