Achievements and perspectives in scientific ocean and continental drilling

Scientific ocean and continental drilling provides unique opportunities to investigate the workings of the interior of our planet, Earth’s cycles, natural hazards and the distribution of subsurface microbial life. The past and current scientific drilling programs IODP (International Ocean Discovery Program) and ICDP (International Continental Scientific Drilling Program) have brought major advances in many multidisciplinary fields of socio-economic relevance, such as climate and ecosystem evolution, palaeoceanography, the deep biosphere, deep crustal and tectonic processes, geodynamics and geohazards. This session encourages contributions that outline perspectives and visions for future drilling projects, in particular projects using a multi-platform approach, and invites contributions that present and/or review recent scientific results from deep Earth sampling and monitoring through ocean and continental drilling projects.
This year, a particular focus will be given on contributions based on sedimentary records from outcrops or the often more complete sedimentary sections recovered by scientific drilling that reconstruct sedimentary processes and their products preserved in deltas, canyons and submarine fans (former session SSP 2.9).

Co-organized by CL5.1/EMRP3/NH5, co-sponsored by JpGU
Convener: Thomas Wiersberg | Co-conveners: Peter Clift, Jorijntje Henderiks, Cindy KunkelECSECS, Antony Morris, Sergio Andò, Mara LimontaECSECS
vPICO presentations
| Tue, 27 Apr, 13:30–17:00 (CEST)

vPICO presentations: Tue, 27 Apr

Carol Cotterill, Sharon Katz Cooper, Angela Slagle, and Carl Brenner

There aren’t many circumstances that require looking into the future to decide what people will be interested in about the past, while writing in the present. Dr. Roz Coggan wasn’t kidding when she drew a picture of a scientific ocean drilling vessel and labelled it as a Time Machine! So how do we go about communicating the science in the sediments, the cliff-hangers in the cores?

Since 1966, the scientific community has looked to the oceans, and the natural laboratories hidden beneath them, to answer fundamental questions concerning the composition, structure, and key processes of the Earth, unravelling geochemical, biological, physical, structural, climatic and geohazard-related complexities along the way. As the current phase of scientific ocean drilling (IODP) is drawing to an end, an international team has drafted a new vision for the future of this inspiring and unique program, released officially in Fall 2020.

The 2050 Science Framework for Scientific Ocean Drilling consists of seven Strategic Objectives and five Flagship Initiatives. Spanning all of these are four Enabling Elements - key facets that facilitate research activities, enhance outputs, and maximise their impact. Enabling Element 1 covers the broader impacts and outreach associated with scientific ocean drilling, including highlighting the societal relevance of its research topics, inspiring and training the next generation of ocean scientists, addressing knowledge sharing and collaborations, and working towards greater diversity and inclusion in geoscience. These are not small issues to address, and overall Enabling Element 1 sets an aspirational target for science communication going forward:

“Using a variety of social media and web-based platforms, data and results will be broadly disseminated to educators, policymakers, and the public, securing scientific ocean drilling’s position as the authoritative source of information about the Earth system.” (Koppers and Coggon, 2020)

We believe that with such broad aims, now is the time to formulate large-scale strategies for science communication. By bringing in aspects of strategy and branding, stirred together with a good dose of umbrella narratives, we aim to develop a transmedia approach to science communication, taking different present audiences on unique journeys into the past with an eye on the future. We will need to assess framing and relevance, the power of storytelling to communicate facts, and how best to ensure that our activities contribute to excitement about learning the unfolding stories of the Earth. Now is the perfect time to initiate this effort, and it is hoped that this review of multiple aspects of Science Communication, Public Engagement and branding can help begin these discussions.

“What is it that we human beings ultimately depend on? We depend on our words. We are suspended in language. Our task is to communicate experience and ideas to others”. Niels Bohr

Original illustration by GeoProse from the 2050 From Koppers, A.A.P., and R. Coggon, eds. 2020. Exploring Earth by Scientific Ocean Drilling: 2050 Framework.

How to cite: Cotterill, C., Katz Cooper, S., Slagle, A., and Brenner, C.: Foresight, hindsight, IODP and science communicaton, EGU General Assembly 2021, online, 19–30 Apr 2021, EGU21-8407,, 2021.

Cécile Massiot, Craig Miller, Matthew Stott, Pilar Villamor, Hiroshi Asanuma, Eric Boyd, Matteo Lelli, David D. Mcnamara, Santanu Misra, Doug R. Schmitt, Guido Ventura, Pujun Wang, Ludmila Adam, Edward Bertrand, Fabio Caratori Tontini, Geoff Kilgour, Sarah D. Milicich, Alex Nichols, and Francesco Parisio

Calderas are major volcanic features with large volcanic and seismic hazards. They also host diverse microbiota, provide heat, energy, mineral and economic benefits. Despite their scientific and socio-economic importance, we still do not completely understand calderas and the interactions between volcanism, tectonism, fluid circulation and the deep biosphere because in-situ and subsurface observations are sparse.

The Okataina Volcanic Centre (OVC) in Aotearoa New Zealand, is one of two active giant calderas of the Taupō Volcanic Zone within the rapidly extending continental intra-arc Taupō Rift. This superb natural laboratory has: 1) numerous past eruptions of varied size and style, 2) documented co-eruptive earthquakes, 3) vigorous hydrothermal manifestations, 4) diverse microbial communities in hot springs but unknown in the subsurface.

We propose to establish a scientific drilling programme at the OVC to address:

  • What are the conditions leading to volcanic eruptions; and volcano-tectonic feedbacks in intra-rift calderas?
  • What controls fluid circulations in active calderas/rift regions?
  • Does subsurface microbial community composition vary with tectonic and/or volcanic activity?

High temperatures complicate drillhole design, restrict data collection and prevent exploration of the biosphere. By targeting the cooler parts of the caldera, this project will use conventional engineering to maximise sampling (drill cores and fluids), downhole logging and establish long-term observatories.

Two preliminary drill targets are suggested: (1) in the centre of the caldera; (2) through the caldera margin. Drill data will provide a comprehensive record of past activity, establishing eruption frequency-magnitude relationships and precursors. Combined with well-known fault rupture history, the relative timing of tectonic and magmatic activity will be untangled. Drill data will unravel the relationships between the groundwater and hydrothermal systems, magma, faults and stress, informing thermo-hydro-mechanical regional caldera models with findings applicable worldwide. Drill cores and a dedicated fluid sampler triggered by nearby earthquakes will reveal the composition, function and potential change of microbial activity in response to rock and fluid variations.

The programme is informed by indigenous Māori, regulatory authorities and emergency managers to ensure scientific, cultural, regulatory and resilience outcomes. The programme will underpin 1) community resilience to volcanic and seismic hazards; 2) sustainable management of groundwater and geothermal resources, and 3) understanding of subsurface microbial diversity, function and geobiological interactions. At these early stages of planning, we invite the scientific community to contribute to the concept of this project in the exceptional OVC settings and strengthen linkages with other ongoing research and scientific drilling programmes.

How to cite: Massiot, C., Miller, C., Stott, M., Villamor, P., Asanuma, H., Boyd, E., Lelli, M., Mcnamara, D. D., Misra, S., Schmitt, D. R., Ventura, G., Wang, P., Adam, L., Bertrand, E., Caratori Tontini, F., Kilgour, G., Milicich, S. D., Nichols, A., and Parisio, F.: INTERACTION: INTeraction between lifE, Rifting And Caldera Tectonics In OkataiNa, EGU General Assembly 2021, online, 19–30 Apr 2021, EGU21-1904,, 2021.

