Apply to Sail: Expeditions 398 (Hellenic Arc Volcanic Field) and 399 (Building Blocks of Life, Atlantis Massif)




SPECIAL CALL #1: The International Ocean Discovery Program (IODP) is seeking scientists with expertise in paleomagnetics to apply for Expedition 398 (11 Dec 2022 – 10 Feb 2023). This call is for U.S.-based scientists only. The deadline to apply for this special call is June 6, 2022 at 11:59 PM EDT.


SPECIAL CALL #2: The International Ocean Discovery Program (IODP) is seeking scientists with expertise in metamorphic petrology to apply for Expedition 399 (12 Apr 2023 – 12 Jun 2023)The deadline to apply for this special call is June 6, 2022 at 11:59 PM EDT.




December 11, 2022 – February 10, 2023


The Hellenic Arc Christiana-Santorini-Kolumbo (CSK) volcanic field, which includes Santorini caldera and its Late Bronze Age eruption, provides a unique opportunity to address how subduction-related volcanism impacts life. Better understanding of island-arc volcanism requires study of the processes that drive such volcanism, and how the volcanoes interact with the marine environment. What are the links between crustal tectonics, volcanic activity, and magma genesis? What are the dynamics and impacts of submarine explosive volcanism and caldera-forming eruptions? What are the reactions of marine ecosystems to volcanic eruptions? The rift basins around the CSK field, as well as Santorini caldera, contain volcano-sedimentary fills up to several hundreds of meters thick. We propose to drill six sites, four in the rifts basins and two in Santorini caldera. Deep drilling is essential to characterize and interpret the depositional packages visible on seismic images, to chemically correlate primary volcaniclastic layers in the rift fills with their source volcanoes, to fill in gaps in onland volcanic records, to provide a precise chronostratigraphic framework for rift tectonic and sedimentary histories, and to characterize the subsurface microbial life.


There are five primary [1-5] and two secondary [6-7] scientific objectives:


    1. Arc volcanism in an active rift environment: To reconstruct the volcanic history of the CSK volcanic field since the Pliocene by exploiting a >3.8 My marine volcano-sedimentary archive.
    2. The volcano-tectonic connection: To reconstruct the subsidence and tectonic histories of the rift basins, and use the rift as a natural experiment for studying the relationship between CSK volcanism and major crustal tectonic events.
    3. Arc magmatism in a region of extending crust: To document magma petrogenesis at the CSK volcanic field in space and time, and to seek effects of crustal thinning on magma storage, differentiation and crustal contamination.
    4. Unravelling an iconic caldera-forming eruption: To document the processes, products and potential impacts of the late Bronze-Age eruption of Santorini.
    5. Volcanic hazards from submarine silicic eruptions: To study the histories, dynamics and hazards of Kameni and Kolumbo submarine volcanoes.
    6. Transition from continental to marine environments in the southern Aegean.
    7. Biological systems reactions to volcanic eruptions and seawater acidification.


To learn more about the scientific objectives of this expedition and how to apply to sail, you can watch a recording of the expedition-specific web-based seminar:


Expedition 398 (Hellenic Arc Volcanic Field) Webinar Recording





December 12, 2022 – February 12, 2023


The Atlantis Massif (AM) Oceanic Core Complex (30°N, Mid-Atlantic Ridge) is one of the earliest sites recognized for the extensive exposure of ultramafic and mafic rocks at the seafloor caused by an oceanic detachment fault, and has been the focus of four IODP expeditions (304, 305, 340T, and 357). The Lost City Hydrothermal Field (LCHF) is hosted in peridotite on its southern wall and vents alkaline fluids rich in H2 as a by-product of serpentinization. The AM is therefore an ideal natural laboratory for studying tectonics, magmatism, and the interaction between the ocean and lithosphere, as well as their combined influence on ocean chemistry and the subseafloor biosphere.


Expedition 399 has three main scientific objectives:


    1. Characterizing the life-cycle of an oceanic core complex, including links among igneous, metamorphic, structural, and fluid flow processes.
    2. Accessing the chemical kitchen preceding the appearance of life on Earth, including the formation of organic molecules of prebiotic interest at high and low temperatures.
    3. Identifying the extent of the deep biosphere and limits for life, including how they are influenced by lithological substrate, porosity and permeability, temperature, fluid chemistry, and reactive gradients.


A principle aim of the expedition is to sample fluids and rocks in a stable regime where active serpentinization may be occurring, creating the conditions where the building blocks for life (H2, CH4, and more complex organic compounds form abiotically. IODP Hole U1309D, located 5 km north of the LCHF, is the deepest (1415 m) hole drilled so far in young (<2 Ma) ocean crust, and recovered a primitive series of gabbroic rocks interpreted in part to be metasomatised  peridotite. Expedition 399 will sample fluids in the existing Hole U1309D using newly developed temperature-sensitive sampling tools. It will also deepen Hole U1309D to ~2060 mbsf, where temperatures up to 220°C are predicted, and leave it available for future logging and fluid sampling once thermal equilibrium has returned. The proportion of ultramafic rocks is expected to increase with depth, and at these temperatures serpentinization and hydrogen generation by redox reactions should be actively occurring. Volatiles and organic molecules will be sampled in fluid inclusions to identify the physicochemical conditions that lead to their formation.


A second shallow (~200 mbsf) hole will be cored close to the LCHF to obtain a complete section through a detachment fault zone in serpentinized peridotite, extending the findings of Expedition 357. It targets zones of higher porosity that may facilitate geochemical and microbial processes. A re-entry system will be installed to allow for future deeper drilling, logging, fluid sampling, and a borehole observatory. The thermal structure of this hole will place important constraints on the Lost City circulation system, and there is a possibility of intersecting Lost City fluids pathways.


To learn more about the scientific objectives of this expedition and how to apply to sail, you can watch a recording of the expedition-specific web-based seminar:


Expedition 399 (Building Blocks of Life, Atlantis Massif) Webinar Recording




For more information on the expeditions’ science objectives and the JOIDES Resolution expedition schedule, see This site includes links to individual expedition web pages with the original IODP proposals and expedition planning information.


COVID-19 Protocol: The JRSO has created a protocol to safely operate during the COVID-19 pandemic. If pandemic conditions have not improved by late 2022, these expeditions may need to sail with a reduced shipboard contingent. However, all participants will maintain their designation as science party members regardless of whether they sail or not, and will have equal access to all expedition data and core materials. The protocol is available here:


Who Should Apply to the Expedition 398 Special Call: We encourage applications from all qualified U.S.-based scientists (including graduate students) with expertise in paleomagnetics. Who Should Apply to the Expedition 399 Special Call: We encourage applications from all qualified scientists (including graduate students) with expertise in metamorphic petrology. The JOIDES Resolution Science Operator (JRSO) is committed to a policy of broad participation and inclusion, and to providing a safe, productive, and welcoming environment for all program participants. Good working knowledge of the English language is required.


U.S.-affiliated scientists interested in participating in these expeditions should apply to sail through the U.S. Science Support Program – click here to review the application process and link to the USSSP Application Portal. The deadline to apply for the special call is June 6, 2022.


For questions, please email