Scientific drilling, existing as an international program since the late 1960's, is arguably the most successful, long-term international scientific collaboration researching Earth history and processes. The program has contributed very significantly to plate tectonic theory development, our understanding of the Earth's paleoclimate and paleoceanographic evolution, sampled large parts of the Earth's geological history in the form of stratigraphic sections, and instrumented regions of severe potential geohazard. The current program (IODP), funded by 23 member countries, utilizes three platforms: the long endurance JOIDES Resolution (JR); the riser drillship Chikyu; and bespoke platforms for accessing a wider range of environments, often utilizing specialist technology development and increased collaboration with industry. Cores, results, data and Expedition Reports are thoroughly archived and available for all to access, generating a unique Earth science dataset. Recent science highlights include: resolving boundary conditions and sensitivity constraints for testing climate models; establishing causes of the Paleocene-Eocene Thermal Maximum event; drilling the Chicxulub K-Pg impact crater; and obtaining a high resolution record of early rift history in the Corinth Rift, Greece. The JR now moves into the Atlantic and Mediterranean where drilling will aid testing of rifting models and investigate paleoceanographic evolution of the Southern Atlantic.


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