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IODP Expedition 327:
Juan de Fuca Ridge-Flank Hydrogeology
Week 1 Report (5-11 July 2010)
PDF file is available for download.
11 July 2010
Expedition 327 began on 5 July 2010, following the JOIDES
Resolution's maintenance in Victoria, British Columbia, Canada. Crew change took place on July 5 and 6 for IODP and Transocean personnel, respectively. Vessel maintenance activities included the certification of the freight elevator and the loading of 1800 metric tons of marine gas oil. Routine activities included the loading of supplies,
food, and CORK-related hardware and the offloading of Expedition 318 cores. The
last line was released at 1212 hr on 9 July and the vessel was underway for the
196-nmi journey to prospectus Site SR-2. We arrived at Site U1362 at 0815 hr on
July 10 and deployed a positioning beacon at 0922 hr. The vessel was positioned
15 meters west of the coordinates of Hole U1362B and the bottom hole assembly
and drill string were assembled. Seafloor was tagged at 2672 meters below rig
floor (mbrf) at 2200. A jet-in test was initiated at 2230 hr and was completed
by 1100 hr on July 11. The drill string was pulled clear of the seafloor and
the vessel moved ~300 meters in DP mode to a position 15 meters west of the
coordinates of Hole U1362A. The seafloor was again tagged at 2672 mbrf and a
second jet-in test was initiated at 1250 hr.
The first week of the expedition was dominated
by port call activities. The scientists and outreach officers boarded the ship
on 6 July and on July 7–8 participated in meetings on the expedition's
scientific and outreach objectives, scientist work flow and deliverables, ship
and lab safety, life on board, computer resources, and lab space usage.
The core description and physical properties teams started training on software and instruments.
The engineering staff with the help of scientists visiting from
the Pacific Geoscience Center worked on plumbing the CORK instrument bays. The
education officers participated in Deep Earth Academy orientations during the
port call. The group included the education officers for the South Pacific Gyre
and Mid-Atlantic Ridge Microbiology expeditions.
co-chief scientists and staff scientist met with the curator to identify any
pending issues before formulating the sampling plan with the science party. It
was agreed to utilize a watchdog when samples are taken for shipboard analyses
and to defer all personal sampling of igneous cores until coring is completed
at each hole (U1362A and 1027C). The formulation of a sampling plan for the alternate sites will be postponed until we have a better idea of the operational days available at the end of the cruise.
Expedition 327 is a critical
part of a long-term multidisciplinary experiment that builds from technical and
scientific achievements and lessons learned during ODP Leg 168 and IODP
Expedition 301. The main goal of this experiment is to evaluate formation-scale
hydrogeologic properties (transmission and storage) within oceanic crust;
determine how fluid pathways are distributed within an active hydrothermal
system; establish links between fluid circulation, alteration, and geomicrobial
processes; and determine relations between seismic and hydrologic anisotropy.
During Expedition 327 we will install subseafloor observatories in two new
holes in oceanic crust at proposed Site SR-2; deepen and replace an observatory
in ODP Hole 1027C to facilitate long-term monitoring; and replace an instrument
string deployed with the Hole U1301B CORK during Expedition 301. Following
Expedition 327, submersible expeditions will allow us to conduct single- and
crosshole hydrologic experiments using a complete network of six observatory
systems that use CORKs as perturbation and monitoring points. This expedition
will be dominated by subseafloor observatory installation operations, and hence
science activities will consist of ~200 m of basement coring at proposed Site
SR-2 and ODP Site 1027, downhole logging, and drill string hydrologic testing.
If time allows, coring will
be conducted at alternate sites GRB-1A, GRB-2A, and GRB-3A to define changes in
chemical and microbial processes in a crustal fluid recharge zone at Grizzly
Expedition 327 includes an
international education and outreach program intended to develop tools and
techniques that facilitate the communication of exciting scientific drilling
results to a broad audience, build educational curricula, and create media
products that will help achieve critical outreach goals.
Technical Support and HSE Activities
Laboratory and ship safety tours were
conducted for the science party and the new engineering/technical staff per
TAMU Hazardous Communication policy. In addition, science party and new staff
attended the Captain's safety talk. The weekly fire and boat drill was held as scheduled.
Technical staff completed
logistics activities in Victoria BC, and secured the science spaces for
departure. Laboratory spaces were reconfigured and temporary counter space
constructed to support the various needs of the expedition. Cores
previously recovered from Sites 1026, 1027 and U1301were moved to the core lab
for study and re-sampling.
Projects started include
remodeling of the internet cafe, the SHMSL hardware upgrade, the WCMSL software
upgrade, the MAD/PYNC software upgrade, installation of the RO water tank in
the chemistry lab, and installation of the analytical gas monitoring system.