Anneleen Foubert, Tesfaye Kidane, Derek Keir, Balemwal Atnafu, and the ICDP ADD-ON Team

Since the early days of the continental drift theory, the Afar triangle developed into an ideal field laboratory where the onset of continental and future oceanic rifting can be studied in detail. The Danakil Depression is the northern portion of the Afar triangle, bordered to the west by the Ethiopian Plateau and to the East by the Danakil Horst, and characterised by active rifting since Oligocene times. Seismo-stratigraphic interpretations based on industrial seismic sections, core and borehole data evidence the presence of Pleistocene evaporite units to a depth of about 900 m below the Dallol salt pan (central Danakil Depression, northern Afar). However, to date no sub-salt sedimentary core records have been available from the central part of the rift basin filled with likely more than 1.5 km of sediments.

The ADD-ON drilling project aims to get access to the sub-salt sedimentary archives of the Danakil basin. The overall goal is to understand sedimentary facies evolution in an active rift setting paced by global environmental fluctuations and their interplay with volcano-tectonic events. Having future access to scientific core records will give new insights into (1) the mechanical understanding of intermittent and incipient basin dynamics in an initial extensive continental rift basin: from rifting towards the development of passive margins, (2) East African climatic changes and Hominin evolution, (3) the limits of the deep biosphere in extreme hypersaline and high-temperature environments below the salt deposits, (4) natural fluid flow in an active geothermal system, and (5) monitoring of active faults, earthquakes and volcanic events in remote areas. Moreover, deep scientific drilling in Afar will be necessary in the rapid assessment of geothermal potential, the quest for ground water resources and advanced Potash exploitation.

How to cite: Foubert, A., Kidane, T., Keir, D., Atnafu, B., and ADD-ON Team, T. I.: Afar Dallol Drilling – ONset of sedimentary processes in an active rift basin (ADD-ON): Scientific drilling targets in the Afar (Ethiopia), EGU General Assembly 2021, online, 19–30 Apr 2021, EGU21-14486,, 2021.

Stephen Hesselbo and the JET Science Party

The Prees-2 fully cored borehole was drilled in November and December 2020 and captures a thick biostratigraphically complete, hemipelagic marine record for the Triassic-Jurassic boundary and for the Hettangian, Sinemurian and lower Pliensbachian stages.  The borehole is sited at the centre of the Prees Jurassic outlier in the Cheshire Basin, Shropshire, England. The overall JET project, funded principally by ICDP, NERC, and DFG, aims to construct a fully integrated age model and timescale for the Early Jurassic combining new data from the Prees core with data generated from the historic Llanbedr (Mochras Farm) borehole in NW Wales.  The new timescale and a wide range of geological data are then being used to reconstruct and understand diverse aspects of the Early Jurassic Earth system, and to provide constraints on astronomical solutions for solar system dynamics over this crucial time interval that links oceanic records of the Cenozoic and later Mesozoic to continental records of the Triassic.  The Prees-2 borehole was drilled to a total depth of 656 m below rig floor, and the Early Jurassic succession comprises mudstone, limestone, and siltstone, which is fossiliferous throughout and includes many biostratigraphically significant ammonite fossils. Diverse trace fossil assemblages are also observed, and lithological cyclicity is apparent through the Jurassic on a scale of about one metre, compatible with interpretations of Milankovitch cyclicity in the precession band based on analysis of Mochras core. Core recovery was largely at 100% and the core quality is excellent. A suite of downhole logs was obtained and ongoing work at the British Geological Survey Core Scanning Facility is generating a high-quality, high-resolution geochemical and geophysical dataset that will provide a fundamental basis for further core-log integration, astrochronology and palaeoenvironmental work.

How to cite: Hesselbo, S. and the JET Science Party: Initial results from coring at Prees, Cheshire Basin, UK, and future plans for the Early Jurassic Earth System and Timescale Project (JET), EGU General Assembly 2021, online, 19–30 Apr 2021, EGU21-12304,, 2021.

Pujun Wang, Yongyi Zhu, Youfeng Gao, Xiaoqiao Wan, Yangguang Ren, Shuxue Wang, Xuejiao Qu, Qi'an Meng, Yongjian Huang, Qinghua Huang, Haibo Liu, and Chengshan Wang

A series of ICDP deep boreholes of SK1), SK2 and SK3 have been drilled in the Songliao Basin of NE China during 2006 to 2021. The deepest and the most attractive SK2 is with bottom depth of 7108m and super long Continuous coring footage of 4380m. With the long-term working process, we have some special experiences that may be useful to others. The first is that ICDP financial support may cover only a small part of the total cost. But the fishing effect is crucial. That is to say, when we are trying to get financial support, the most important thing above all is generally the reason why do we want to spend the money for. Because of its widely accepted peer review international level program, ICDP funding ,no matter big or small, can always give us strong and convictive argument for the money usage, especially when we are trying to get funded from government organizations and/or companies those are interested in high level research of global aspects. The second is that an ICDP project can be forward in different ways. A step by step procedure is also a very functional way. For example, at the beginning of our ICDP long marching, we got ICDP technical support when we worked on SK1 in 2006. This turned to a key step for the following procedure. Three years later in 2009, we got ICDP funded. The third is that drilling and coring are costly. We may save a lot of money if we can combine ICDP pure research of global aspects with local industry interests. Petroleum companies related to the Songliao Basin kindly provided us all the available data including well-logs, core samples and 3D-seismic data for free. So that, we did not spend any money for the pre-drilling research. And more so, based on these precise data we got very good prediction of the subsurface stratigraphic sections we may meet while drilling, which are very important information for the plans of drilling engineering.

Why we want to drill the deep boreholes of the SK2 coupled with SK1 and SK3.

At first, we hope to obtain a continuous and complete Cretaceous terrestrial coring succession. Situated on the eastern margin of the Eurasian Plate, the Songliao Basin accumulated the most continuous and the highest resolution geological records of Cretaceous terrestrial sedimentary-volcanic successions in the world. The whole Cretaceous sequence is over 10km thick.

Secondly, we hope to establish a high-precision terrestrial stratigraphic framework of the region.

Thirdly, we hope to study the Cretaceous conditions concerning paleo-environment of the lakes in the Songliao Basin and adjacent areas. At last, research on paleoclimatic aspects in northeastern Asia based on the collected precise lake deposits. And then, According to the knowledge acquired from the global warming process in the Cretaceous in NE Asia, especially during the stages of intense fossil fuel accumulation episodes, we may have the opportunity try to find some similarities to the global warming trend that human being is facing now.

