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

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Volume 32, No. 1
Pages 193 - 193

Spotlight 12. Future Opportunities in Scientific Ocean Drilling: Deep Earth

Anthony A.P. Koppers
First Paragraph

Innovations in engineering and adaptations of mining technologies over the last 50 years have enabled scientific ocean drilling to reveal much about the deep Earth that would have been impossible using any other methods. However, this so-called “deep” drilling has not penetrated more than the top few hundred meters into igneous basement in most holes, and even when applying multi-expedition approaches, it has only reached as far as two kilometers into in situ oceanic crust (Hole 504B in the eastern equatorial Pacific). Many challenges and questions remain, and new areas need to be pursued through continued drilling efforts. We still have not answered the fundamental Earth science question: Is the Mohorovičić Discontinuity a lithological transition, a geophysical boundary, a serpentinization front, or a combination of those?


Koppers, A.A.P. 2019. Future opportunities in scientific ocean drilling: Deep earth. Oceanography 32(1):193, https://doi.org/10.5670/oceanog.2019.143.