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IODP Expedition 378

South Pacific Paleogene Climate


Daily Science Report for 23 January 2020

Location: Hole U1553D (52°13.4403′S, 166°11.4796′E, water depth 1222 m; proposed Site DSDP 277)

Science Update: Hole U1553D was drilled ahead to 399.4 mbsf and the center bit was recovered. Cores U1553D-2R to 9R advanced from 399.4 to 477.2 mbsf and recovered 47.85 m (61%).

Cores 2R to 5R consist primarily of white nannofossil chalk with common foraminifers. Diffuse green layers are also present and the contact between these layers is generally bioturbated. In Core 5R the lithology transitions from chalk to limestone. Pyrite, fish remains, and calcareous sponge spicules are also present. The material spans the late to middle Eocene.


Daily Science Report for 22 January 2020

Location: Hole U1553D (52°13.4403′S, 166°11.4796′E, water depth 1222 m; proposed Site DSDP 277)

Science Update: We pulled the drill string out of the hole and Hole U1553C ended at 0330 h. The RCB bit was replaced and we started deploying the drill string to the seafloor at 0400 h. Hole U1553D was spudded at 0845 h. Hole U1553D was then drilled ahead without core recovery to 178.3 mbsf. The center bit was removed and the SET2 tool was used to take a formation temperature measurement at 181.0 mbsf. The center bit was redeployed and Hole U1553D was drilled ahead to 282.6 mbsf.

Cores U1553C-42R and 43R consist primarily of very dark gray mudstone interbedded with sandstone. Pyrite is disseminated throughout the cores and bioturbation is highly variable. Small white lenses and veins are also observed. Core 44R consists of black mudstone and has a transition to gray limestone in the bottom ~20 cm of the core. Cores 42R–44R are early Paleocene age.


Daily Science Report for 21 January 2020

Location: Hole U1553C (52°13.4412′S, 166°11.4975′E, water depth 1222 m; proposed Site DSDP 277)

Science Update: Cores U1553C-34R to 44R advanced from 467.5 to 567.5 mbsf and recovered 45.0 m (45%). No liners were used in the core barrels for Cores 40R to 43R. Hole U1553C was terminated at 2300 h for safety reasons when an anomalously low C1/C2 ratio was measured in Core 44R during standard hydrocarbon gas monitoring. We began pulling out of the hole in preparation for Hole U1553D.

Cores U1553C-27R to 34R consist primarily of white to greenish gray nannofossil chalk and limestone. Some intervals contain micrite and foraminifers. Pyrite is present in most cores as well. Core 31R is preliminarily interpreted as the Paleocene/Eocene boundary. In the core catcher of Core 34R the lithology transitions to dark gray mudstone. Cores 35R to 41R consist primarily of dark gray to greenish black organic-rich mudstone and all material is Paleocene in age. Pervasive fractures from coring disturbance are observed in many cores.


Daily Science Report for 20 January 2020

Location: Hole U1553C (52°13.4412′S, 166°11.4975′E, water depth 1222 m; proposed Site DSDP 277)

Science Update: Cores U1553C-15R to 33R advanced from 321.6 to 467.5 mbsf and recovered 78.7 m (59%). Half advances (~5 m) were made on Cores 15R and 16R, 19R and 20R, and 29R to 32R.

Cores U1553C-5R to 26R consist primarily of white nannofossil chalk with foraminifers. Faint pale green to gray layers are observed in most cores. Intervals of chert, and occasionally flint, occur in almost all cores and are associated with drilling disturbance (fractures, brecciation). Sponge spicules, pyrite blebs, volcanic glass, and fish remains are also observed. The material spans the Eocene and Core U1553C-23R is early Eocene (>47.4 Ma).

The science party gave laboratory group presentations on the observations, measurements, and results of Holes U1553A and U1553B.


Daily Science Report for 19 January 2020

Location: Hole U1553C (52°13.4412′S, 166°11.4975′E, water depth 1222 m; proposed Site DSDP 277)

Science Update: Hole U1553C was spudded at 0010 h with a seafloor depth of 1221.6 mbsl. Hole U1553C was then drilled ahead to 234 mbsf and RCB coring started with Core U1553C-2R. Cores U1553C-2R to 14R advanced from 234.0 to 321.6 mbsf and recovered 87.6 m (40%). Half advances (~5 m) were made on Cores 6R, 7R, and 9R–14R.

