Science operations

A Sampling and Measurements Plan (SMP) for Expedition 347 will be prepared by ESO and the Co-Chief Scientists to meet the scientific objectives of IODP Proposal 672 following the recommendations of the Science Advisory Structure (SAS). Please see the SMP link (​en/​Exp347_Sampling_and_Measurement_Plan.html).

Offshore science activities

It is the nature of MSP expeditions that there is limited laboratory space and accommodation on board, and as such there is no splitting of the cores at sea and only limited scientific analysis is carried out onboard by a subset of the Science Party. Science activities on the platform are confined to those essential for core curation, measurement of ephemeral properties, securing of proper samples for pore water chemistry and microbiology, downhole logging, and safety. Most of the scientific analysis is carried out during the Onshore Science Party in Bremen, when the cores are initially split.

The following is a summary of the offshore scientific activities (please refer to the SMP link at​en/​Exp347_Sampling_and_Measurement_Plan.html and the online tutorial at​en/​Offshore_core_curation_and_measurements.html):

  • Basic curation and labeling of core.

  • All cores will be run on the multisensor core logger (MSCL) (gamma density, P-wave velocity, electrical resistivity, and magnetic susceptibility). All shallow cores acquired to capture the water/sediment interface and the upper few meters of the lithology will not be run through the MSCL.

  • Core catcher (CC) description and sampling for initial sedimentological and micropaleontological analysis, including taking a CC image.

  • Taking and proper storage of samples for gas analyses, pore water, and microbiology interstitial water analysis and any other ephemeral properties agreed in the Sampling and Measurements Plan.

  • Core storage.

  • Associated data management of all activities (see below).

In order to carry out the science requirements on the platform with a subset of the Science Party, a staffing plan will be devised. The plan will require flexibility of approach from all participants, with priority to safety, core recovery, curation, and procedures for the measurement of ephemeral properties, including sampling for microbiology.

Report preparation will take place on board as required; the reports to be compiled include

  • Daily and weekly operations and science reports to Integrated Ocean Drilling Program Management International, Inc. (IODP-MI), Science Party members, and relevant parties. Scientific reports are provided by the Co-Chief Scientists. Summarized daily reports will be publicly available on the ESO website for any interested parties.

  • Site summary reports to IODP-MI.

  • Technical Operations Report (submission to IODP-MI due 60 days postcruise).

  • Completion of the offshore sections of the Expedition Reports section of the volume (primarily the “Methods” chapter).

  • Operational Review report (submission to IODP-MI due 2 months postcruise).

  • Press releases in line with IODP-MI outreach policy.

  • Information for posting on the ESO expedition website.

Onshore science activities

The Onshore Science Party will be conducted under the supervision of Dr. Ursula Röhl, the manager of the IODP Bremen Core Repository (BCR). The scientific work will follow the Sampling and Measurements Plan to be developed in due course in conjunction with the Co-Chief Scientists.

Details of the facilities that will be available for the Onshore Science Party at the BCR located in the MARUM building on the campus of the University of Bremen (Germany) can be found in the Expedition 347 Sampling and Measurements Plan (​en/​Exp347_Sampling_and_Measurement_Plan.html). Additional facilities can be made available through continuing close cooperation with additional laboratories at the MARUM Center for Marine Environmental Sciences and the Department of Geosciences at Bremen University, as well as the Max Planck Institute for Marine Microbiology (MPI), all of which are situated nearby on campus.

The following list briefly summarizes Onshore Science Party scientific activities (please see the SMP link at​en/​Exp347_Sampling_and_Measurement_Plan.html and the online tutorial at​Onshore_Science_Party_OSP.html):

  • Core splitting: an archive half will be set aside as per IODP policy.

  • Core description: ESO will provide a data entry system that is IODP standard. For data entry, ESO will employ the ExpeditionDIS (Drilling Information System) that is entirely compatible with others being used in IODP (see “Data management,” below).

  • Digital linescan imaging.

  • Color reflectance (spectrophometry).

  • Core sampling for expedition samples (to produce data for the Expedition Reports section of the Proceedings volume).

  • Smear slide preparation.

  • Micropaleontology: access to microscope laboratory.

  • Inorganic geochemistry: whole-rock and pore fluid chemistry.

  • Bulk mineralogy: X-ray diffraction (XRD) analysis.

  • Petrophysical measurements (P-wave and moisture and density analyses).

  • Paleomagnetic measurements.

  • Core sampling for personal postexpedition research: a detailed sampling plan will be devised at the completion of the offshore phase and after the scientists have submitted their revised sample requests (see “Research planning: sampling and data sharing strategy,” below).

A staffing plan will be developed with the Co-Chief Scientists in order to ensure that all required analyses and subsampling can be carried out efficiently. The measurement plan will take account of IODP specifications for quality assurance/quality control (QA/QC) procedures.

In view of the existing geographical distribution of all Deep Sea Drilling Project (DSDP)/Ocean Drilling Program (ODP)/IODP cores, it is understood that the BCR will be the long-term location for the Expedition 347 cores.

Report preparation will take place during the Onshore Science Party as required by IODP-MI. The reports to be compiled include the following:

  • Twice-weekly progress reports to IODP-MI and relevant parties. Scientific reports are provided by the Co-Chief Scientists.

  • Preliminary Report (submission to USIO Publication Services 1 week after Onshore Science Party).

  • Completion of the Expedition Reports section of the Proceedings volume (submission to USIO Publication Services as soon as practically possible after the Onshore Science Party).


Scientific staffing is decided on the basis of task requirements and nominations from the IODP Program Member Offices (​program-member-offices). ESO staffing is based on the need to carry out the drilling and scientific operations efficiently and safely (Table T3).

Data management

A data management plan for the expedition will be developed once the data requirements and operational logistics are finalized. The outline plan is as follows:

  • The primary data capture and management system will be the ExpeditionDIS. This is a relational database. It will capture drilling, curation, and geoscience metadata and data during the offshore and onshore phases of the expedition.

  • The ExpeditionDIS includes tools for data input, visualization, report generation, and data export.

  • The database can be accessed directly by other interpretation or decision-making applications if required.

  • A file server will be used for the storage of data not captured in the database (for example, documents and image files) and the inputs/outputs of any data processing, interpretation, and visualization applications used during the expedition.

  • The EPC will manage the capture of downhole log data, MSCL data, and physical properties data. Logging metadata and MSCL data will be stored in the ExpeditionDIS. Downhole logging data will be stored separately by the EPC for processing and compositing.

  • On completion of the offshore phase of the expedition, the ExpeditionDIS database and the file system will be transferred to the BCR to continue data capture during the Onshore Science Party.

  • Between the end of the offshore phase and the start of the Onshore Science Party, expedition scientists will have access to the data via a password-protected website.

  • On completion of the Onshore Science Party, expedition scientists will continue to have access to all data through a password-protected website throughout the moratorium period.

  • During the moratorium, all metadata and data, apart from downhole log data, will be transferred to the World Data Center for Marine Environmental Sciences (WDC-MARE)/PANGAEA for long-term data archiving.

  • The downhole log data will be transferred to the Lamont-Doherty Earth Observatory for long-term archiving.

  • Cores and samples will be archived at the BCR.

  • After the moratorium, all expedition data will be made accessible to the public.