Sampling and data sharing strategy

To maximize the science return, the two PEAT expeditions will be implemented as a single science program with samples and data shared across both expeditions. This presents unique opportunities and challenges to ensure that overall project, individual expedition, and individual science participant objectives are fully realized.

Research plan proposals (sample and data requests)

Every member of the science party is obligated to carry out scientific research for the program and publish it. For this purpose each scientist must submit a sample and/or data request prior to the expedition detailing their science plan. A sample request is also required for individuals not requesting samples but working on cruise data only. This is both to indicate their interest in a particular aspect of postcruise research and to provide the Sample Allocation Committee (SAC) with a documented postcruise science plan. The sampling plan should be limited to samples needed for the research to fulfill the expedition science obligation, not for research that may occur significantly in the future.

For the PEAT science program, there will be a single SAC covering both expeditions. The SAC is composed of the four Co-Chief Scientists, the two Staff Scientists, the IODP Curator on shore, or the curatorial representative in place of the curator on board ship. Shipboard and shore-based researchers should refer to the IODP Sample, Data, and Obligations policy (, which outlines how IODP samples and data are distributed and defines the obligations that sample and data recipients incur.

We will develop an integrated sampling plan before the first expedition commences. For both Expeditions 320 and 321, each participating scientist must submit a coordinated research plan covering all samples and data requests. This date has been set well in advance of the first expedition, scheduled to start in March 2009. The early deadline is required to be able to ensure coordination between both expeditions to achieve the overall project science objectives. Scientists need to submit their research plans using the Sample/Data Request form ( The sampling plan can be modified, with SAC approval, during and after the expedition to accommodate unexpected discoveries or poor recovery of intervals important to the scientist.

Individual expedition scientific participants are expected to help achieve expedition-specific as well as cross-expedition scientific objectives. Substantial collaboration and cooperation are highly encouraged. Access to data and core samples for specific research purposes, during both expeditions (320 and 321) and the subsequent 1 y moratorium, must be approved by the SAC. Sampling is restricted to the science party (shipboard and shore based) until 1 y after the completion of the sampling party of the second PEAT expedition (moratorium period).

All sampling to acquire ephemeral data types or to achieve essential sample preservation will be conducted during the expedition. Following these expeditions, cores will be delivered to the IODP Gulf Coast Core Repository at Texas A&M University, College Station.

Cruise-specific sampling, postcruise sampling parties, and critical intervals

Based on individual research plans (sample and data requests submitted), the SAC will work with the scientific party to formulate an expedition-specific sampling and data sharing plan for shipboard and postcruise activities. This plan will be subject to modification depending upon the actual material/data recovered and collaborations that may evolve between scientists before and during the two expeditions. Modifications to the sampling plan during the expeditions and moratorium period require the approval of the SAC. All sample frequencies and sizes must be justified on a scientific basis and will depend on core recovery, the full spectrum of other requests, the expedition objectives, and overall objectives of the PEAT science program.

Shipboard sampling during both expeditions will generally be restricted to low-resolution sampling (e.g., biostratigraphic sampling, and toothpick-sized samples for bulk carbonate isotopes), mainly so that we can rapidly produce age-model data critical for the overall objectives of the expeditions and for planning the higher resolution sampling. Small intervals (e.g., one core) of high-resolution sampling may be sampled at sea with SAC approval to provide initial material for study prior to the postcruise sampling. Thus, the bulk of the sampling for both expeditions is planned to occur during postcruise sampling parties at the Gulf Coast Repository, not at sea. For postcruise samples to be taken at the sampling parties, science party members must submit revisions to their precruise sample request at least 2 months before the sampling party for each expedition; SAC approval of these modifications will be required.

There may be considerable demand for samples from a limited amount of cored material for some critical intervals. These intervals could include but are not limited to the early Eocene interval of maximum Cenozoic warmth, the Eocene/Oligocene and Oligocene/Miocene boundaries, the middle Miocene climate transition, and the middle–late Miocene "carbonate crash." A special sampling plan will be developed for critical intervals to maximize scientific return and scientific participation and to preserve some material for future studies. The SAC can decide at any stage during the expeditions or during the 1 y moratorium period which recovered intervals should be considered as critical.

Critical intervals may require special handling, a higher sampling density, reduced sample size, or continuous core sampling for a set of particular high-priority research objectives. The SAC may require an additional formal sampling plan before critical intervals are sampled. The sampling of critical intervals will most likely not be carried out during expeditions, except for limited toothpick sampling for preliminary biostratigraphic and bulk isotope analyses.