SPECIAL CALL: The U.S. Science Support Program is issuing a special call for a terrestrial/non-marine diatom specialist, preferably one who also has experience in transitional environments (the Gulf of Corinth is periodically connected/disconnected from the Mediterranean Sea) to apply for Expedition 381 Corinth Active Rift Development MSP. The call is for scientists to participate during the onshore science party only starting in Bremen, Germany, on 31 January 2018 for up to 4 weeks. The deadline to apply for this special call is December 8, 2017 at 11:59 PM EST.

The International Ocean Discovery Program (IODP) is now accepting applications for scientific participants on Expedition 381 Corinth Active Rift Development aboard a Mission Specific Platform (MSP) provided by the ECORD Science Operator.

Continental rifting is fundamental for the formation of ocean basins and hydrocarbon-bearing rifted margins, and active rift zones are dynamic regions of high geohazard potential. But much of what we know from the fault to plate scale is poorly constrained and is not resolved at any level of spatial or temporal detail over a complete rift system. This expedition will drill within the active Corinth Rift, Greece, where deformation rates are high, the syn-rift succession is preserved and accessible, and a dense, seismic database provides a high resolution fault network and seismic stratigraphy for the recent rift history but with limited chronology. In the Gulf of Corinth, the expedition can achieve an unprecedented precision of timing and spatial complexity of rift-fault system development and rift-controlled drainage system evolution in the first 1-2 Myr of rift history.

The expedition aims to resolve at a high temporal and spatial resolution how faults evolve, how strain is (re-)distributed, and how the landscape responds within the first few Myrs in a non-volcanic continental rift, as modulated by Quaternary changes in sea level and climate. High horizontal spatial resolution (~1-3 km) is provided by a dense grid of seismic profiles offshore that have been recently fully integrated, complemented by extensive outcrops and fault analysis onshore. High temporal resolution (~20-50ka) will be provided by seismic stratigraphy tied to core and log data from three carefully located boreholes to sample the recent syn-rift sequence.

Two primary themes will be addressed by the drilling integrated with the seismic database and onshore data. First, fault and rift evolutionary history (including fault growth, strain localization and rift propagation) and deformation rates: the spatial scales and relative timing can already be determined within the seismic data offshore. Dating of drill core will provide the absolute timing offshore, the temporal correlation to the onshore and the ability to quantify strain rates from individual faults to the whole rift scale. Second, the response of drainage evolution and sediment supply to rift and fault evolution: core data will define lithologies, depositional systems and paleoenvironment, including catchment paleo-climate, basin paleobathymetry, and relative sea level. Integrated with seismic data, onshore stratigraphy and catchment data, we will investigate the relative roles and feedbacks between tectonics, climate and eustasy in sediment flux and basin evolution. A multidisciplinary approach to core sampling integrated with log and seismic data will generate a Quaternary chronology for the syn-rift stratigraphy down to orbital timescale resolutions and resolve the paleoenvironmental history of the basin in order to address the objectives.

The expedition aims to drill, core, and log up to 750m-deep boreholes at three sites in the central and eastern Gulf of Corinth. The procurement process to contract platform and drilling services is currently being undertaken by ESO, and it is envisaged that the setup will involve a geotechnical vessel equipped with a coring rig, and outfitted with ESO’s laboratory containers.

The offshore phase of Expedition 381 is provisionally scheduled for a maximum of 60 days during October and November 2017, with only a subset of the Science Party participating. Offshore activities will focus on core recovery, curation, sampling for ephemeral properties, biostratigraphy, physical properties, preliminary lithostratigraphy (whole core observed at core ends and through plastic liners), and downhole logging. The cores will not be split at sea. Subsequently, an Onshore Science Party (OSP) will be held at the MARUM – Center for Marine Environmental Sciences, University of Bremen, Germany, in February 2018 (exact dates to be confirmed), where the cores will be split. The OSP will be a maximum of 4 weeks long, the exact length dependent on core recovery. All members of the Science Party must attend the Onshore Science Party.

This is a special call for a terrestrial/non-marine diatom specialist. U.S.-affiliated scientists interested in participating in this expedition should apply to sail through the U.S. Science Support Program. The deadline for this special call is December 8, 2017.

For more information about Expedition 381, visit To learn more about MSPs, visit to the ECORD Science Operator webpage.

For questions, please email