IODP At a Glance
The Integrated Ocean Drilling Program (IODP) is an international research organization that conducts seagoing expeditions to study the history of the Earth recorded in sediments and rocks beneath the seafloor.
The Earth deep below the seafloor contains a unique record of our planet’s history and structure. Scientists study the subseafloor to better understand Earth’s components, processes, and phenomena. This research helps us answer questions about fundamental aspects of our planet such as the environment, the biosphere, solid earth cycles, and geodynamics.
Started in 1961, scientific ocean drilling represents the longest running and most successful international collaboration among the Earth sciences. Over the years, this scientific collaboration has provided deep insight into Earth’s dynamic nature including tectonic processes, ocean circulation, climate change, continental rifting, and ocean basin formation.
Today, scientists who conduct this ship-board research are drawn from the 26 countries that are members of IODP. Scientist participate in expeditions conducted using multiple ships and drilling platforms. Selected by international representatives on a scientific advisory committee, scientific proposals are undertaken to sample the Earth’s crust at specific locations across the Earth’s oceans. The samples and data collected during IODP expeditions are then made available for investigation by the global scientific community.
By deploying state-of-the-art ocean drilling technologies, IODP advances the scientific understanding of the Earth and unifies the international research community to explore Earth as a system.