Department of Earth, Environmental & Planetary Sciences

DEEPS Participants on the International Ocean Discovery Program Expedition 397

This year, DEEPS graduate student Bryce Mitsunaga and Professor Tim Herbert are participating in the International Ocean Discovery Program Expedition 397: Iberian Margin Paleoclimate.

The International Ocean Discovery Program (IODP) Iberian Margin Paleoclimate Expedition 397 will take place off the coast of Portugal, to the southwest of Lisbon from October 11th through December 11th. The expedition will investigate areas where marine sediments accumulate rapidly, giving a high-fidelity record of climate change, on timescales of hundreds to thousands of years, extending back to 3-6 million years ago.

Climate signals from the Iberian margin will be correlated precisely to polar ice cores from both hemispheres, providing a link between oceanic and atmospheric change including the concentration of greenhouse gases. Recovering sedimentary core samples at different water depths (approx. 1300 to 4700 m below sea level) will allow scientists to study how deep-ocean circulation and chemistry changed in the past, including its role in deep-sea carbon storage and atmospheric CO2 changes. The cores will shed new light on the growth and decay of large ice sheets for the last 3 million years and also provide a glimpse into a warmer world before this time when atmospheric CO2 was similar to today.

We wish Bryce Mitsunaga and Tim Herbert a safe voyage, and we look forward to hearing more about their experience when they return!