How to cite: Wang, P., Zhu, Y., Gao, Y., Wan, X., Ren, Y., Wang, S., Qu, X., Meng, Q., Huang, Y., Huang, Q., Liu, H., and Wang, C.: A successfully finished ICDP deep borehole of 7108m (SK2)in the Cretaceous Songliao Basin of Northeast China, EGU General Assembly 2021, online, 19–30 Apr 2021, EGU21-3930,, 2021.

haibo liu, Pujun Wang, Youfeng Gao, Yongkang Yin, and Honghao Li

The Songliao Basin is one of the largest non-marine petroliferous basins in the globally and contains nearly complete Cretaceous terrestrial sedimentary records. The Shahezi Formation is a thick terrestrial clastic sedimentary succession deposited during the rift period of the Songliao Basin. Accordingly, it is significant for research on initial basin history restoration and global continental–marine stratigraphic correlation, to certificate the deposition time of the Shahezi Formation. This formation is always met when wells are drilled in fault basins of the Songliao Basin, and its outcrops are discontinuously distributed along the southeastern margin of the basin. Limited by the discontinuous cores and outcrops, previous studies on the deposition time of the Shahezi Formation were lack of direct evidence.

Borehole SK2 of ICDP was located in the thickest part of the Shahezi Formation in the northern Songliao Basin. It drilled into and traversed the Shahezi Formation from 3,335.99 m to 5,960.00 m, cored all the strata of this 2,624.01 m interval, and obtained 2,503.86 m of core with a coring rate of 95.79%. This core, which can be regarded as a continuous high-resolution terrestrial geological record, provides the basic material to study greenhouse climate events in the Cretaceous and interpret oil and gas generation processes in the basin.

Based on centimeter-scale core observation, the Shahezi Formation is mainly composed of variegated conglomerate, gray sandstone, and black mudstone. It is a sedimentary succession of fan-delta facies and lake facies.

One sedimentary tuff layer with a thickness of almost 1 m was found at a depth of 5,943.19 m, close to the bottom of the Shahezi Formation in SK2. The weighted mean age of 117.9 ± 1.6 Ma (MSWD = 0.15, N=15) provides a reference for the beginning of the deposition of the Shahezi Formation. One rhyolitic crystal tuff layer approximately 6 mm thick was found at a depth of 5,958.62 m at the bottom of the formation. The weighted mean age of 118.2 ± 1.5 Ma (MSWD = 0.18, N=19) is interpreted as the eruption age of the tuff sample. These weighted mean ages provide the best estimate of the beginning of deposition of the Shahezi Formation.Taking other studies into account, the deposition rate of the Shahezi Formation without compaction correction was calculated as about 460 m/Ma. This rate is much faster than the deposition rate of other periods in the Songliao Basin. The Shahezi Formation was deposited approximately from 118 to 111 Ma, from the middle Aptian to early Albian.

The study of the high-resolution stratigraphic sequence and deposition time of the Shahezi Formation is a key to know the process of hydrocarbon generation in the basin. It provides a foundation for the correlation between terrestrial sedimentation in the Songliao Basin and global continental–marine stratigraphy. Also, it should have positive significance for other studies, such as CNS, OAE1a, OAE1b, ORB1, Cretaceous paleogeography and paleoclimate, change in the drifting direction of the subducting Pacific Plate, and other contemporaneous global geological events.

How to cite: liu, H., Wang, P., Gao, Y., Yin, Y., and Li, H.: New data from ICDP borehole SK2 and its constraint on the beginning of the Lower Cretaceous Shahezi Formation in the Songliao Basin, NE China, EGU General Assembly 2021, online, 19–30 Apr 2021, EGU21-6969,, 2021.

Yongkang Yin, Pujun Wang, Youfeng Gao, and Haibo Liu

In the Songliao Basin, the existence of lower Mesozoic strata remains a debatable issue. Previous studies indicated the absence of Triassic to Lower and Middle Jurassic strata in northeastern China because of uplift and erosion events associated with the return of geo-synclinal folds and orogenic movement during the Late Permian–Early Jurassic. To date, geochronological studies of intrusive and metamorphic rocks in the basement of the Songliao Basin have also confirmed Carboniferous, Permian, and Late Jurassic ages for the basement formations in general. In the International Continental Scientific Drilling Project (ICDP) in the Songliao Basin, radiometric dating has been carried out for the entire drilling core of the SK-2 east borehole. As a result, we have discovered Triassic volcanic-sedimentary strata in the basement of the Songliao Basin. Laser-ablation inductively coupled plasma mass spectrometry (LA-ICP-MS) U–Pb geochronology was used in this research. Errors in individual analyses by LA-ICP-MS are given at the 1σ level, whereas errors in pooled ages are given at the 95% (2σ) confidence level. Triassic volcanic-sedimentary strata revealed by the SK-2 east borehole consist of andesitic volcanic breccias at the bottom; andesites, sandstones, and conglomerates in the middle; and andesites at the top. The total thickness of these strata is over 500 m. The formation age of the andesite at the depth of 6,031.9 m is 242.4 ± 2.1 Ma (MSWD = 0.06, n = 7). The youngest peak age of the sandstone at the depth of 6,286.2 m is 242.2 Ma. The formation age of the andesite at the depth of 6,286.2 m is 242.6 ± 1.5 Ma (MSWD = 1.02, n = 18). This study demonstrates that in the Songliao Basin, there are not only Carboniferous and Permian strata, but also a Triassic volcanic-sedimentary succession in the basement of the basin. The SK-2 drilling core reveals that this volcanic-sedimentary sequence has great thickness. These Triassic volcanic-sedimentary strata provide new clues for the study of the origin and development of the Songliao Basin. As both volcanic and sedimentary rocks can be oil and gas reservoirs, this discovery also provides a new target for oil and gas exploration deep in the Songliao Basin.

How to cite: Yin, Y., Wang, P., Gao, Y., and Liu, H.: Triassic volcanic-sedimentary strata in the basement of Songliao Basin, discovered by International Continental Scientific Drilling Borehole, SK-2, EGU General Assembly 2021, online, 19–30 Apr 2021, EGU21-1874,, 2021.

Christopher Juhlin, Bjarne Almqvist, Mark Anderson, Mark Dopson, Iwona Klonowska, Oliver Lehnert, Rodolphe Lescoutre, Henning Lorenz, Christophe Pascal, Sandra Piazolo, Nick Roberts, Jan-Erik Rosberg, and Chin-Fu Tsang

COSC investigations and drilling activities are focused in the Åre-Mörsil area (Sweden) of central Scandinavia. COSC-2 was drilled with nearly 100% core recovery in 2020 to 2.276 km depth with drilling ongoing from mid-April to early August. Drilling targets for COSC-2 included (1) the highly conductive Alum shale, (2) the Caledonian décollement, the major detachment that separates the Caledonian allochthons from the autochthonous basement of the Fennoscandian Shield, and (3) the strong seismic reflectors in the Precambrian basement.

Combined seismic, magnetotelluric (MT) and magnetic data were used to site the COSC-2 borehole about 20 km east-southeast of COSC-1. Based on these data it was predicted that the uppermost, tectonic occurrence of Cambrian Alum shale would be penetrated at about 800 m, the main décollement in Alum shale at its stratigraphic level at about 1200 m and the uppermost high amplitude basement reflector at about 1600 m. Paleozoic turbidites and greywackes were expected to be drilled down to 800 m depth. Below this depth, Ordovician limestone and shale with imbricates of Alum shale were interpreted to be present. Directly below the main décollement, magnetite rich Precambrian basement was expected to be encountered with a composition similar to that of magnetic granitic rocks found east of the Caledonian Front. The actual depths of the main contacts turned out to agree very well with the predictions based on the geophysical data. However, the geology below the uppermost occurrence of Alum shale is quite different from the expected model. Alum shale was only clearly encountered as a highly deformed, about 30 m thick unit, starting at about 790 m. Between about 820 and 1200 m, preliminary interpretations are that the rocks mainly consist of Neo-Proterozoic to Early Cambrian tuffs. Further below, Precambrian porphyries are present. The high amplitude reflections within the Precambrian sequence appear to be generated by dolerite sheets with the uppermost top penetrated at about 1600 m. Several deformed sheets of dolerite may be present down to about 1930 m. Below this depth the rocks are again porphyries.

