Sampling and data sharing strategy

Shipboard and shore-based researchers should refer to the IODP Sample, Data, and Obligations Policy ( This document outlines the policy for distributing IODP samples and data. It also defines the obligations incurred by sample and data recipients. All requests for data and core samples must be approved by the Sample Allocation Committee (SAC). The SAC is composed of the Co-Chief Scientists, Expedition Project Manager, and IODP Curator on shore and curatorial representative in place of the Curator onboard the ship.

Every member of the science party is obligated to carry out scientific research for the expedition and publish it. For this purpose, shipboard and shore-based scientists are expected to submit sample requests (at detailing their science plan at least 3 months before the beginning of the expedition. Based on sample requests submitted by this deadline and input from the scientific party, the SAC will prepare a tentative sampling plan that will be revised on the ship as dictated by recovery and cruise objectives. The sampling plan will be subject to modification depending upon the actual material recovered and collaborations that may evolve between scientists during the expedition. This planning process is necessary to coordinate the research to be conducted and to ensure that the scientific objectives are achieved.

Minimizing the overlap of measurements among the shipboard party and identified shore-based collaborators will be a factor in evaluating sample requests. Success will require collaboration, integration of complementary data sets, and consistent methods of analysis. Substantial collaboration and cooperation are highly encouraged.

Shipboard sampling will be restricted to acquiring ephemeral data types and to low- resolution sampling, mainly so that we can rapidly produce age model data critical to the overall objectives of the expedition and for planning for higher resolution sampling postcruise. Whole-round samples will be taken for pore fluid chemistry, physical properties, and possibly microbiological experiments. Sampling for the bulk of individual scientists’ personal research will be postponed until a shore-based sampling party to be implemented ~4 months after the expedition at the Gulf Coast Repository (College Station, Texas, USA).

All collected data and samples will be protected by a 1 y moratorium period following the completion of the sampling party, during which time data and samples are available only to the Expedition 341 science party and approved shore-based participants. Modifications to the sampling plan during the expedition and the moratorium period require the approval of the SAC. 

There may be considerable demand for samples from a limited amount of cored material for some critical intervals. 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 and a special sampling plan will be developed to maximize scientific participation and to preserve some material for future studies. The SAC can decide at any stage during the expedition or during the moratorium period which recovered intervals should be considered as critical.

At Sites KB-2A, GOA16-1A, and GOA18-2A we plan to split and describe on the ship only some of the holes acquired at each site and preserve selected intervals as whole-round cores. Immediately following the expedition, the unsplit cores will be sent to shore-based laboratories to be scanned by computed tomography. Splitting and description of these cores will be accomplished last at the IODP Gulf Coast Repository.