Oceanography The Official Magazine of
The Oceanography Society
Volume 32 Issue 01

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Volume 32, No. 1
Pages 98 - 101

Listening Down the Pipe

Evan A. Solomon Keir BeckerAchim J. KopfEarl E. Davis
Article Abstract

Since 1991, over 30 borehole observatories have been installed by the Ocean Drilling Program (ODP), the Integrated Ocean Drilling Program, and the International Ocean Discovery Program (IODP), mostly in young oceanic crust and in subduction zones. These installations have provided a sustained presence in the subseafloor environment, enabling collection of a new generation of long-term, time-series data sets of temperature, pressure, and deformation, as well as continuous fluid sampling and in situ active experimentation. These multidisciplinary observations have pushed the frontiers of knowledge about Earth’s linked geodynamic, hydrological, geochemical, and biological processes.


Solomon, E.A., K. Becker, A.J. Kopf, and E.E. Davis. 2019. Listening down the pipe. Oceanography 32(1):98–101, https://doi.org/10.5670/oceanog.2019.128.


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Davis, E.E., and K. Becker. 2004. Observations of temperature and pressure: Constraints on ocean crustal hydrologic state, properties, and flow. Pp. 225–271 in Hydrogeology of the Oceanic Lithosphere. E. Davis and H. Elderfield, eds, Cambridge University Press.

Davis, E.E., K. Becker, R. Dziak, J. Cassidy, K. Wang, and M. Lilley. 2004. Hydrologic response to a seafloor spreading episode on the Juan de Fuca Ridge. Nature 430:335–338, https://doi.org/​10.1038/nature02755.

Davis, E., M. Kinoshita, K. Becker, K. Wang, Y. Asano, and Y. Ito. 2013. Episodic deformation and inferred slow slip at the Nankai subduction zone during the first decade of CORK borehole pressure and VLFE monitoring. Earth and Planetary Science Letters 368:110–118, https://doi.org/10.1016/​j.epsl.2013.03.009.

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Kopf, A., D.M. Saffer, E.E. Davis, S. Hammerschmidt, A. Labonte, R. Meldrum, S. Toczko, R. Lauer, M. Heesemann, R. Macdonald, and others. 2011. The Smartplug and Genius Plug: Simple retrievable observatory systems for NanTroSEIZE borehole monitoring. In Proceedings of the Integrated Ocean Drilling Program, vol. 332. A. Kopf, E. Araki, S, Tozcko, and the Expedition 332 Scientists, Integrated Ocean Drilling Program Management International, Inc., Tokyo, https://doi.org/10.2204/iodp.proc.332.105.2011.

Kopf, A., T. Freudenthal, V. Ratmeyer, M. Bergenthal, M. Lange, T. Fleischmann, S. Hammerschmidt, C. Seiter, and G. Wefer. 2015. Simple, affordable, and sustainable borehole observatories for complex monitoring objectives. Geoscientific Instrumentation, Methods and Data Systems 4:99–109, https://doi.org/10.5194/gi-4-99-2015.

McGuire, J.J., J.A. Collins, E. Davis, K. Becker, and M. Heesemann. 2018. A lack of dynamic triggering of slow slip and tremor indicates that the shallow Cascadia megathrust offshore Vancouver Island is likely locked. Geophysical Research Letters 45:11,095–11,103, https://doi.org/​10.1029/2018GL079519.

Meyer, J.L., U. Jaekel, B.J. Tully, B.T. Glazer, C.G. Wheat, H.-T. Lin, C.-C. Hsieh, J.P. Cowen, S.M. Hulme, P.R. Girguis, and J.A. Huber. 2016. A distinct and active bacterial community in cold oxygenated fluids circulating beneath the western flank of the Mid-Atlantic Ridge. Scientific Reports 6, 22541, https://doi.org/10.1038/srep22541.

Neira, N.M., J.F. Clark, A.T. Fisher, C.G. Wheat, R.M. Haymon, and K. Becker. 2016. Cross-hole tracer experiment reveals rapid fluid flow in the upper ocean crust. Earth and Planetary Science Letters 450:355–365, https://doi.org/10.1016/​j.epsl.2016.06.048.

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Solomon, E.A., M. Kastner, G. Wheat, H.W. Jannasch, G. Robertson, E.E. Davis, and J.D. Morris. 2009. Long-term hydrogeochemical records in the oceanic basement and forearc prism at the Costa Rica subduction zone. Earth and Planetary Science Letters 282(1–4):240–251, https://doi.org/10.1016/​j.epsl.2009.03.022.

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Wheat, C.G., K.J. Edwards, T. Pettigrew, H.W. Jannasch, K. Becker, E.E. Davis, H. Villinger, and W. Bach. 2012. CORK-Lite: Bringing legacy boreholes back to life. Scientific Drilling 14:39–43, https://doi.org/10.2204/iodp.sd.14.05.2012.