New Caledonia's involvement in the International Ocean Drilling Program IODP

07 July 2015



Two New Caledonian researchers participated in an international workshop organised in Wellington by the Institute of Geological and Nuclear Sciences Ltd, GNS Science NZ from  9 to 13  February. Marine geophysicist Julien Collot of the Service Géologique de Nouvelle-Calédonie (SGNC) and sedimentologist Samuel Etienne of ADECAL-Technopôle (New Caledonian Agency for Economic Development) contributed to the discussion held within the workshop, which aims to summarise all the geological interpretations formed by New Caledonia and New Zealand researchers as well as determining the location of drilling sites and finalising the drafting of the application for the approval of the IODP 832 campaign.

This application must be submitted to the Integrated Ocean Drilling Program (IODP) by early April 2015 in order to come into effect from 2016, due to the presence of the American deep ocean drilling ship, the JOIDES Resolution (pictured).  It is worth noting  that this program aims to study submarine geological structures by drilling deep into the oceanic lithosphere.

For Yves Lafoy, our New Caledonian Official Representative to New Zealand  New Zealand, who attended one of the international workshop sessions, the application for the IODP 832 campaign is part  on the one hand, of the cooperation convention signed in 2007 between the SGNC and the  GNS, and, on the other hand, of  the study "Promotion des structures géologiques entre la Nouvelle-Zélande et la Nouvelle-Calédonie" (promotion of geological structures between New Zealand and New Caledonia) financed by the New Caledonian government between 2011 and 2013 to the amount  of XPF 6,324,490.

The objectives of the IODP Proposal 832 "Subduction Initiation and Paleocene Climate" drilling campaign are to describe a major tectonic event which impacted the South-West Pacific during the Eocene Epoch, as well as to better understand  the latest period in  time  when the Planet was exposed to very warm temperatures.