EXP.337 Deep Coalbed Biosphere off Shimokita
July 25 to 30 September, 2012

The IODP Expedition 337 by Scientific Deep-Sea Drilling Vessel Chikyu aims to perform riser-drilling over 2,200 m below the seafloor off Shimokita Peninsula of Japan, northwestern Pacific Ocean. To understand the deep life and hydrocarbon system in marine subsurface, Expedition 337 explores the deeply buried coal formation that may produce natural gas and tackles some fundamentally important scientific questions related to the Earth and Life co-evolution.
Science Party
Daily Report
Scientific prospectus
Drilling site

Expedition result
The expedition team successfully acquired core samples and geophysical property data from the formations between 1,276.5 to 2,466 m below the seafloor offshore Hachinohe (at a water depth of 1,180 m), as part of its mission to understand the deep carbon system and subseafloor biosphere , which is considered to be an important actor in the system.

The team will examine the activity of microbes underneath the seabed, which are involved in the formation of methane hydrate and other natural gases originating from coal layers deep down Earth and study microbial features, such as metabolic functions and evolution process, based on genetic information analysis and observed incubation. They will continue to engage in cutting-edge research, combining earth science and life science.

Operation Sequence