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International Ocean Discovery Program
Expedition 396 Scientific Prospectus

Mid-Norwegian Continental Margin Magmatism1

Sverre Planke

Co-Chief Scientist

Department of Geosciences

University of Oslo


Volcanic Basin Petroleum Research AS


Christian Berndt

Co-Chief Scientist

Department of Marine Geodynamics

GEOMAR Helmholtz Centre for Ocean Research Kiel


Carlos A. Alvarez Zarikian

Expedition Project Manager/Staff Scientist

International Ocean Discovery Program

Texas A&M University


Published February 2021

See the full publication in PDF.


Volcanic passive margins are an end-member of continental rifted margins and are believed to originate from the breakup of a continent under the influence of a mantle plume. In spite of 40 y of research into this phenomenon, it is still unknown how excess magmatism is produced and what controls its surprisingly short duration. Expedition 396 will revisit the mid-Norwegian margin 36 y after Ocean Drilling Program Leg 104. It will provide the necessary observations to parameterize comprehensive 3-D numerical models. These will allow us to identify the relative importance of different tectonomagmatic processes. Furthermore, drilling will test the predictions of volcanic seismic facies models and elucidate the role of breakup volcanism in rapid global warming. Secondary objectives relate to the onset of the meridional overturning circulation in the North Atlantic Gateway and the potential to use the breakup basalt province to store carbon dioxide on industrial scales. To this end, Expedition 396 will attempt to drill nine boreholes on the Vøring and Møre margins. They will target the breakup volcanic successions as well as the overlying postrift sediments and the underlying synrift sediments. In conjunction with the wealth of reflection seismic data collected by the hydrocarbon industry during the past 40 y, the new borehole information will provide an unprecedented picture of the formation of a large igneous province during the opening of an ocean basin.

1Planke, S., Berndt, C., and Alvarez Zarikian, C.A., 2021. Expedition 396 Scientific Prospectus: Mid-Norwegian Continental Margin Magmatism. International Ocean Discovery Program.

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