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The focus of Integrated Ocean Drilling Program (IODP) Expedition 303 was to place late Neogene–Quaternary North Atlantic climate history into a paleointensity-assisted chronology (PAC) based on oxygen isotopes and geomagnetic paleointensity. The nine primary drilling locations (Fig. F1) are known, either from previous Ocean Drilling Program (ODP)/Deep Sea Drilling Project (DSDP) drilling or from conventional piston cores, to have the following attributes:

  • They contain distinct records of millennial-scale environmental variability (in terms of ice sheet–ocean interactions, deep circulation changes, or sea-surface conditions);
  • They provide the requirements for developing a millennial-scale stratigraphy (through geomagnetic paleointensity, oxygen isotopes, microfossils, and regional environmental patterns); and
  • They document the details of geomagnetic field behavior.

The ultimate objective is to generate a chronostratigraphic template for North Atlantic climate proxies to allow their correlation at a sub-Milankovitch scale and their export to other parts of the globe.

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