A preliminary conclusion concerning the tectonic model is that the main décollement is at about 800 m and not at 1200 m. Also the thickness of the lowermost Cambrian/uppermost Neoproterozoic sediments on top of the basement is much greater than expected (hundreds of meters instead of tens of meters) and likely to have been thickened tectonically. Detailed studies are required to assess the actual importance of the “main décollement” and the degree, type and age of deformation in its footwall. We can also conclude that the Precambrian basement is very similar to the Dala porphyries succession that are typically present farther south.

An extensive set of downhole logging data was acquired directly after drilling. Borehole seismic measurements in 2021 will help to define and correlate seismic boundaries with lithology and structures in the core. Unfortunately, work for describing the geology of the drill core in detail is still on hold due to Covid-19.

How to cite: Juhlin, C., Almqvist, B., Anderson, M., Dopson, M., Klonowska, I., Lehnert, O., Lescoutre, R., Lorenz, H., Pascal, C., Piazolo, S., Roberts, N., Rosberg, J.-E., and Tsang, C.-F.: Collisional Orogeny in the Scandinavian Caledonides (COSC): Some preliminary results from drilling of the 2.276 km deep COSC-2 borehole, central Sweden, EGU General Assembly 2021, online, 19–30 Apr 2021, EGU21-538,, 2021.

Judith Elger, Christian Berndt, Felix Kästner, Simona Pierdominici, Jochem Kück, Bjarne S. G. Almqvist, Christopher Juhlin, and Henning Lorenz

Continental collision causes deformation in the crust along shear zones. However, the physical and chemical conditions at which these zones operate and the deformation processes that enable up to hundreds of km of tectonic transport are still unclear because of the depth at which they occur and the challenges in imaging them. Ancient exhumed collision zones allow us to investigate these processes much better, for example at the COSC-1 borehole in the central Scandinavian Caledonides. This study combines data from the COSC-1 borehole, such as downhole logging and zero-offset vertical seismic profile data, with 2D and 3D seismic measurements to provide constraints on the spatial lithological and textural configuration of the Seve Nappe Complex. This is one of the few studies that shows that core-log-seismic integration in metamorphic rocks allows to identify the spatial distribution of major lithological units, even though the methodology was originally developed for sedimentary basins in the hydrocarbon industry. Especially gamma ray logs in combination with density data are powerful tools to distinguish between mafic and felsic lithologies in log-core correlation. Reflections in the Seve Nappe Complex are not as distinct as in greater depths but continuous, and our results indicate that they are primarily caused by compositional rather than textural changes. Several of the reflections can be linked to magmatic intrusions, which have been metamorphically overprinted. Their setting indicates that the Seve Nappe Complex consists of the remnants of a volcanic continental margin. It appears that in spite of the metamorphic overprint around 417+/-9 Ma, the original configuration of the volcanic passive margin is partly preserved in the Seve Nappe Complex and that it outlasted continent-continent collision, including the nappe emplacement. Thus, an integration of borehole and three-dimensional geophysical data can image lithological changes that can then be extrapolated in three dimensions to arrive at a better understanding of the composition and geometry at mid-crustal levels. Furthermore, our results suggest that ductile-deformed middle crustal reflectivity is primarily a function of pre-orogenic lithological variations which has to be considered when deciphering mountain building processes.

How to cite: Elger, J., Berndt, C., Kästner, F., Pierdominici, S., Kück, J., Almqvist, B. S. G., Juhlin, C., and Lorenz, H.: Core-log-seismic integration in metamorphic rocks at the ICDP drilling project COSC-1, Sweden, EGU General Assembly 2021, online, 19–30 Apr 2021, EGU21-2321,, 2021.

Bjarne Almqvist, Maria Ask, Linus Brander, Stefan Buske, Christoph Büttner, Rüdiger Giese, Ulrich Harms, Christopher Juhlin, Jochem Kück, Carl Linden, Henning Lorenz, and Jan-Erik Rosberg

Increasing the effectiveness of exploration for mineral resources is vital to meet future societal, economic and environmental challenges. Effective exploration drilling for mineral resources is an area where industrial innovation plays an important role. Measurements-while-drilling, data acquisition and next generation logging sondes represent three important areas that need development in the mineral exploration sector. Despite this need, there is a lack of test beds that allow to test novel drilling equipment. This limits the development and implementation of equipment with technology that has been proven, but does not yet fulfil the requirements of a product on the commercial market. Although a variety of test sites exist throughout Europe, they are constrained to existing infrastructure, which limits users to pre-existing conditions that may not fit their purpose or need. The I-EDDA-TC provides a unique environment for the development of drilling, and related, equipment used for exploration of mineral resources.

The regional geology around the test center site is dominated by Svecokarelian age granitoid intrusive and acid volcanic rocks (rhyolites) that strike east-west and dip sub-vertical. During 2019 and 2020, two boreholes were drilled at the test center site, as part of an EIT Raw Materials upscaling project. The first borehole is a fully cored 970 m deep borehole drilled with diamond bit (HQ dimension). The second borehole was drilled in the late summer of 2020, and is a 200 m deep percussion-drilled borehole with ~220 mm diameter. Here we present a preliminary synthesis of results from a geophysical survey, borehole logging and geological logging of drill core.

In summer 2019 a comprehensive geophysical surveying program was performed at the site, including 3D high resolution seismic, 2D deeper seismic with a large vibrator source, a series of high-resolution resistivity profiles and magnetic profiles. The 3D seismic data provided detailed velocity information in the near-surface at the site, allowing interpretation of depths to the groundwater table and bedrock in 3D. Data gained from two downhole logging campaigns provides a robust base for the detailed differentiation and characterization of the formations. A first look on the data shows well defined correlations amongst the various geophysical downhole parameters. Geological logging focused both on material properties (e.g. mineralogy, grain-size, texture, alteration and mineralization) and rock mass (joints and RQD). Magnetic susceptibility and ultrasonic pulse velocity were measured at regular intervals along the full core length, and 66 specimens were prepared and analysed with respect to porosity, density, abrasivity, major chemical elements, indirect tensile strength and uniaxial compressive strength. The integrated analysis of core data, surface and borehole seismic data, and the continuous logging profiles allows for the 3-dimensional characterization of the underground below the test center platform, as well as provides reference data for assessment of work conducted at the site (e.g. development of geophysical instruments, testing of drillabilaty and wear on drill bits). Our results will be open access published so that data can be compared to drilling and instruments test of commercial and academic parties utilizing this testing facility in future.

How to cite: Almqvist, B., Ask, M., Brander, L., Buske, S., Büttner, C., Giese, R., Harms, U., Juhlin, C., Kück, J., Linden, C., Lorenz, H., and Rosberg, J.-E.: Innovative Exploration Drilling and Data Acquisition – Test Center (I-EDDA-TC), Örebro, Central Sweden, EGU General Assembly 2021, online, 19–30 Apr 2021, EGU21-10044,, 2021.

