IODP Cascadia margins gas hydrates expedition underway

September 21, 2005

An international team of Earth scientists, supported by the Integrated Ocean Drilling Program (IODP), has embarked on a six-week expedition off the coast of Vancouver Island to conduct research beneath the Earth's crust. Co-led by Tim Collett of the U.S. Geological Survey (Denver) and Michael Riedel of Natural Resources Canada, the Cascadia Margins Gas Hydrates, IODP Expedition 311, will investigate how high volumes of carbon and methane gasses trapped in gas hydrate deposits could effect climate change and seafloor stability.

Gas hydrates, ice-like solids composed of water and natural gas, are found under Arctic areas and on marine continental shelves. The science party boarded the JOIDES Resolution, IODP's U.S.-operated research drilling vessel on September 16, in Astoria, Oregon.

The ship comes into port at the expedition's conclusion at Victoria, British Columbia, on October 29, 2005.
-end-
Media representatives are invited onboard the drillship in Victoria port on Oct. 31, 2005 for tours of the ship. News of the expedition's activities and preliminary findings will then be released.

IODP expeditions are supported by the U.S. National Science Foundation and Japan's Ministry of Education, Culture, Science and Technology.

Visit www.iodp.org for more program information. Expedition-specific information appears on http://iodp.tamu.edu/scienceops/expeditions/exp311.html.

Co-chief scientist Michael Riedel discusses the expedition on streaming audio at http://www.iodp.org/education/

Contacts:
Nancy Light
IODP Management International
Tel.: 202-465-7511, 202-361-3325
nlight@iodp.org

Kathy Gillis
Canadian Consortium for Ocean Drilling
Tel.: 250-721-6120
kgillis@uvic.ca

Jon Corsiglia
JOI Allliance
(operator of the JOIDES Resolution)
Tel.: 202-232-3900, ext. 1644
jcorsiglia@joiscience.org

Ghyslain Charron
Natural Resources Canada
Tel.: (613) 992-4447
Ghyslain.CHarron@nrcan-rncan.gc.ca

Integrated Ocean Drilling Program Management International

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