May 17, 2012
The Deep-Sea Scientific Drilling Vessel "Chikyu", operated by the Japan Agency for Marin-Earth Science and Technology (JAMSTEC), is drilling for Integrated Ocean Drilling Program (IODP) *1 Expedition 343 Japan Trench Fast Drilling Project (JFAST) for two months period starting from 1 April with the purpose of monitoring the frictional heat changes along the plate boundary fault that caused mega-quake and tsunami.
During the expedition, several delays caused from weather and technical failures. While investigations are carrying on, formation properties were measured from Logging While Drilling (LWD) *2 and then plate boundary coring are successfully taking now.
Installation of temperature sensors for continuous monitoring the plate boundary heat changes may not be possible due to the troubles from the Under Water Television (UWTV) *3, and hence postponed to the summer.
Overview of the scientific results from this expedition will be made from co-chief scientists, and details of the event will be announced upon confirmation is made.
*1. The Integrated Ocean Drilling Program (IODP)
IODP is an international marine research drilling program dedicated to advancing scientific understanding of the Earth by monitoring and sampling subseafloor environments. Through multiple platforms, science explore IODPís principal themes: the deep biosphere, environmental change, and solid Earth cycles. IODP has been in operation since October 2003, funded jointly by the Japan Ministry of Education, Culture, Sports, Science and Technology and by the U.S. National Science Foundation. Additional support is provided by the 18- member European Consortium of Ocean Research Drilling, the Peopleís Republic of China, the Republic of Korea, Australia, India, and New Zealand.
*2. Logging While Drilling (LWD)
Various logging measurements while drilling the hole using tools integrated near drill bit. This LWD measurement set the world record of total drillpipe length in scientific drilling (7,740 meters total depth under 6,883.5 meter water depth below sea level)
*3. Under Water Television (UWTV)
Real-time monitoring the seabed and drillpipe operations from ship through optical fiber cable