Apply to Sail: Expedition 403, Eastern Fram Strait Paleo-Archive

SPECIAL CALL: IODP and USSSP are seeking scientists with expertise in the following discipline to apply to Expedition 403: micropaleontology with expertise in diatoms. The deadline to apply for this special call is June 16, 2023 by 11:50 PM EDT.

The International Ocean Discovery Program (IODP) is now accepting applications for scientific participants on Expedition 403 Eastern Fram Strait Paleo-Archive, aboard the JOIDES Resolution. To learn more about the scientific objectives of this expedition and how to apply to sail, you can watch the recorded expedition web-based seminar (from February 14, 2023): Expedition 403 Webinar Recording.

The North Atlantic and Arctic Oceans are major players in the climatic evolution of the Northern Hemisphere and in the history of meridional overturning circulation of the Atlantic Ocean. The establishment of modern North Atlantic water has been identified as one of the main forcing mechanisms for the onset of the Northern Hemisphere glaciation. Many uncertainties remain about the establishment, evolution, and role of the northern North Atlantic-Arctic Ocean circulation in relation to the opening of the Fram Strait, and its impact on the Earth’s global climate during major climatic transitions that have occurred since the Late Miocene. Understanding system interactions between ocean currents and the cryosphere under changing insulation and CO2 conditions of the past is particularly important for ground truthing climate models. The reconstruction of the paleo Svalbard-Barents Sea Ice Sheet (SBSIS) is critical as it is considered the best available analogue to the West Antarctic Ice Sheet, whose loss of stability is presently the major uncertainty in projecting global sea level in response to present-day global climate warming induced by rapidly increasing atmospheric CO2 content. Reconstructing the dynamic history of the western margin of Svalbard and eastern side of the Fram Strait at the gateway to the Arctic is key to understanding the linkage between atmospheric CO2 concentration, ocean dynamics, and cryosphere as main drivers of climate changes.

The key scientific objectives of Expedition 403 are:

    1. The development of a high-resolution chronostratigraphic record of the Late Miocene-Quaternary;
    2. The generation of multi-proxy data sets to better constrain the forcing mechanisms responsible for Late Miocene to Quaternary climatic transitions;
    3. The identification of orbital, sub-orbital, millennial scale climate variations such as Heinrich events and possible associated meltwater;
    4. The evaluation of impacts and feedbacks involving past sediment-laden prominent meltwater events on water masses properties, ocean circulation, ice sheet instability, slope stability, and biota;
    5. The reconstruction of paleo SBSIS dynamic history in relation to changes in the ocean current pathways and characteristics as mechanisms inducing ice sheet instability and fast retreat;
    6. The study of glacial and tectonic stresses and their effect on near-surface deformation and Earth systems dynamics; and
    7. The linkages between large-scale environmental changes and microbial population variability.

These objectives will be accomplished through coring and borehole logging multiple holes at five sediment drift sites to create a composite stratigraphy.

The expedition will take place from 4 June to 2 August 2024. For more information on the expedition science objectives and the JOIDES Resolution expedition schedule, see This page includes links to the individual expedition web pages with the original IODP proposals and expedition planning information.

Who Should Apply for the Expedition 403 Special Call: We encourage applications from all qualified scientists (including graduate students) specializing in diatom biostratigraphy. 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 this expedition 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 this special call is June 16, 2023.

For questions, please email