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By Integrated Ocean Drilling Program Management International, Inc.

The Integrated Ocean Drilling Program (IODP) is the most ambitious ocean exploration and drilling program ever undertaken. With multiple platforms and multiple partners, our research spans the globe and truly represents international collaboration and diplomacy among scientists and nations interested in attaining scientific goals.

The Proceedings present the scientific and engineering results of IODP drilling projects, each an important component of an international program designed to better understand Earth, its environmental changes and processes, the deep biosphere, and climate change.

The collective effort required to conduct each IODP expedition is colossal. Beginning with scientists who submit ocean drilling research proposals, there are others who evaluate, rank, and prioritize proposals. Scientists also schedule the science operations, select science party members from scores of international scientists qualified to participate, plan platform operations, ready the drillship, and choose borehole locations. There are onboard logistics to manage and critical communications to coordinate among various academic institutions, governments, and national science organizations. And the resulting data must be managed and made accessible to scientists, particularly those who will prepare future proposals. Every aspect of planning an IODP expedition takes a village—or several. There are many participants and many more stakeholders.

Ocean-drilling achievements, however complex, help us understand extraordinary linkages and interpret relationships as they exist in various parts of the Earth system. Achievements in two legacy drilling programs (the Ocean Drilling Program and Deep Sea Drilling Project) have validated the scientific concepts behind plate tectonics, contributed to the understanding of ocean circulation changes, and extended our knowledge of long- and short-term climate change—scientific information at the foundation of our current drilling program.

IODP drilling platform operations are conducted by three Implementing Organizations (IOs). Riserless platform operations are conducted by the JOI Alliance, comprising the Joint Oceanographic Institutions, Inc., Texas A&M University through the Texas A&M Research Foundation, and Lamont-Doherty Earth Observatory of Columbia University. Riser platform operations are conducted by the Japan Agency for Marine-Earth Science and Technology through Japan's Center for Deep Earth Exploration in cooperation with the Center for Advanced Marine Core Research at Kochi University. Mission-specific platform operations are conducted by the European Consortium for Ocean Research Drilling, Science Operator, comprising the British Geological Survey, Bremen University, and the European Petrophysics Consortium. The European IO currently represents the ocean-drilling efforts of 16 nations in Europe, plus Canada. At the start of this drilling project, IODP involved 20 nations.

The discoveries discovered in this volume build upon layers of knowledge and science developed over roughly the last fifty years. Expedition Proceedings are published by IODP Management International for IODP under the sponsorship of the U.S. National Science Foundation (NSF), Japan's Ministry of Culture, Education, Sports, Science and Technology, and other IODP members. The material is based upon research supported under Contract OCE-0432224 from NSF.

Manik Talwani
President & Chief Executive Officer
Integrated Ocean Drilling Program Management International, Inc.
Washington, D.C.