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A sampling and measurements plan for Expedition 310 (see the “Appendix”) was prepared to meet the scientific objectives of IODP Proposal 519-Add2 following the recommendations of the Science Advisory Structure.

Offshore Science Operations at Tahiti

It should be possible to carry out all necessary scientific work on board the ship. After due consideration, it has been decided that the cores will not be split at sea, as it will be more efficient to carry out most of the scientific analysis during an onshore party at Bremen. Therefore, there will be only limited scientific analysis carried out on board and only a limited number of scientists will be required to sail. It is currently planned that core will be cut (unless there is a continuous section of a massive coral colony) on board into 1.5 m lengths and curated. The core catcher sample will be split and a visual description recorded. Samples for microbiology will be taken and suitably stored for analysis. Some preliminary microbiology measurements will be conducted offshore (see “Microbiology” in the “Appendix”).


Scientific staffing has been decided on the basis of task requirements and nominations from the ECORD Science Support Advisory Committee (ESSAC), U.S. Science Advisory Committee (USSAC), Japan Drilling Earth Science Consortium (JDESC), and Ministry of Science and Technology (MOST) of the People’s Republic of China. ESO staffing is based on the need to carry out the drilling and scientific operations efficiently and safely.

The following ESO and science staffing amounts to 23 participants:


  • 1 Operations Superintendent
  • 1 Staff Scientist
  • 1 Trainee Staff Scientist
  • 1 Petrophysics Staff Scientists
  • 2 Curators
  • 2 Drilling Coordinators
  • 1 Database Operator
  • 1 Electronics Engineer
  • 1 ESO Petrophysicist
  • 1 ESO Geochemist
  • 2 Logging Contractors
  • 1 Microbiology Technician
Offshore Science Team
  • 2 Co-Chief Scientists
  • 2 Carbonate Sedimentologists
  • 2 Coral Specialists
  • 1 Microbiologist
  • 1 Core Petrophysicist

Drillship Science Activities

Science activities on the drillship are likely to be confined to those essential for early sampling and logging, as well as for safety and curation (see the “Appendix” for more details):

  • Basic curation and labeling of core,
  • Core catcher lithological and macropaleontological analysis,
  • Core storage,
  • Petrophysics (see “Offshore Petrophysics Measurements” and “Appendix”),
  • Pore water sampling for chemistry/circulation studies (if Scientific Party requests),
  • Collection/storage of microbiology samples under appropriate conditions, and
  • Associated data management of all activities (see below).

The coral reefs require rotary coring, and the hard rock cores collected will be collected in ordinary liners. The cores will be split during the onshore party in Bremen.

In order to carry out the science requirements on the drillship with a small crew, a staffing plan has been devised. The plan requires flexibility of approach from all participants, with priority to safety, core recovery, curation, and procedures for the measurement of ephemeral properties.

Cruise report preparation and compilation will take place on board. A detailed cruise report will be broken down into the following sections:

  • Coring operations
  • Operations cost (which will be monitored daily)
  • Preliminary scientific results
  • Databasing

Regular reports will be sent to IODP-MI in requested formats and at the required frequency.

Offshore Petrophysical Measurements

It is planned to run all cores on the multisensor core logger (MSCL) (density, resistivity, velocity, and susceptibility) on board the drillship (see the “Appendix” for more details).

Tahiti Logging Operations

Considering the anticipated shallow depth of many holes, short tool strings are highly recommended. Because of environmental concerns (shallow-water reef environment) the use of chemical sources is prohibited; as such, density and porosity logging tools that require these sources cannot be used.

Three depth transects are planned, and the logging plan will be optimized through further discussions with the Co-Chief Scientists. It is envisioned that two holes per transect will be fully logged, with a reduced logging plan in some of the other holes (subject to hole conditions).

Given the anticipated small diameter of the boreholes (HQ core bit outer diameter = 96 mm), only slimline-type logging tools can be utilized. The following is a generic list of minimum and additional tools, based on formation properties discussed with proponents, and not on operator-based trademark names:

Minimum Measurements

  • Optical images: millimeter-scale geological description
  • Acoustic images: centimeter-scale impedance and mesoscale porosity
  • Spectral gamma logging: U, Th, K, and red algae
  • Acoustic velocity logging: VP and VS at 10–20 kHz)
  • Induction resistivity logging: pore fluid salinity and porosity
  • Hydrochemical borehole fluid logging: pressure, temperature, pH, Eh, SP, and fluid electrical conductivity to identify fluid circulation

Onshore Science Activities

The onshore sampling party is expected to take place during February 2006 under the supervision of Dr. Ursula Röhl, manager of the IODP Bremen Core Repository (BCR).

The following facilities will be available for the expedition scientists at BCR (see the “Appendix: Measurements Plan” for more details):

  • Core splitting
  • Core description
  • Core photography
  • Core sampling
  • Thin section and smear slide preparation
  • Micropaleontology
  • Inorganic geochemistry
  • X-ray diffraction analysis
  • Petrophysical measurements



  • 1 Superintendent (Curation and Laboratory Manager)
  • 1 Staff Scientist
  • 1 Assistant Superintendent (Assistant Curation and Laboratory Manager)
  • 1 Petrophysics Staff Scientist
  • 1 ESO Petrophysicist
  • 2 Curators
  • 2 Database Operators
  • 1 Trainee Staff Scientist
  • 1 Yeoperson
  • Laboratory Team (provided by University of Bremen)
Expedition Scientists
  • 2 Co-Chief Scientists (2 sailing)
  • 4 Carbonate Sedimentologists (2 sailing)
  • 2 Coral Specialists (2 sailing)
  • 1 Microbiologist (1 sailing)
  • 2 Core Petrophysicists (1 sailing)
  • 1 Foraminifer Paleontologist
  • 10 Inorganic Geochemists (SST variation and dating)
  • 1 Paleomagnetist
  • 1 Igneous Petrologist
  • 1 Observer

Data Management

A detailed specification and configuration of data management systems for the Tahiti Expedition will be developed from the finalized science/operational data requirements and operational logistics. The plan outline is as follows:

  • A modified version of the International Continental Scientific Drilling Program (ICDP) Drilling Information System (DIS) (OffshoreDIS) will be used to capture drilling and core-related data during the operation and postoperation shore party phases.
  • Data will be transferred to Janus and the World Data Center for Marine Environmental Sciences (WDC-MARE)/Publishing Network for Geoscientific and Environmental Data (PANGAEA), the MSP data repository.
  • The data management plan and the petrophysics plan (developed by EPC) will be integrated.
  • The longer-term plan for data management will take into account IODP Information Services requirements once these are known.

OffshoreDIS will be configured to match the science/operational requirements of the expedition. The timing of transfer of metadata/data from OffshoreDIS to WDC-MARE/PANGAEA will depend on the data type and operational requirements; transfer formats, procedures, and data security policy/implementation have still to be finalized.

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