April 1, 2022

JOIDES Resolution Expedition 390 – what to know before we go

Posted by Laura Guertin

JOIDES Resolution (JR) is sailing April 7 – June 7, 2022 for Expedition 390, the first part of the two-part International Ocean Discovery Program (IODP)’s South Atlantic Transect (SAT). I’ll be joining JR on the education/outreach team for the first leg of this joint expedition. I’ve blogged previously about my journey to becoming an outreach officer on the JR and the on-site training to be an onboard outreach officer, but not yet about the expedition itself.

round logo with a ship drilling down to the ocean floorEach JR expedition has a home page that provides an overview of the scientific objectives. The Expedition 390 page has our summary, the logo (or what I’ve learned is referred to as a “patch”, also shown to the left), and links to our blog posts authored during our time on the water. The scientific objectives include:

  • Quantifying the timing, duration and extent of ridge flank hydrothermal fluid-rock exchange;
  • Investigating sediment and basement-hosted microbial community variation with substrate composition and age; and
  • Investigating the response of Atlantic Ocean circulation patterns and Earth’s climatic system to rapid climate change during the Late Cretaceous and Cenozoic.

The patch does a great job showing a snapshot of what will be taking place during our two months at sea. There are multiple sites along a crustal flow line (~30oS) that formed between 7-63 million years ago at the slow-spreading Mid-Atlantic Ridge. The JR will core through and collect complete sediment sections and the uppermost underlying basement. During my time on the ship (Part I of the SAT), we will be collecting material from the core furthest to the west (also the oldest in age) and furthest to the east (the youngest).

But as an educator of non-STEM majors at the university level and someone that does much outreach to non-STEM audiences, I decided to pose a question to the co-chief scientists for both Expeditions 390 (Part I) and 393 (Part II) before our departure:

What is one piece of information you would like a person (non-scientist) to know about the upcoming EXP 390/393?

Then, I took the responses from the co-chiefs and generated – of course, a quilt! (a full description of the quilt and fabric selection is available)


The Expedition 390 (Part I) co-chief scientists responded:

  • Rosalind (Roz) Coggon – We’re following in the footsteps of explorers from the past
  • Jason Sylvan – The research is incredibly interdisciplinary

The Expedition 393 (Part II) co-chief scientists responded:

  • Damon Teagle – The rocks of the ocean crust preserve records of part environmental conditions on our planet
  • Julia Reece – Drilling along a systematic transect is a phenomenal opportunity to better understand Earth’s history

(*If I was teaching this semester, these would be great prompts for a writing assignment! I’d have students review the Expedition 390 page and blog postings, then reflect upon and write what they think each co-chief scientist meant by their quote.)


Note that in this blog post, I’ve discussed some of the “what” about Expeditions 390/393, but none of the “how” we’re going to do all of this incredible science, and “why” at this particular location. Stay tuned for additional blog posts with these details, and more!