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August 2, 2021

International Ocean Discovery Program (IODP) Expedition 396;
Mid-Norwegian Continental Margin Magmatism

As a part of International Ocean Discovery Program (IODP, *1), a research cruise of the JOIDES Resolution (*2) is set to begin on August 6, 2021 as IODP Expedition 396 program (see the attached schedule). The purpose of this cruise is to understand the relationship between rifting, excess magmatism, and paleoclimate, and to resolve the relative contribution from plume upwelling, small-scale convection, and mantle heterogeneity and their relation to the formation of volcanic rifted margins in the Northeast Atlantic. Departing offshore of Iceland, the ship is scheduled to sail northeastward, implementing drilling operations to acquire marine volcanic sediments from nine sampling points along-strike and one cross-strike margin transect.

A total of 28 researchers including those who participate in sample analysis on land, from China, Denmark, France, Germany, India, Ireland, Japan, Netherland, Norway, United Kingdom, and the United States are scheduled to join the research cruise.

*1 International Ocean Discovery Program (IODP)
This international scientific research cooperative program started in October 2013. By drilling deep below the ocean floors using drilling vessels provided by Japan (JAMSTEC D/V Chikyu), the United States (JOIDES Resolution), and Europe (Mission-Specific Platforms), IODP promotes research aimed at elucidating the internal structure and the biosphere within and below the Earth’s crust.

JOIDES Resolution ©IODP

*2 JOIDES Resolution
The JOIDES Resolution Science Operator (JRSO) manages and operates the riserless drillship, JOIDES Resolution, for the International Ocean Discovery Program (IODP). The JRSO is based in the College of Geosciences of Texas A&M University.


Mid-Norwegian Continental Margin Magmatism

1. Schedule (local time)

Expedition 396

August 6, 2021
Research cruise begins
(principal investigator (PI) boards at Reykjavik, Iceland)
October 6, 2021
Research cruise ends (Entry into Kristiansand, Norway)

※ The schedule is subject to change depending upon the condition/inflences of COVID-19, the progress in sailing preparations, weather conditions, and/or research activities.

2. Scientific Participants from Japan

Name Affiliation / position Specialized field
Sayantani Chatterjee* Department of Geology, Niigata University/Assistant professor Inorganic Geochemist
Reina Nakaoka Ocean-Bottom Exploration Center, Kobe University/Assistant professor Physical Properties Specialist

*Onboard participant

3. Research Purposes and Objectives

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 years 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 years 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 years, the new borehole information will provide an unprecedented picture of the formation of a large igneous province during the opening of an ocean basin.


Fig. Locations of drilling sites and ports of call. The colors represent the target sites (red circles), ports of Reykjavik, Iceland and Kristiansand, Norway (violet rectangles).

Table List of drilling sites in the projected target

Site / borehole name Water depth (m) Target drilling depth (m) No. of scheduled working days
VMVM-20A 2077 200 5
VMVM-23A 2137 200 4
VMVM-31A 1707 200 4
VMVM-40B 1696 400 4
VMVM-55B 2186 800 12
VMVM-61A 1200 240 4
VMVM-07A 1206 320 4
VMVM-80A 2864 310 5
VMVM-09A 3156 550 7

Note: Drilling sites are subject to change depending upon sailing preparations, weather conditions, and/or research progress.

*Figure is cited from the IODP website with partial modification.
IODP JRSO・Expeditions・Norwegian Continental Margin Magmatism


(For IODP and this scientific expedition)
Saneatsu Saito, Deputy General, Operations Department, Institute for Marine-Earth Exploration and Engineering
(For press release)
Public Relations Section, Marine Science and Technology Strategy Department
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