Brazil recently joined an international marine research effort to document environmental change by monitoring and sampling the unseen world beneath the sea floor.
The country's inclusion made it the
newest of 26 member countries in the Integrated Ocean Drilling Program (IODP).
IODP scientists conduct research aboard
specialized scientific drilling vessels to advance understanding of the Earth
through drilling, coring, monitoring and documenting Earth processes and
effects, solid Earth cycles, the subsurface biosphere, and geodynamics.
"We welcome the addition of
Brazil's scientists and engineers to IODP at a time when the world needs the
knowledge of its researchers," says Rodey Batiza of the U.S. National
Science Foundation's (NSF) Division of Ocean Sciences. NSF manages the program
along with Japan's Ministry of Education, Culture, Sports, Science and
The first IODP expedition with Brazilian
researchers will begin in early autumn off the coast of Costa Rica. Scientists
plan to learn more about the processes that trigger large earthquakes.
The research will take place aboard the
drill ship JOIDES Resolution as part of the Costa Rica Seismogenesis Project.
Geoscientists will investigate an erosional subduction zone – a zone where
Earth's crust is returning to the mantle at an eroding undersea trench.
It's the only known seismogenic zone at
an erosional trench that's not too deep for current scientific drilling
capabilities. Expedition scientists will work to understand how "unstable
slip" is triggered in this zone.
Brazil's membership in IODP will enable
recipients of grants through Brazil's "Science Without Frontiers"
program to use IODP scientific facilities for their studies. In addition, an
organization in Brazil known as Coordination for Improvement of Higher
Education Personnel will host IODP's Brazil offices.
According to Batiza, Brazil's
participation in IODP will allow Brazilian scientists to work with other
international scientists on common problems at the same time – and give U.S.
geoscientists, as well as those from other countries, the opportunity to learn
from Brazilian researchers.
"Brazil's participation brings new
opportunities not only for that country," says Batiza, "but for the
"The most important part of this
far-reaching marine geosciences program," he says, "is the first word
in its name: integrated. We're all working together to explore the Earth under
Additional support comes from the
European Consortium for Ocean Research Drilling, the Australia-New Zealand IODP
Consortium, India's Ministry of Earth Sciences, the People's Republic of
China's Ministry of Science and Technology and the Korea Institute of
Geoscience and Mineral Resources.
The JOIDES Resolution is a scientific research
vessel managed by the U.S. Implementing Organization (USIO) of IODP. Texas
A&M University, Lamont-Doherty Earth Observatory of Columbia University,
and the Consortium for Ocean Leadership comprise the USIO.
Brazil Joins Integrated Ocean Drilling Program
August 29, 2012