Cores U1553B-17H to 19X consist primarily of white nannofossil ooze with common foraminifers, and a transition to nannofossil chalk occurs across Cores 18X to 19X. Cores U1553B-20X to 29X consist primarily of white nannofossil chalk with common foraminifers. Pale green and brown layers occur in many sections, and bioturbation, sometimes in the form of pyritized burrows, is observed in most cores. Sponge spicules, pyrite, and fish remains are also observed. Chert layers are present in Cores 26X, 28X, and 29X. Drilling disturbance is common below Core 20X and most sections are fractured and/or biscuited. Core U1553B-22X contains the Eocene/Oligocene boundary.

Cores U1553C-2R to 4R consist primarily of white nannofossil chalk with foraminifers. Sponge spicules, fish remains, sand layers, and volcanic glass are also present. Cores 2R and 4R also contain intervals of chert. This material is interpreted as late Eocene age.


Daily Science Report for 18 January 2020

Location: Hole U1553B (52°13.4300′S, 166°11.4964′E, water depth 1222 m; proposed Site DSDP 277)

Science Update: Core U1553B-17H advanced from 140.5 to 150.0 mbsf and recovered 10.04 m (106%). Based on experience with strong overpull in Hole U1553A, we switched to the XCB coring system. Cores 18X to 29X advanced from 150.0 to 243.0 mbsf and recovered 80.25 m (86%). Coring in Hole U1553B was terminated at 1230 h (243.0 mbsf) when it was determined that the XCB cutting shoe had been destroyed. Pipe was tripped out of the hole, clearing the seafloor at 1350 h. The vessel was moved 20 m south with the dynamic positioning system in preparation for Hole U1553C. To ensure collection of material from the deeper targets, the planned third APC of the upper ~200 m was deferred and the RCB (rotary core barrel) BHA was made up, barrels were spaced out, and pipe tripping began in preparation to spud Hole U1553C.

Cores U1553B-3H to 16H consist primarily of white nannofossil ooze with varying amounts of foraminifers. Light greenish gray bands and layers occur throughout and are interpreted as glauconite. Sponge spicules and fish remains were also observed. Bioturbation, sometimes in the form of pyritized burrows, is observed in most cores. This material is all considered to be Oligocene, although exact age intervals are still undergoing refinement.


Daily Science Report for 17 January 2020

Location: Hole U1553B (52°13.4300′S, 166°11.4800′E, water depth 1221 m; proposed Site DSDP 277)

Science Update: Repairs to the top drive brake actuator were completed at 0915 h. With the bit at 1138 mbsl, the dynamic positioning system was used to move the vessel 20 m east to begin Hole U1553B. The top drive was picked up and the pipe was spaced out to 1216 mbsl. Hole U1553B was spudded at 1105 h. Mudline Core U1553B-1H arrived on deck at 1120 h, recovering 6.13 m. This established a seafloor depth of 1221.7 mbsl. Cores U1553B-1H to 14H advanced from 0 to 124.8 mbsf and recovered 127.08 m (102%). Only a partial stroke was achieved on Core U1553B-3H. Based on the contact with a hard layer at 127.5 mbsf in Hole U1553A, we then changed to the XCB coring system for a single core. Core U1553B-15X advanced from 124.8 to 131.0 mbsf and recovered 4.78 m (77%). APC coring resumed and Core U1553B-16H advanced from 131.0 to 140.5 mbsf and recovered 9.76 m (103%).

Cores U1553A-10H to 15H and 17H to 24X consist primarily of white to light greenish gray nannofossil ooze and contain greenish gray bands, as well as occasional sponge spicules, fish remnants, black patches of diagenetic minerals, and pyritized burrows. Core U1553A-16X consists of light green to gray packstone and a single green detrital rock. Cores U1553A-25X to 27X consist of white nannofossil chalk with varying foraminifera content, and ichnofossil burrows are common. Core U1553A-27X is probably late Eocene (>35 Ma).

Core U1553B-1H is characterized by a dark brown color, alternating with white and dispersed green layers of foraminifera-rich nannofossil ooze. A hiatus observed in this core lies between the Oligocene/Pleistocene. Core U1553B-2H consists primarily of white to light greenish gray nannofossil ooze with foraminifera.


Daily Science Report for 16 January 2020

Location: Hole U1553A (52°13.4300′S, 166°11.4800′E, water depth 1221 m; proposed Site DSDP 277)