Simona Pierdominici and Maria Ask

While the mechanical properties of plate boundaries are relatively well known and characterized by earthquake occurrence, intraplate regions are still largely “terra incognita”, especially in cratonic shields where only seldom and very few data related to the state of the stress field are available. The only way to detect such data and understand the geological and physical processes responsible for the present stress field in an intraplate area is to carry out in-situ measurements of stress-induced deformation in a borehole over time. We had a unique and extraordinary opportunity to measure and investigate the time-dependent deformation in an aseismic area directly in-situ inside the 2500 m Outokumpu open borehole in eastern Finland. The stress data acquired in 2006 and 2011 have been analysed and show that a slow but continued deformation of the upper part of the Earth‘s crust, albeit unexpected, is still ongoing. The continuous formation and development of stress-induced borehole enlargements in a tectonically very stable and almost aseismic area is unforeseen and raises questions of global importance. For this, two complementary approaches were conducted: identification of breakout zones and rock physics measurements on selected drill cores. We compared the two datasets to study the changes of breakout geometry and to quantify the growth of the breakouts in this time span from differences in width, length and depth. For the second method, UCS experiments were conducted providing unconfined compressive strength on specimens collected from above, middle and below breakout zones, and rough estimates of the static Young’s modulus based on the initial length and axial travel of the load frame. The sample height-diameter (H:D) ratio of available drill cores was less than required in testing standards (ASTM D7012, 2014, ISRM 1999). The relatively small grain size of drill cores allowed drilling of smaller-diameter subcores that in most cases fulfilled or exceeded the minimum H:D ratio (1.7<H:D<2.3). We realized that also along the same lithology some zones are affected by enlargements and other remain undamaged. Therefore, we performed the geomechanical analyses on specimens from the same lithology but not affected by failures. Fifty-one uniaxial compressive tests were conducted on specimens belonging to four main rock types at different depths: biotite gneiss, diopside tremolite skarn, micaschist and serpentinite. Results from geomechanical test show UCS values range from 27 to 245 MPa with an average of 102 MPa and a standard deviation of 42, while the elastic Youngs modulus range from 3 to 20 GPa with an average of 7.3 GPa and a standard deviation of 2.8. Most samples collected within breakout zones have UCS values from 40 to 170 MPa and H:D ratio from 1.8 to 2.0, less that required by the standards. The samples outside of the breakout zones show UCS values from 27 to 186 MPa, and H:D ratio from 1.7 to 2.3. The hypothesis for testing was that borehole breakouts were formed in weaker rocks. Our results does not confirm this hypothesis, but the observed time-dependent deformation in Outokumpu borehole is interesting and calls for further studies.

How to cite: Pierdominici, S. and Ask, M.: Rock strength and time dependent deformation of borehole breakouts in the ICDP Outokumpu deep borehole, EGU General Assembly 2021, online, 19–30 Apr 2021, EGU21-6259,, 2021.

Valentin Kasburg, Todor Valchev, Andreas Goepel, Cornelius Octavian Schwarze, and Nina Kukowski

Geophysical observatories aim to decipher natural processes taking place in very different parts of the Earth’s interior by recording long time series of various signals related to these processes. As such signals, e.g. fluctuations of deformation or temperature, may be very small, complementary information e.g. from climate stations and very good knowledge of geological structures in the vicinity of an observatory is indispensable. Moxa Geodynamic Observatory, belonging to Jena university is located in a remote area in the Palaeozoic Thuringian Slate Mountains, which however, is characterized by complex subsurface structures with regard to fluid transport and hydrology, including a suspected fault beneath the observatory.

Information about the subsurface beneath the observatory and its geological structures is available from various near-surface geophysical surveys including numerous geo-electrical profiles. These were used to undertake 3D resistivity tomography.

Here we use rock physical measurements, including thermal conductivity, permeability and seismic velocities, on core material from the research drill hole next to the observatory building to characterise the silty greywackes. This data set is complemented by the evaluation of logging data and inspection of long-term temperature data obtained from records of an optical fibre deployed in the borehole to characterize the drilled rocks and identify sections which may favour ground water transport. We also identified fissures from the acoustic televiewer and thus found several depth intervals which could represent a fault zone. Finally we used this information and the results of the resistivity tomography to propose a structural model for the subsurface including the position and type of the suspected fault zone.

How to cite: Kasburg, V., Valchev, T., Goepel, A., Schwarze, C. O., and Kukowski, N.: Identification of a fault zone beneath Moxa observatory (Central Germany): evidence from combining logging, rock physical measurements, and geophysical profiling, EGU General Assembly 2021, online, 19–30 Apr 2021, EGU21-8887,, 2021.

Yin Lu, Nadav Wetzler, Nicolas Waldmann, Amotz Agnon, Glenn Biasi, and Shmuel Marco

Large earthquakes (magnitude ≥ 7.0) are rare, especially along slow-slipping plate boundaries. Lack of large earthquakes in the instrumental record enlarges uncertainty of the recurrence time; the recurrence of large earthquakes is generally determined by extrapolation according to a magnitude-frequency relation. We enhance the seismological catalog of the Dead Sea Fault Zone by including a 220,000-year-long continuous large earthquake record based on seismites from the Dead Sea center (ICDP Core 5017-1). We constrain seismic shaking intensities via computational fluid dynamics modeling and invert them for earthquake magnitude. Our analysis shows that the recurrence time of large earthquakes follows a power-law distribution, with a mean of ≤ 1400±160 years. This mean recurrence is significantly shorter than the previous estimate of 11,000 years for the past 40,000 years. Our unique record confirms a clustered earthquake recurrence pattern and a group-fault temporal clustering model, and reveals an unexpectedly high seismicity rate on a slow-slipping plate boundary.

Our results suggest that researchers may underestimate the seismic hazard potential of similar slow-slipping faults with irregular rupture. Our study highlights the potential of in situ deformed sediment layers in a subaqueous environment as a strong-motion paleo-seismometer to record long seismic sequences covering multiple recurrence intervals of large earthquakes. Long records are vital for accurate hazard assessment. Our quantitative method of seismic record reconstruction, with paleo-earthquake intensity (ground acceleration) and magnitude estimation, may also prove suitable for similar subaqueous environments along other faults.

How to cite: Lu, Y., Wetzler, N., Waldmann, N., Agnon, A., Biasi, G., and Marco, S.: A 220,000-year-long continuous large earthquake record from the central Dead Sea Fault, EGU General Assembly 2021, online, 19–30 Apr 2021, EGU21-617,, 2021.

Arne Ulfers, Christian Zeeden, Silke Voigt, and Thomas Wonik

Lake Ohrid is located on the Balkan Peninsula between Albania and North Macedonia. It is considered Europe’s oldest lake and thus is a valuable archive for studies that focus on the change of local (hydro-)climate during the last 1.36 million years (e.g., Francke et al. 2016; Wagner et al. 2019). During an International Continental Scientific Drilling Program (ICDP) campaign in 2013, geophysical downhole logging by the Leibniz Institute for Applied Geophysics acquired continuous datasets of physical properties. Additionally, 2100 m of sediment core was obtained from different sites, the deepest with a length of 570 m (Wagner et al. 2014).

