Skip to main navigationSkip to main content
The University of Southampton
Southampton Marine and Maritime Institute

New ocean drilling results reveal how global climate influences sediment input and basin water conditions in a young rift

Published: 18 March 2019
Drilling vessel exploring
Drilling vessel Fugro Synergy in the port of Corinth, Greece. Photo credit:C. Cotterill (ECORD/IODP)

New results from the Gulf of Corinth, Greece, a continental rift zone where the first stage of ocean basin formation is taking place, show how the environmental conditions and sediment input into the rift basin changed as the Earth alternated between non-glaciated to glaciated conditions over the last 500 thousand years. Young rift basins, such as the Gulf of Corinth, are known to be sensitive recorders of past changes in climate and sea level and of the chemical and biological conditions of the waters they contain. Nonetheless, the changes observed in the Gulf of Corinth were more dramatic and complex than anticipated. The volume of sediment filling the rift basin increased dramatically when the Earth was experiencing glaciated conditions compared with periods when the Earth was not glaciated.

The results come from a new scientific ocean drilling expedition conducted as part of the International Ocean Discovery Program (IODP) and recently published in the journal Scientific Reports in an article entitled “High-resolution record reveals climate-driven environmental and sedimentary changes in an active rift”. IODP Expedition 381 went to sea from October to December in 2017 on the drilling vessel Fugro Synergy, and the sediment cores and downhole data retrieved were analysed in February 2018 by a 35-member team of international geoscientists. The Expedition and new publication was led by SMMI member Professor Lisa McNeill from the University of Southampton, UK and Professor Donna Shillington of the Lamont-Doherty Earth Observatory of Columbia University, USA.

Read the full story on our main news webpage.

Related Staff Member

We use cookies to ensure that we give you the best experience on our website. If you continue without changing your settings, we will assume that you are happy to receive cookies on the University of Southampton website.

×