Science Update: Cores U1553A-5H to 15H advanced from 31.5 to 127.5 m below seafloor (mbsf) and recovered 104.17 m (109%). Temperature measurements using the APCT-3 tool were taken on Cores 4H, 7H, and 10H. Core 15H was an incomplete stroke, as a result of contact with a hard layer at 127.5 mbsf. XCB Core 16X advanced from 127.5 to 128.8 mbsf and recovered 0.26 m (20%), after which APC coring resumed. Cores 17H to 20H advanced from 128.8 to 166.8 mbsf and recovered 39.55 m (104%). After strong overpull was experienced with Core 20H, 166.8 mbsf was determined as the depth of APC refusal. We then changed to the half-length APC (HLAPC) system to resume coring. Cores 21F and 22F advanced from 166.8 to 176.2 mbsf and recovered 9.34 m (99%). After experiencing strong overpull with Core 22F, 176.2 mbsf was considered the depth of HLAPC refusal. We then changed to the XCB coring system. Cores 23X to 27X advanced from 176.2 to 216.4 mbsf and recovered 27.49 m (68%). While cutting Core 27X, high torque was noticed and coring terminated after a 7.8 m advance. Based on that and recovery, we decided to terminate coring after Core 27X. Pipe was tripped out of the hole to 1187 mbsf, ending Hole U1553A at 2215 h. Failure of the top drive brake actuator was determined to be the cause of the high torque and repairs to the top drive were initiated.

Cores U1553A-1H to 9H consist primarily of white to light greenish gray nannofossil ooze with varying foraminifer content, and one core contains volcanic ash. Black patches of likely diagenetic minerals occur throughout. Biostratigraphers are still working to constrain the age of the sediments.


Daily Science Report for 15 January 2020

Location: Site U1553 (52°13.4300′S, 166°11.4800′E, water depth 1221 m; proposed Site DSDP 277)

Science Update: The JOIDES Resolution completed the 2249 nmi transit and arrived at Site U1553 at 1148 h. The thrusters were lowered and the ship was in full dynamic positioning mode by 1210 h. The advanced piston corer/extended core barrel (APC/XCB) bottom-hole assembly was made up and deployed. We then pumped two “pigs” (pipe cleaning device) through the drill string to remove some of the rust. By 2000 h, the drill bit was lowered to 1215 m below sea level (mbsl), and we installed the sinker bars and the core orientation tool. Upon positioning the bit for taking the first core, we spudded Hole U1553A at 2105 h. Mudline Core U1553A-1H arrived on deck at 2120 h, recovering 3.08 m. This established a seafloor depth of 1221.2 mbsl.

Cores U1553A-1H to 4H were taken from 0 to 31.5 m below seafloor with 33.20 m recovered (106%). While still in transit, the Sample Allocation Committee (SAC) continued discussions with individual scientists to refine postcruise research objectives, and each laboratory group made final preparations for the first core on deck.


Daily Science Report for 14 January 2020

Location: In transit to Site U1553 (52°13.4300′S, 166°11.4800′E, water depth 1214 m; proposed Site DSDP 277)

Science Update: The Expedition 378 science party continued training in the laboratories and preparing methods. At crossover the Co-Chief Scientists and Expedition Project Manager (EPM) gave a presentation on scientific objectives and operations plans for Site U1553 (proposed Site DSDP 277). The Sample Allocation Committee (SAC) continued discussions with individual scientists to refine postcruise research objectives based on the new operational plan and met with laboratory groups to prepare for the first core on deck. As of today, 2126 nmi of the 2249 nmi transit have been completed. Ship speed was increased throughout the day (average 9.8 kt) and the expected arrival at Site U1553 is 1200 h on 15 January.


Daily Science Report for 13 January 2020

Location: In transit to Site U1553 (52°13.4300′S, 166°11.4800′E, water depth 1214 m; proposed Site DSDP 277)

Science Update: The Expedition 378 science party continued training in the laboratories and preparing methods. The Sample Allocation Committee (SAC) continued discussions with individual scientists to refine postcruise research objectives based on the new operational plan and met laboratory groups to prepare for the first core on deck. As of today, 1890 nmi of the 2249 nmi transit have been completed. Ship speed is still reduced to allow a storm to pass out of the transit path, and the expected arrival at Site U1553 remains at 1200 h on 15 January.


Daily Science Report for 12 January 2020

Location: In transit to Site U1553 (52°13.4300′S, 166°11.4800′E, water depth 1214 m; proposed Site DSDP 277)

Science Update: The Expedition 378 science party continued training in the laboratories and preparing methods. The Sample Allocation Committee (SAC) continued discussions with individual scientists to refine postcruise research objectives based on the new operational plan and met laboratory groups to prepare for the first core on deck. As of today, 1692 nmi of the 2249 nmi transit have been completed. Ship speed is still reduced to allow a storm to pass out of the transit path, and the expected arrival at Site U1553 is now 1200 h on 15 January.


Daily Science Report for 11 January 2020

Location: In transit to Site U1553 (52°13.4300′S, 166°11.4800′E, water depth 1214 m; proposed Site DSDP 277)

Science Update: The Expedition 378 science party continued training in the laboratories and preparing methods. The Sample Allocation Committee (SAC) continued discussions with individual scientists to refine postcruise research objectives based on the new operational plan and met with laboratory groups to prepare for the first core on deck. As of today, 1477 nmi of the 2249 nmi transit have been completed. Although ship speed is still reduced to allow a storm to pass out of the transit path, the expected arrival at Site U1553 remains 0600 h on 15 January.


