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International Ocean Discovery Program
Expedition 363 Scientific Prospectus

Western Pacific Warm Pool

Neogene and Quaternary records of Western Pacific Warm Pool paleoceanography1

Yair Rosenthal

Co-Chief Scientist

Department of Marine Sciences and Earth and Planetary Sciences

Rutgers, the State University of New Jersey

71 Dudley Road

New Brunswick NJ 08901


Ann Holbourn

Co-Chief Scientist

Institute of Geosciences

Christian-Albrechts Universität zu Kiel

Ludewig-Meyn-Strasse 10-14

D-24118 Kiel


Denise Kulhanek

Expedition Project Manager/Staff Scientist

International Ocean Discovery Program

Texas A&M University

1000 Discovery Drive

College Station TX 77845


Published February 2016

See the full publication in PDF.


Expedition 363 seeks to document the regional expression of climate variability (e.g., temperature, precipitation, and productivity) in the Western Pacific Warm Pool (WPWP) as it relates to global and regional climate change from the middle Miocene to Late Pleistocene on millennial, orbital, and secular timescales. The WPWP is the largest reservoir of warm surface water on Earth and thus is a major source of heat and moisture to the atmosphere. Variations in sea-surface temperature and the extent of the WPWP influence the location and strength of convection and thus impact oceanic and atmospheric circulation, heat transport, and tropical hydrology. Given its documented importance for modern climatology, changes in the WPWP are assumed to have also played a key role in the past. The proposed drill sites are strategically located at the heart of the WPWP (northern Papua New Guinea and south of Guam) and around its western edge (western margin of Australia to the south and southern Philippine Islands to the north) to capture the most salient features of the WPWP. Combining marginal and open ocean sites will allow us to study these time intervals at different temporal resolutions. The coring program prioritizes seven primary sites and nine alternate sites in 880–3427 m water depth. This depth range will allow the reconstruction of intermediate and deepwater properties through time.

1Rosenthal, Y., Holbourn, A., and Kulhanek, D.K., 2016. Expedition 363 Scientific Prospectus: Western Pacific Warm Pool. International Ocean Discovery Program.

This work is distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International (CC BY 4.0) license.