iodp-Status Report

Within the purview of IODP – Phase I, the scientific objectives were organized into three major themes: (a) The Deep Biosphere and the Sub-seafloor Ocean; (b) Environmental Change, Processes and Effects; and (c) Solid Earth Cycles and Geodynamics.

 Within these three themes, the following eight initiatives were identified to be addressed within the first decade of IODP drilling: Deep Biosphere; Extreme Climates; Rapid Climate Change; Continental Breakup and Sedimentary Basin Formation; Large Igneous Provinces; Gas Hydrates; 21st Century Mohole; Seismogenic Zone. 

Soon after participation as an IODP member, India envisioned a concrete Science Plan of its own, addressing the scientific issues pertaining to the seas around Indian Ocean which call for deep-drilling. An Expert Group constituted by MoES to further capacitate the IODP agenda first met on 28th November 2008 at NCAOR, Goa to discuss the following research themes:

  1. Crustal Evolution: with special attention to Western continental margin, Eastern continental margin, Andaman Sea, Mid Ocean Ridges
  2. Gas Hydrates: Sediment characteristics, BSR characteristics and GH occurrence
  3. Climate change: Timing of the SW monsoon and NE monsoon and their later evolution; and Sediment fluxes in BOB through time and linkages with Himalayan Orogeny

Following several other meetings of the Expert Group, after much deliberation, a resolution to submit a scientific drilling proposal in the Arabian Sea was taken. A comprehensive proposal for the scientific drilling in the Arabian Sea prepared by involving proponents from various scientific and academic institutes in India was submitted to the IODP on 01st October 2010.

To download the latest Status Report, click here  


Present Status: The proposal titled “Deep sea drilling in the Arabian Sea: constraining tectonic-monsoon interactions in South Asia” – IODP 355 Expedition has been approved by the evaluation panels and is scheduled to start in Colombo, Sri Lanka, on 31 March 2015 and end in Mumbai, India, on 31 May. Its key research objectives are:

  1. Reconstruct long-term changes in erosion and weathering rates at sub-millennial to millennial timescales in order to compare with existing records of high frequency climatic variability.
  2. Reconstruct changes in erosion and weathering intensity over tectonic timescales and assess whether any changes occurred at ~23, 15, and 10–8 Ma to test earlier hypotheses that invoke changes in monsoon intensity at those times.
  3. Decipher the nature of basement rocks in Laxmi Basin and constrain the timing of early seafloor spreading and the relationship to the emplacement of Deccan Flood Basalts. Does mantle plume initiation predate or postdate rifting and early spreading?

The scientific prospectus is located at