The promise and challenges of IODP drilling in the Aleutian Basin were explored during a 2.5 hour mini-workshop during the 2013 AGU Fall Meeting in San Francisco.
This meeting was convened to discuss pre-proposal IODP 825-Pre (Establishing the Age and Origin of the Aleutian Basin, Bering Sea). The proposal plans to explore the tectonic development of the Aleutian Basin by drilling into one of the central ridges of the Vitus Arch and sample, determine ages, and further characterize the nature of Aleutian Basin basement rocks. Sampling the Aleutian Basin seafloor requires drilling through ~1 km of sediment, which is expected to range back to at least Oligocene time, and probably older. These sediments provide a wide range of rich research opportunities — such as a continuous high-latitude climate record extending back to early Cenozoic time, diagenesis of silica-rich sediments, methane hydrates, etc. Scientists who are interested in these studies were invited to attend the mini-workshop and to discuss ideas and potential collaborations.