Daily Science Report for 10 January 2020

Location: In transit to Site U1553 (52°13.4300′S, 166°11.4800′E, water depth 1214 m; proposed Site DSDP 277)

Science Update: The Expedition 378 science party continued training in the laboratories and preparing methods. The Sample Allocation Committee (SAC) met to review shipboard sampling plans, and discussions began with individual scientists to refine postcruise research objectives based on the new operational plan. As of today, 1247 nmi of the 2249 nmi transit have been completed. Although ship speed was reduced to allow a storm to pass out of the transit path, the expected arrival at Site U1553 remains 0600 h on 15 January.


Daily Science Report for 9 January 2020

Location: In transit to Site U1553 (52°13.4300′S, 166°11.4800′E, water depth 1214 m; proposed Site DSDP 277)

Science Update: The Expedition 378 science party continued training in the laboratories and received a presentation on the previous work completed at DSDP Site 277. The Operations Superintendent continued tours of the bridge, rig floor, and engine room for the rest of the science party. As of today, 1008 nmi of the 2249 nmi transit have been completed and the expected arrival at Site U1553 is 0600 h on 15 January.


Daily Science Report for 8 January 2020

Location: In transit to Site U1553 (52°13.4300′S, 166°11.4800′E, water depth 1214 m; proposed Site DSDP 277)

Science Update: The Expedition 378 science party continued training in the laboratories, including more detailed orientations to core flow and shipboard sampling. The Co-Chief Scientists gave a presentation to the ship’s crew and IODP JRSO technical staff about the objectives of the expedition, and later the science party received an introductory presentation and demonstration on stratigraphic correlation. The Operations Superintendent began tours of the bridge, rig floor, and engine room. As of today, 723 nmi of the 2249 nmi transit have been completed and the expected arrival at Site U1553 is 0600 h on 15 January.


Daily Science Report for 7 January 2020

Location: In transit to Site U1553 (52°13.4300′S, 166°11.4800′E, water depth 1214 m; proposed Site DSDP 277)

Science Update: The Expedition 378 science party began training in the laboratories, including more detailed safety orientations for the laboratories they will be working in during the expedition. A presentation on core curation and sampling was given by the Curator, and survival suit training for the science party was led by the Chief Mate. The onboard outreach team gave a presentation on their shipboard and shore-based plans, which include live video broadcasts, blogs, and podcasts. As of today, 451 nmi of the 2249 nmi transit have been completed and the expected arrival at Site U1553 is 0600 h on 15 January.


Daily Science Report for 6 January 2020

Location: In transit to Site U1553 (52°13.4300′S, 166°11.4800′E, water depth 1214 m; proposed Site DSDP 277)

Science Update: The pilot came aboard at 0656 h, and the last line was released at 0720 h to start the 2249 nmi transit to Site U1553. After enjoying the morning departure, the laboratory teams received an introduction to drilling and coring operations. In the afternoon, each member of the science party gave a presentation on their individual research goals for the expedition. The science party also received a lifeboat safety orientation following a fire and abandon ship drill.


Daily Science Report for 5 January 2020

Location: Berth Queen’s Wharf, Lautoka, Fiji

Science Update: The Co-Chief Scientists gave an introduction on the expedition science, which was followed by a practical presentation by the Expedition Project Manager about expedition reports and tasks. The science party received introductions to core flow in the laboratories, as well as a shipboard safety induction by the Captain, Chief Mate, and Doctor.


Daily Science Report for 4 January 2020

Location: Queen’s Wharf, Lautoka, Fiji

Science Update: The Expedition 378 science party boarded the vessel and settled into their cabins. The scientists began expedition preparation and received orientations to life at sea, safety, and the shipboard computing resources. We also continued port call activities, including the ship’s crew change, and continued repairs to the derrick.


Daily Science Report for 3 January 2020

Location: Queen’s Wharf, Lautoka, Fiji

Science Update: With the vessel already in port, South Pacific Paleogene Climate Expedition 378 began at 0800 h. The Co-Chief Scientists, Expedition Project Manager (EPM), and IODP JRSO technical staff boarded the vessel around 0930 h and began port call activities, including IODP JRSO staff change and crossover and Co-Chief Scientist orientations. Scientists are scheduled to board the ship tomorrow (4 January) and the port call is expected to last only ~3 d as most freight and loading activities were completed during tie-up. Derrick repairs continued and additional steel arrived for the remainder of the repair work.