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Dr. Gary Acton

staff photo
Assistant Director, IODP-JRSO, and
Manager of Technical & Analytical Services

International Ocean Discovery Program
Texas A&M University
1000 Discovery Drive
College Station, Texas 77845-9547
Phone: (979) 845-5740
Fax: (979) 845-2308

IODP Expeditions & Activities

ODP Activities

  • Leg 165, Caribbean Ocean History and the Cretaceous/Tertiary Boundary Event (Publications)
  • Leg 172, Northwest Atlantic Sediment Drifts (Publications)
  • Leg 178, Antarctic Glacial History and Sea-Level Change (Publications)
  • Leg 186, Western Pacific Geophysical Observatories (Publications)
  • Leg 200, Drilling at the Hawaii-2 Observatory (H2O) and the Nuuanu Landslide (Publications)
  • Leg 206, An In Situ Section of Upper Oceanic Crust Formed by Superfast Seafloor Spreading (Publications)
  • Staff Scientist/Project Manager 1995–2003

Previous Sailing

  • IODP Expedition 374, Manager of Technical & Analytical Services
  • Baffin Bay Scientific Coring Program (BBSCP/Expedition 344S), Chief Scientist
  • IODP Expeditions 306 and 339, Stratigraphic Correlator
  • IODP Expedition 320, Paleomagnetist
  • IODP Expedition 320T, Readiness Assessment Team
  • ANDRILL Southern McMurdo Sound Project, Chronostratigraphic Team Leader/Paleomagnetist
  • ODP Legs 165, 172, 178, 186, 200, and 206, Staff Scientist/Project Manager/Paleomagnetist


My primary research interests are in Paleomagnetic, Geomagnetism, Rock Magnetism, Scientific Ocean Drilling, Marine Geology and Geophysics, Plate Tectonics and Geodynamics, Paleoclimate and Paleoenvironmental Change, Chronostratigraphy, Exploration, and Data Analysis. Some of my active and past research projects include:

  • IODP Expedition 339 (Mediterranean Outflow Water): Chronostratigraphic and magnetic studies of drill sites offshore Spain and Portugal.
  • Antarctic geomagnetism, paleomagnetism, and environmental magnetism from drill cores (ODP, IODP, ANDRILL, and others).
  • Paleosecular variation of the geomagnetic field over the past few thousand to several million years at sites around the world (Northern Atlantic Ocean, Blake-Bahama Outer Ridge, Cariaco Basin, Japan Trench, and elsewhere)
  • The relationships between geomagnetic field variability, climate change, and orbital cycles.
  • Stratigraphic analysis and petroleum potential of Melville Bay off NW Greenland in Baffin Bay.
  • Paleointensity of the early Solar System from paleomagnetic and rock magnetic investigations of chondrules.
  • Apparent polar wander, hotspot motions, and true polar wander.
  • First Order Reversal Curves (FORCs), applied to characterizing magnetic interactions, coercivities, grain sizes, and compositions of synthetic and natural magnetic minerals.
  • Rock magnetic properties of ocean basalts and the role of the upper oceanic crust in generating marine magnetic anomalies (from ODP Legs 200 and 206).
  • Dating giant landslides off Oahu using cores from ODP Leg 200.
  • Paleointensity determinations using a vibrating sample magnetometer (VSM).

Additional information and a list of publications is given in my Curriculum Vitae.

Professional Affiliations

  • American Geophysical Union
  • Geological Society of America
  • Society of Exploration Geophysicists
  • Houston Geological Society


  • Ph.D. (Geophysics), Northwestern University, 1990
  • M.S. (Geophysics), University of Arizona, Tucson, 1986
  • B.S. (Geology), Indiana University, Bloomington, 1984