Investigations of half-precession (HP) cycles (~9,000 – 12,000 years) have been given only a small role or have been completely neglected in previous cyclostratographic studies. In this study we focus on HP signals in Lake Ohrid and investigate the temporal variability of this signal over the last one million of years. Next to a connection of HP cycles to interglacials, we see a more pronounced correlation of the HP signal to natural gamma radiation logs in the younger part of the record.

We relate the results from Lake Ohrid to a variety of proxy records from the European mainland and marine sediment cores from the Atlantic and the Mediterranean. Certain patterns, such as the increased visibility of the HP signal in interglacials, occur in most records, but differences, like variations in the amplitude modulation of the filtered HP signal, need to be investiagted in more detail. Nevertheless, the HP cycles are contained in all of the investigated sites, although the records are influenced by different climatic systems. This illustrates that HP signals cannot be connected to a certain climatic system, but can occur simultaneously in records with different proxy signal origins.

HP cycles are a relevant part of natural climate variability - also in Europe - and allow a more detailed investiagtion of sedimentary systems.



Francke, A., Wagner, B., Just, J., Leicher, N., Gromig, R., Baumgarten, H., … & Giacco, B. (2016). Sedimentological processes and environmental variability at Lake Ohrid (Macedonia, Albania) between 637 ka and the present, Biogeosciences , 13, 1179–1196.

Wagner, B., Wilke, T., Krastel, S., Zanchetta, G., Sulpizio, R., Reicherter, K., …. & Vogel, H. (2014). The SCOPSCO drilling project recovers more than 1.2 million years of history from Lake Ohrid, Sci. Drill. , 17, 19-29.

Wagner, B., Vogel, H., Francke, A., Friedrich, T., Donders, T., Lacey, J. H., … & Zhang, X. . (2019). Mediterranean winter rainfall in phase with African monsoons during the past 1.36 million years, Nature , 573(7773), 256-260.

How to cite: Ulfers, A., Zeeden, C., Voigt, S., and Wonik, T.: Half-precession signals in Lake Ohrid and their spatial and temporal connection to proxy records in the European realm, EGU General Assembly 2021, online, 19–30 Apr 2021, EGU21-5321,, 2021.

Karsten Gohl, Johanna Gille-Petzoldt, Gabriele Uenzelmann-Neben, Rachel Lamb, Johann Klages, Julia Wellner, Sandra Passchier, Claus-Dieter Hillenbrand, Steven Bohaty, Frederichs Thomas, and German Leitchenkov and the IODP Expedition 379 Scientists

The West Antarctic Ice Sheet (WAIS) is thought to be highly sensitive to climatic and oceanographic changes. Modelling infers that the WAIS likely had a very dynamic history throughout the Neogene to the present. A complete collapse of the WAIS would result in a global sea level rise of 3.3 to 4.3 m, yet there is large uncertainty on predicting its future behavior and its contribution to sea level rise. Geological constraints on the past behavior of the WAIS are relatively sparse and mainly based on records from the Ross Sea sector. In particular, records of time intervals with climatic conditions similar to those expected for the near and distant future, such as the Pliocene, are needed. Deglaciation of the WAIS in the Amundsen Sea sector is hypothesized to have triggered WAIS collapses during past warm times. Drill records from the International Ocean Discovery Program (IODP) Expedition 379 provide continuous late Miocene to Pleistocene sediment sequences from a drift on the continental rise, allowing the assessment of sedimentation processes from cold and warm times. In particular Site U1532 recovered an expanded sequence of Pliocene lithofacies with an excellent paleomagnetic record allowing for very high-resolution, sub-orbital scale climate change studies of the previously sparsely sampled eastern Pacific sector of the West Antarctic margin. At both Sites U1532 and U1533, sediments characterized by high microfossil content and high abundance of ice-rafted debris alternate with laminated terrigenous muds and are interpreted to result from cyclic deposition under interglacial and glacial conditions, respectively. Deep-sea channels likely mark the pathways of terrigenous detritus that was transported downslope from the Amundsen Sea shelf via turbidity currents or other gravitational transport processes predominantly during glacial periods. The association of lithological facies predominantly reflects an interplay of these downslope and contouritic sediment transport processes as well as phases of increased pelagic and hemipelagic sediment input. Correlation of the seismic stratigraphy at the drill sites on the rise with that of the continental shelf of the Amundsen Sea Embayment allowed us to identify massive prograding sequences that expanded the outer shelf seaward by about 80 km by frequent advances of grounded ice across the shelf mainly during Pliocene times. The preservation of buried grounding zone wedges visible in seismic profiles from the shelf is explained by (hemi)pelagic sedimentation during prolonged periods of ice retreat. This can be correlated with an extended warm middle Pliocene period chronologically constrained by the drill records. The contrast between sediments deposited under cold and warm climate conditions indicates that this WAIS sector was highly dynamic in the Pliocene.

How to cite: Gohl, K., Gille-Petzoldt, J., Uenzelmann-Neben, G., Lamb, R., Klages, J., Wellner, J., Passchier, S., Hillenbrand, C.-D., Bohaty, S., Thomas, F., and Leitchenkov, G. and the IODP Expedition 379 Scientists: IODP Expedition 379: Late Miocene to Pleistocene shelf to rise processes in the Amundsen Sea, West Antarctica, from seismic correlation, EGU General Assembly 2021, online, 19–30 Apr 2021, EGU21-14232,, 2021.

Laura De Santis, Denise Kulhanek, and Robert McKay

The five sites drilled during International Ocean Discovery Program (IODP) Expedition 374 recovered the distal geological component of a Neogene latitudinal and depth transect across the Ross Sea continental shelf, slope and rise, that can be combined with previous records of ANDRILL and the Deep Sea Drilling Project Leg 28. This transect provides clues into the ocean and atmospheric forcings on marine ice sheet instabilities and provides new direct constraints for reconstructing the Antarctic Ice Sheet contribution to global sea level change. Site U1521 recovered a middle Miocene record that allows identification of the different processes that lead to the expansion and retreat of ice streams emanating from the East and West Antarctic Ice Sheets across the Ross Sea continental shelf. This site also recovered a semi-continuous, expanded, high-resolution record of the Miocene Climatic Optimum in an ice-proximal location. Site U1522 recovered a Pleistocene to upper Miocene sequence from the outer shelf, dating the step-wise continental shelf–wide expansion and coalescing of marine-based ice streams from West Antarctica. Thin diatom-rich mudstone and diatomite beds were recovered in some intervals that provide snapshot records of a deglaciated outer shelf environment in the late Miocene. Site U1523 targeted a Miocene to Pleistocene sediment drift on the outermost continental shelf and informs about the changing vigor of the eastward flowing Antarctic Slope Current (ASC) through time. Changes in ASC vigor is a key control on regulating heat flux onto the continental shelf, making the ASC a key control on ice sheet mass balance. Sites U1524 and U1525 cored a continental rise levee system near the flank of the Hillary Canyon. The upper ~50 m at Site U1525 belong to a large trough-mouth fan deposited to the west of the site. The lower 100 m at Site U1525 and the entire 400 m succession of sediment at Site U1524 recovered near-continuous records of the downslope flow of Ross Sea Bottom Water and turbidity currents, but also of ASC vigor and iceberg discharge. Analyses of Exp. 374 sediments is ongoing, but following initial shipboard characterization, the intial results of sample analysis, the correlation between downhole synthetic logs and the associated seismic sections provide insight into the ages and the processes of erosion and deposition of glacial and marine strata. Exp. 374 sediments are providing key chronological constraints on the major Ross Sea seismic unconformities, enabling reconstruction of paleo-bathymetry and assessment of the geomorphological changes associated with Neogene ice sheet and ocean circulation changes. Exp. 374 results are fundamental for improving the boundary conditions of numerical ice sheet, ocean, and coupled climate models, which are critically required for understanding past ice sheet and global sea level response during warm climate intervals. Such data will enable more accurate predictions of ice sheet behavior and sea level rise anticipated with future warming. 

