Sample requests and coordination

Because NanTroSEIZE is a long-term, multiexpedition drilling project that includes multiple linked expeditions over several years that share overarching scientific objectives, sampling and coordination of individual samples and data requests are somewhat different than for single expeditions. These differences include the recognition of the role of Specialty Coordinators, unique data sharing opportunities, and a more integrated sample and data request program. Key aspects of these differences are described below.

Specialty coordinators

Unlike traditional, stand-alone ODP/IODP legs and expeditions, unusual amounts of coordination and collaboration must occur among science parties across expeditions and within the framework of the overall NanTroSEIZE goals. Specialty Coordinators, in collaboration with Co-Chief Scientists, are responsible for facilitating collaborations between all of the participants on the two parts of Expedition 338, as well as identifying research or sampling gaps or collaborations across the project that are needed to achieve the overall NanTroSEIZE scientific goals. They will also provide technical and scientific guidance to each science party before, during, and after the expedition to ensure uniform and consistent data sets and nomenclature. The NanTroSEIZE PMT has identified six specific research areas that require special effort over the project’s duration:

  1. Lithostratigraphy and sedimentary petrology,

  2. Structural geology,

  3. Geotechnical properties and hydrogeology,

  4. Geochemistry,

  5. Core-log-seismic integration, and

  6. Paleomagnetism and biostratigraphy.

Data/Sample sharing

Data sharing across expeditions is normally accommodated through a formal data/sample request; that is, scientists from one expedition can apply as a shore-based scientist for shipboard data/samples from a completed, planned, or ongoing expedition. In this context, all Expedition 338 scientists are required to submit a request for data/samples from other IODP expeditions, including Expedition 315 (which cored the upper part of Site C0002), if they are interested in conducting postexpedition research that furthers the science objectives of those expeditions. Expedition 338 participants are also encouraged to review the postexpedition science of NanTroSEIZE Stages 1 and 2 to identify potential collaborative projects or research gaps that they can help address. In the broader scientific context of NanTroSEIZE, it is also possible that drilling or scientific objectives will overlap across two or more expeditions and science parties to such an extent that the expeditions will be treated as one project in terms of shipboard data and samples. In cases of formal merger of expeditions by the PMT, data can be shared without a separate data/sample request. This may occur, for example, for scientific or logistical reasons during preexpedition planning or during the expedition, if contingency sites are drilled that overlap with a planned expedition. The decision as to whether an expedition is a stand-alone expedition in terms of data/samples or is part of a suite of expeditions is made by the PMT in consultation with the SAC and the Co-Chiefs of the involved expeditions. This is somewhat different than most previous ODP and IODP expeditions but will follow the precedent and procedures defined during NanTroSEIZE Stage 1 drilling (Kinoshita, Tobin, Ashi, Kimura, Lallemant, Screaton, Curewitz, Masago, Moe, and the Expedition 314/315/316 Scientists, 2009).

Sample and data requests (research proposals)

All shipboard scientists must submit at least one data or sample request in advance of the drilling expedition. Additional requests also may be submitted before, during, or after the expedition as necessary to acquire samples or data that will help address fundamental questions of Expedition 338 or individual research projects. Requests will also be submitted by shore-based participants, but in cases of overlap or potential conflict, the shipboard scientists will be given higher priority. The initial sample requests provide the basis for the SAC and Specialty Coordinators to develop an integrated sampling program of both shipboard and shore-based sample requests to meet all of the essential postexpedition research objectives and avoid unnecessary duplication of effort. The initial sampling plan, of course, will be subject to modification depending upon the actual material/data recovered and on collaborations that may evolve between scientists before and during the expedition(s). Modifications to the sampling plan during the expedition require the approval of the SAC. To provide time for the SAC and Specialty Coordinators to develop a detailed and integrated sampling strategy, sample requests are due by 1 June 2012.

The IODP Sample, Data, and Obligations Policy ( outlines the policy for distributing IODP samples and data and defines the obligations incurred by both shipboard and shore-based scientists. Both groups of scientists should also use the Sample/Data Request form ( to submit their requests.

Additional sampling guidelines

The SAC is composed of the expedition Co-Chief Scientists, Expedition Project Managers (EPMs), the shipboard curatorial representative, and the IODP curator on shore. Specialty Coordinators provide advice to the SAC, but the SAC is responsible for all decisions. The SAC for the expedition(s) must approve access to data and core/cuttings samples requested during the expedition and during the 1 year moratorium, which starts at the end of the drilling expedition.

All sample frequencies and sizes must be justified on a scientific basis and will depend on core/cuttings recovery, the full spectrum of other sample/data requests, the expedition objectives, and project-wide NanTroSEIZE objectives. When critical or volumetrically limited intervals are recovered, there may be considerable demand for samples because of the limited amount of cored material. These intervals (e.g., highly deformed fault zone) 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. All sampling to acquire ephemeral data types or to achieve essential sample preservation will be conducted during the expedition. Sampling for individual scientists’ postexpedition research may be conducted during the expedition, or may be deferred to postexpedition.