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Deep Sea Drilling Vessel CHIKYU

Completed in July 2005, the deep sea drilling vessel, CHIKYU, features the most advanced drilling capabilities in the world (7,000 m below the seafloor). With these capabilities, CHIKYU allows drilling of the previously unreachable mantle as well as the seismogenic zone. Acting as the principal vessel of the International Ocean Discovery Program (IODP), the main objective of CHIKYU is to facilitate a wide range of activities that once achieved will contribute to the future of humankind. These activities may include revealing the mechanism to develop the giant earthquake, the origins of life, future global environmental changes, and new deep sea resources.


Observation and direct sampling of the seismogenic zone
Investigating the earthquake mechanism requires surveys, direct observations, samples and monitoring under the earth at the plate boundary. D/V CHIKYU, because it can drill to the seismogenic zone, is the primary tool to obtain these crucial pieces of information.
Research into life in the earth's crust and in the sub-sea floor environment
Enormous amounts of microbes, more those of the earth's surface, live in the crust, which is a completely different biosphere than the surface. Research into these microbes in extreme environments may resolve the origin and evolution of life on Earth.
Investigation of the internal structure of the earth
The main objectives of D/V CHIKYU is to drill through the earth's crust and reach the mantle, where no one has ever explored before. We will open the door for direct understanding the relationship between global-scale environmental change and mantle processes.
Investigation of the record and causes of global environmental change
Sediment cores obtained by D/V CHIKYU are valuable records of global environmental change.
Detailed analysis of such records enables the understanding of global change mechanisms and prediction of future change.

Principal specifications

Length 210 m
Beam 38.0 m
Depth 16.2 m
Draft 9.2 m
Gross tonnage 56,752 tons
Cruising speed 12 knots
Range 14,800 nautical miles
Accommodation 200
Main propulsion system Diesel electric propulsion