Mission Moho: The Formation and Evolution of Oceanic Lithosphere

September 7-9, 2006 – Portland, Oregon
Convener: David Christie


The dominant geologic process on planet Earth is creation of new oceanic crust, which hosts life and holds the history of Earth origin and evolution. The Moho is a seismic boundary assumed to represent the frontier between the crust and the mantle. We have not yet crossed this frontier, and the mission is primarily to determine the nature of the Moho. To drill and sample through crust into the mantle, is to understand the process of planetary renewal and how the surface of Earth is paved. The journey across this frontier and beyond into the Earth’s mantle, the driver of plate tectonics, will take us through the primal architecture of this planet.

Mission Moho will build upon and utilize new technologies to achieve the long-term (40 yr) goal of drilling to the mantle, which was the inspiration for scientific ocean drilling. The ability to conduct this mission through the IODP international partnership will create a legacy for generations to come.

Workshop Products

Workshop Report (pdf)
Eos Article (pdf)
Scientific Drilling Article (pdf)

Steering Committee

David Christie (co-chair), University of Alaska Fairbanks
Benoit Ildefonse (co-chair), CNRS/Université Montpellier
Natsue Abe, JAMSTEC
Shoji Arai, Kanazawa University
Wolfgang Bach, Universitat Bremen
Donna Blackman, Scripps Institution of Oceanography
Robert Duncan, Oregon State University
Emilie Hooft, University of Oregon
Susan Humphris, Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution
Jay Miller, Texas A&M University