International Ocean Discovery Program

Expedition 342: Paleogene Newfoundland Sediment Drifts

Location map Expedition 342June 2012 – August 2012

In June 2012, the JOIDES Resolution set sail to the North Atlantic Ocean south of Newfoundland, not far from where the RMS Titanic sank 100 years ago. The aim of the expedition was to study paleoclimate events like the onset and development of Cenozoic glaciations and hyperthermals recorded in drift sediments of Paleogene age along depth transects off Newfoundland.

The main objectives were:

  • To reconstruct a detailed history of the carbonate saturation state of the North Atlantic through numerous episodes of abrupt global warming
  • To obtain a very detailed record of the flow history of the Deep Western Boundary Current issuing from the North Atlantic
  • To obtain a detailed record of the Eocene–Oligocene transition (EOT; ~33.7 Ma) and the onset of major glaciation following the warm climates of the Eocene
  • To address major uncertainties in the development of the geologic timescale by obtaining records of the Eocene that can be used to link the astronomical timescale developed for the last ~40 m.y. to the “floating” timescale of the early Paleogene developed over a series of IODP and earlier drilling expeditions.

Prior to the start of Expedition 342, two operational days were spent drilling Site U1402 (the location of site 1073, ODP leg 174A) offshore New Jersey to test the Motion Decoupled Hydraulic Delivery System (MDHDS). The second of two deployments of this system successfully acquired in situ pressure measurements.

During the main leg of IODP Expedition 342, eight sites were drilled along two depth transects: four on J-Anomaly Ridge (J-A, U1403-U1406) and five on the South-Eastern Newfoundland Ridge (SENR, U1407-U1411). Two attempts to deploy the Triple-combo toolstring (resistivity, density, porosity and natural gamma radiation tools) at site U1403, failed.

Logging Staff Scientist

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