How to cite: De Santis, L., Kulhanek, D., and McKay, R.: IODP Exp. 374 provides clues into the Antarctic Ice Sheet contribution to sea level changes, EGU General Assembly 2021, online, 19–30 Apr 2021, EGU21-14391,, 2021.

Eugenia Fatourou, Aikaterini Kafetzidou, Konstantinos Panagiotopoulos, Fabienne Marret, Sofia Papadopoulou, Katerina Kouli, and the Expedition 381 Science Team

The new sedimentary record from the Gulf of Corinth (south Greece), retrieved within the IODP Exp. 381: Corinth Active Rift Development, is a new archive registering environmental and climatic variability continuously over the last one million years. The Gulf of Corinth, strategically located at the southernmost tip of the Balkan Peninsula, is a semi-enclosed basin that is sensitive to climate forcing and sea level fluctuations. The Gulf was repeatedly isolated from the Mediterranean Sea during glacial/low-stand intervals, resulting in the amplification of paleoenvironmental gradients (McNeill et al., 2019).

The “Quaternary Environmental Changes in the Corinth Rift Area: the IODP 381 palaeovegetation record (QECCoRA)” project aims to analyse how climate variability affected the development of local vegetation and marine ecosystems in response to glacial/interglacial cycles, using palynological analysis (terrestrial and aquatic palynomorphs). The main goals are: a) to study the glacial-interglacial vegetation history in the southernmost Balkan tree refugium at a millennial scale b) to constrain the timing of Quaternary extinctions of relict tree taxa, and c) to decipher the alternation between marine and isolated intervals and its impact on aquatic ecosystems and the depositional environment using the aquatic palynomorph record.

The first results of the microscopic analysis show significant shifts of the vegetation composition in response to climate variability, nevertheless the fluctuation in vegetation cover appears less pronounced. Dinoflagellate cysts show distinct alternations between marine and brackish conditions revealing changes in surface water salinity, productivity, and temperature. Ongoing palynological analysis will produce a skeleton paleoenvironmental record that will contribute to further analyses carried out within the IODP Exp. 381 Science team.


The QECCoRA project is supported by the Hellenic Foundation of Research and Innovation (H.F.R.I., Project Number: 1026)



McNeill LC, Shillington DJ, Carter GDO, Everest J, Gawthorpe R, Miller C, Phillips M, Collier R, Cvetkoska A, De Gelder G, Diz Ferreiro P, Doan M-L, Ford M, Geraga M, Gillespie J, Hemelsdael R, Herrero-Bervera E, Ismaiel M, Janikian L, Kouli K, Le Ber E, Li S, Maffione M, Mahoney C, Machlus M, Michas G, Nixon C, Oflaz SA, Omale A, Panagiotopoulos K, Pechlivanidou S, Sauer S, Seguin J, Sergiou S, Zhakarova N, Green S, High-resolution record reveals climate-driven environmental and sedimentary changes in an active rift, Scientific Reports, 9:3116, 2019,

How to cite: Fatourou, E., Kafetzidou, A., Panagiotopoulos, K., Marret, F., Papadopoulou, S., Kouli, K., and 381 Science Team, T. E.: Quaternary Environmental Changes in the Corinth Rift Area: the IODP 381 Palynological Record, EGU General Assembly 2021, online, 19–30 Apr 2021, EGU21-11360,, 2021.

Montserrat Alonso-García, Teresa Rodrigues, Carlos Alvarez-Zarikian, Mária Padilha, Chimnaz Diana Nadiri, Mayuri Inoue, Hodaka Kawahata, and Fatima Abrantes

The Maldives Inner Sea is a natural sediment trap located in the northern Indian Ocean affected by the South Asian Monsoon (SAM) seasonal reversing wind and precipitation patterns, which drives modern oceanography in the region, including variations in oceanic productivity and in the extension of the oxygen minimum zone (OMZ) of the Northern Indian Ocean. In 2015, International Ocean Discovery Program (IODP) Expedition 359 drilled eight sites (U1465-U1472) in the Maldives Inner Sea aligned in two east-west transects north and south of the Goidhoo atoll in order to unravel the unread history of this region intimately linked to the SAM. In this work, we studied mid and late Pleistocene sediments from IODP Site U1467 (4°51.031′N, 73°17.020′E; 487 m water depth). Our study is focused on the last ~1.2 Ma in order to evaluate changes in the SAM linked to the emergence of the 100 ka cycles during the Mid-Pleistocene Transition (MPT). Lipid biomarkers have been analyzed with the aim of reconstructing sea surface temperature (SST, using the alkenone unsaturation index, Uk’37), past surface ocean productivity (using total alkenone concentration) and bottom water oxygenation (BWO, using a ratio between n-alkan-1-ols and n-alkanes). Additionally, data from scanning x-ray fluorescence (XRF) from this site has been used to provide information about the winter and summer monsoon intensity and ostracod assemblages allowed us to identify changes in BWO and possibly the influence of Antarctic Intermediate water in the region.

At present, seasonal SST variation is rather small in the Maldives Inner Sea (less than 1ºC) and our reconstructed SST record also shows very small variability between glacial and interglacial periods (less than 1ºC), but with strong coherence with other Indian Ocean and equatorial records. Our SST record shows rather warm temperatures before MIS 30, with muted glacial-interglacial variability. After MIS 30, both glacial and interglacial temperatures show a decreasing trend until MIS 22, which represents the first interval with considerably colder glacial SST. Between MIS 22 and 13, SST remains relatively warm, not showing large changes between glacial and interglacial periods. It is remarkable the absence of lukewarm interglacials during this interval. The BWO record shows a similar pattern and can also be divided in the same intervals. BWO starts to increase during glacial periods at MIS 22, which is supported by the ostracod assemblages. This indicates a contraction of the OMZ during glacial periods. Starting at MIS 12, glacial periods show colder glacial SST and enhanced ventilation. The terrigenous elements (K, Fe, Al, Ti) from XRF suggest an increase in aridity at MIS 22, with stronger winter monsoon (higher aridity) during glacial periods, in agreement with the n-alkanes record. The comparison of IODP Site U1467 reconstructions with other records provides key information to improve our understanding of the evolution of SAM, global climate and ocean circulation during the Pleistocene.

How to cite: Alonso-García, M., Rodrigues, T., Alvarez-Zarikian, C., Padilha, M., Nadiri, C. D., Inoue, M., Kawahata, H., and Abrantes, F.: Pleistocene sea surface temperature, monsoonal hydrological variability and OMZ extension in the Northern Indian Ocean (Maldives Sea), EGU General Assembly 2021, online, 19–30 Apr 2021, EGU21-11278,, 2021.

