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September 29, 2015

International Ocean Discovery Program (IODP) Expedition 359
~Maldives Sediment Archive Drilling to Decipher Record of Environmental Changes in Northern Indian Ocean during Neogene Global Cooling~

On October 1st, the IODP (International Ocean Discovery Program)*1 Scientific Expedition 359, “Sea Level, Currents, and Monsoon Evolution in the Indian Ocean” will begin with the JOIDES Resolution*2.

To decipher paleoenvironmental changes in the northern Indian Ocean during Neogene global cooling, seven sites will be drilled to collect and analyze core samples in the Maldives located in the northern Indian Ocean. A total of 29 scientists including four from Japan and those from the U.S., Europe, China, South Korea, Australia and Brazil will go on board.

*1: The International Ocean Discovery Program (IODP) is a multinational cooperative project started from October 2013. A total of 26 nations are currently participating: Japan, the U.S., 18 European countries, China, South Korea, Australia, New Zealand and Brazil. The scientific drilling vessel D/V Chikyu operated by Japan and the JOIDES Resolution by the U.S, and the option to charter mission-specific platforms by Europe are utilized for expeditions. The research aims to shed light on global environmental changes, the earth’s mantle and crust dynamics and tectonics, and the biosphere beneath the seafloor.

*2: The JOIDES Resolution is the U.S. drilling vessel operated for IODP. Compared to the deep-sea scientific drilling vessel Chikyu by JAMSTEC, it is used more often for drilling in shallow waters.

Figure 1

Figure 1: Location of Maldives (A) and Expedition 359 proposed drill sites in the Indian Ocean (B)

* These figures are revised from the original from the International Ocean Discovery Program Expedition 359 Scientific Prospectus.

Table 1: Overview of Drilling Sites (order of drilling)
Drilling at the first site will begin 15 days after leaving Darwin, Australia.
Site Name Water Depth PenetrationEstimate Time on Site (Days)


(For press release)
Hiroyasu Matsui, Manager, Press Division, Public Relations Department
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