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The last IODP Expedition with Joides Resolution

JOIDES Resolution research vessel at the dock_Stijn De Schepper

It is that time of year again: field season! This year AGENSI researchers are participating in several sea-going expeditions in the Iceland Sea, Lofoten Basin, Arctic Ocean and Fram Strait. The longest expedition this year goes to the eastern Fram Strait with the International Ocean Discovery Program (IODP Expedition 403). We just left from the port of Amsterdam, with destination eastern Fram Strait. We will be at sea for 2 months with an international team of researchers to retrieve long paleoclimate records. The goal is to investigate the eastern Fram Strait paleoclimate and paleoceanographic history as far back as the Miocene, i.e. more than 6 million years ago. Onboard the team will already analyse the sediment’s lithology, the microfossils, magnetics and chemistry. For our work in Bergen, we will collect samples for later onshore ancient DNA analyses as part of the AGENSI project, and also the upcoming i2B project.

We are very grateful that we can participate in IODP Expedition 403. Earlier in the AGENSI project, we were scheduled to participate in IODP’s expedition to the Arctic Ocean. Unfortunately, the covid-19 pandemic and the war in Ukraine has cancelled that expedition. But now, Expedition 403 will allow to reach the goals of AGENSI. We will not go into the Arctic sea ice, because the vessel is not suited to go into sea ice. We will be close to the sea ice at some point in the expedition, but have two ice navigators that will keep us safe.

Unfortunately, this will be the last IODP expedition with the Joides Resolution, a ship that has explored the world’s oceans for decades and has provided key paleoclimate records that have helped us to understand Earth’s climate evolution. It is thus with mixed feelings that the crew and scientists set sail to the north, and the co-chiefs describe this clearly in an interview with EOS.

A blog post about the expedition will be published on in the coming days and weeks.

JOIDES Resolution mascot, Patrick the Safety Penguin welcoming us on board. Credit: Stijn De Schepper
JOIDES Resolution mascot, Patrick the Safety Penguin. Credit: Stijn De Schepper