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Exploring Earth by Scientific Ocean Drilling: 2050 Science Framework

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Exploring Earth by Scientific Ocean Drilling: 2050 Science Framework

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Koppers, Anthony A.P.; Coggon, Rosalind (2020). Exploring Earth by Scientific Ocean Drilling: 2050 Science Framework. UC San Diego Library Digital Collections.


The “2050 Science Framework: Exploring Earth by Scientific Ocean Drilling” guides scientists on important research frontiers that scientific ocean drilling should pursue. It focuses on the many ways in which scientific ocean drilling will increase understanding of the fundamental connections among Earth system components while addressing a range of challenging natural and human-caused issues facing society. To meet scientific goals and promote communication of scientific ocean drilling results to a broad global audience, the Framework calls for strong collaboration among Earth science disciplines and allied international research programs.

Scientific ocean drilling addresses fundamental questions about the interconnected processes that characterize the complex Earth system and shape our planet’s future. It uses sophisticated technologies to collect sediment, rock, microbial, and fluid samples from beneath the seafloor and deploys state-of-the-art measurement devices and long-term observatories within subseafloor boreholes. These activities supply critical details about geologic processes as well as natural hazards that pose risks to society. Analyses of samples recovered by scientific ocean drilling establish the geologic context for interpreting human impact on climate and the environment, providing the data needed to improve the accuracy of computer models that predict the pace of rising sea levels and the melting of polar and glacial ice. Sampling and analyses also offer glimpses of the types of microbial life that might exist elsewhere in our solar system and beyond.

The Framework captures these exciting scientific frontiers in seven Strategic Objectives, five Flagship Initiatives, and four Enabling Elements. The Strategic Objectives comprise broad Earth science research areas that form the foundation of scientific ocean drilling through 2050. The Flagship Initiatives comprise long-term, multidisciplinary research efforts that require multi-expedition scientific ocean drilling over 10- to 20-year time intervals. The Enabling Elements serve to significantly advance the goals of scientific ocean drilling through numerous and varied broader impacts and outreach initiatives, partnerships and collaborations with organizations that have complementary scientific goals, and continued technology development and innovative applications of advanced data analytics.

Creation Date
  • 2020
Date Issued
  • 2020
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  • English

Identifier: Anthony A.P. Koppers:

Identifier: Rosalind Coggon:

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