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The University of Southampton
Southampton Marine and Maritime Institute

SMMI expert gives technical lecture on Scientific Ocean Drilling to professional institutions

Published: 20 February 2020
SMMI expert

SMMI member Lisa McNeill is a Professor of Tectonics in the School of Ocean and Earth Science and was invited by the Southern Joint Branch of the Royal Institution of Naval Architects and the Institute of Marine Engineering, Science & Technology to give their technical lecture on 6 February 2020.

Lisa focused on the International Ocean Discovery Program (IODP), the global scientific ocean drilling program which has now officially been active for 50 years.   The program runs expeditions from drill ships and platforms to investigate the entire range of earth science problems by drilling, sampling and measuring the sediments and rocks beneath the seafloor. Topics discussed included understanding the past climate of the planet and its implications for future climate change, the tectonic evolution of the Earth and the challenge of drilling into the deep Earth, geohazards including earthquakes and tsunamis, and the biosphere that exists at depth below the seafloor. The program uses different types of drilling platform to access deep and deformed rocks, hot materials in volcanically active regions, sediments in shallow water or beneath ice covered waters of the polar regions, and installs longer term observatories measuring changes in sediment and rock properties and earthquake signals over decades.

The program began as an endeavour to drill through the Earth’s crust and to sample the mantle – a challenging goal yet to be achieved but still part of the aims of this program.

The lecture was very well received by the members.


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IODP drilling platform Joides Resolution, offshore Hawaii
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IODP riser drilling platform Chikyu
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Working onboard the drillship, Joides Resolution
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