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Chikyu sets a new world drilling-depth record of scientific ocean drilling
Date:9/6/2012

Off Hachinohe, JapanScientific deep sea drilling vessel Chikyu sets a world new record by drilling down and obtains rock samples from deeper than 2,111 meters below the seafloor off Shimokita Peninsula of Japan in the northwest Pacific Ocean. The Japan Agency for Marine-Earth Science and Technology (JAMSTEC), the implementing organization for scientific expedition aboard the Chikyu, announced this achievement on 6th September, 2012.

Chikyu made this achievement during the Deep Coalbed Biosphere expedition, Expedition 337, conducted within the framework of an international marine research program, the Integrated Ocean Drilling Program (IODP). Before Chikyu broke the record, the previous deepest hole in the history of scientific ocean drilling reached 2,111 meters into the seafloor, 504B at Costa Rica Rift.

"We have just opened a window to the new era of scientific ocean drilling", Fumio Inagaki, Co-Chief scientist of Expedition 337, says. "The extended record is just a beginning for the Chikyu. This scientific vessel has tremendous potentials to explore very deep realms that humans have never studied before. The deep samples are precious, and I am confident that our challenges will extend our systematic understanding of nature of life and earth."

His European colleague, Co-Chief scientist Kai-Uwe Hinrichs from the University of Bremen, Germany, adds, "I am very glad that I am here today and could witness this wonderful and important moment. Everybody on the ship worked really hard to make this happen. And, I am very pleased about the high quality of the core samples, which show only minimal drilling disturbance. This is very important for our research."

Chikyu is the state-of-the-art scientific research vessel, capable of drilling as much as 10,000 m below sea level. It is designed to reach the deeper part of the Earth such as the mantle, the plate boundary seisomogenic zones and the deep biosphere.

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Contact: Miyuki Otomo
motomo@iodp.org
81-367-013-188
Integrated Ocean Drilling Program Management International
Source:Eurekalert  

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