Banafsheh Najjarifarizhendi and Gabriele Uenzelmann-Neben

High-resolution 2D multichannel seismic data collected by the Alfred Wegener Institute in 2019 across the Maurice Ewing Bank, the high-altitude easternmost section of the Falkland Plateau in the SW South Atlantic, are integrated with information from DSDP Leg 36, Sites 327, 329, and 330 and Leg 71 Site 511. A seismostratigraphic model is defined, including five units ranging in age from the Middle Jurassic to Quaternary and are interpreted with respect to the evolutional history of the oceanic circulations in the South Atlantic sector of the Southern Ocean. Sedimentary sequences of late Cretaceous and early Paleogene include little and restricted evidence of current activity, attributable to shallow-intermediate depth connections between the developing South Atlantic and Southern Ocean. In contrast, sedimentary sequences of the late Eocene/Oligocene and Neogene reveal a strong history of current-related erosion and deposition. These features exhibit specific water-depth expressions attesting to the long-term activity of different water masses, in stable circulation patterns as those of the present day. We thus suggest that proto-Upper and -Lower Circumpolar Deep Waters have been shaping the bank since the Oligocene. This implies that this bathymetric high has been acting as a barrier for the deep and bottom water masses flowing within the Antarctic Circumpolar Current since its establishment about the Eocene-Oligocene boundary.

How to cite: Najjarifarizhendi, B. and Uenzelmann-Neben, G.: Footprints of palaeocurrents in sedimentary sequences of the Cenozoic across the Maurice Ewing Bank, EGU General Assembly 2021, online, 19–30 Apr 2021, EGU21-10739,, 2021.

Erik Wolfgring, Michael A. Kaminski, Anna Waśkowska, Maria Rose Petrizzo, Eun Young Lee, Carmine Wainman, and Trine Edvardsen

Site U1512 was drilled during Expedition 369 of the International Ocean Discovery Program (IODP), which is located in the Great Australian Bight, southern Indian Ocean. It provides exceptional insights into the benthic foraminiferal biostratigraphy and paleoecology of a high southern latitude restricted marginal marine basin during the Late Cretaceous hot greenhouse climate and the rifting between Australia and Antarctica. The sedimentary sequence recovered at Site U1512 presents a rare record of a deep water agglutinated foraminifera (DWAF) community from the Southern High Latitudes. The Cretaceous record at Site U1512 covers the lower Turonian through Santonian (nannofossil zones UC8b to UC12/CC10b to CC16, H. helvetica to Marginotruncana spp. - Planoheterohelix papula - Globotruncana linneana planktonic foraminifera zones). Diverse benthic foraminiferal assemblages yield many new taxa that are yet to be described.

Agglutinated forms dominate the assemblage in most intervals. In lower to mid Turonian and Santonian strata, calcareous benthic as well as planktonic foraminifera are frequent. Abundant radiolaria are recovered from the mid Turonian, and they increase up-section and exceed 50% of the microfossil assemblage. We documented a diverse benthic foraminiferal assemblage consisting of 162 taxa (110 agglutinated and 52 calcareous). The most common taxa of the DWAF assemblage are tubular (i.e., Kalamopsis grzybowskii, Bathysiphon spp.) and planispiral forms (i.e., Ammodiscus spp., Haplophragmoides spp., Buzasina sp., Labrospira spp.).

The Turonian strata yield highly abundant Bulbobaculites problematicus and Spiroplectammina navarroana. The presence of the agglutinated foraminiferal marker taxa Uvigerinammina jankoi and Bulbobaculites problematicus provides a tie-point to the Tethyan DWAF biozonation of Geroch and Nowak (1984). The composition of foraminiferal assemblages and the increase in radiolaria abundance suggest unstable environmental conditions at Site U1512 during the early Turonian through Santonian. These characteristics refer to changes in bathymetry associated with changing ocean chemistry. Results of quantitative analyses of the benthic foraminiferal assemblages indicate a restricted paleoenvironmental regime, dictated by changes in paleobathymetry, unstable patterns in ocean circulation, and the discharge of a nearby river delta system.

References: Geroch, S., Nowak, K., 1984. Proposal of zonation for the Late Tithonian – late Eocene. based upon arenaceous Foraminifera from the Outer Carpathians, Poland, 225-239, In: Oertli, H.J. (Ed.), Benthos ´83; 2nd international 915 Symposium on Benthic Foraminifera, Pau (France) April 11-15, 1983, Elf Aquitaine, ESO REP and TOTAL CFP, Pau and Bordeaux.


How to cite: Wolfgring, E., Kaminski, M. A., Waśkowska, A., Petrizzo, M. R., Lee, E. Y., Wainman, C., and Edvardsen, T.: The Upper Cretaceous foraminiferal record of IODP Site U1512 (Great Australian Bight, Indian Ocean), EGU General Assembly 2021, online, 19–30 Apr 2021, EGU21-7844,, 2021.

Rakesh Kumar, Abhayanand Singh Maurya, and Dharmendra Pratap Singh

Benthic foraminifera are typical unicellular marine fauna forming calcareous tests that are commonly used as a proxy to infer the past climatic variabilities. To study the benthic foraminiferal response, we collected 146 samples from IODP hole 1138A, the Southern Ocean (Indian Sector, water depth of 1140 m). We computed various diversity parameters of benthic foraminifera, i.e., Shannon-weaver index (H(S)), Equitability (E'), Hurlbert's diversity index (Sm), Fisher's alpha index (α), and Species richness (S). The calculated diversity indices with the abundance of dominant early Oligocene (33.5 to 31.2 million years ago) benthic foraminifera taxa reveal significant palaeoceanographic changes viz. cooling and warming events in the Southern Ocean. The early Oligocene interval exhibits an unusual condition at hole 1138A dominated by high oxygen species, intermediate food supply, well-ventilated, cold, and corrosive bottom water condition. The calculated values of all diversity parameters increase from 33.7 Ma to 32.8 Ma while attaining the maximum from 32.8 Ma to 32.2 Ma, followed by a decreasing trend. The highest value of diversity parameters coincides with the Oi-1 events. The relative increase in the species diversity between Oi-1 (33.5 Ma) and Oi-1b (31.7 Ma) events correspond to the brief interruption of Warm Saline Deep Water (WSDW). The enhanced values of low species diversity by high seasonality and relatively cold, strong bottom-water currents after Eocene-Oligocene Transition (EOT; 33.9 Ma) and after Oi-1b (31.7 Ma) event relates to the intensification of Antarctic Circumpolar Current (ACC) and Antarctic Bottom Water (AABW) along with the substantial buildup of the southern hemisphere glaciation. The abrupt decrease of abundance of species such as Nuttallides umbonifera, Astrononion echolsi, and Uvigerina peregerina at the end of the studied interval (31.3 Ma) further corroborates the major southern hemisphere glaciation. The present study of the benthic foraminiferal abundance and diversity indices therefore reveals the cooling of the Southern Ocean at early and late stages of the studied interval interrupted by a short-lived warming event. The study further enhances the understanding of paleo-marine ecology by evaluating the response of deep-sea benthic foraminifera to global climate change.

Keywords: Kerguelen Plateau, Benthic Foraminifera, Southern Ocean, early Oligocene

How to cite: Kumar, R., Maurya, A. S., and Singh, D. P.: Effect of early Oligocene cooling on the deep-sea benthic foraminifera at IODP hole 1138A, Kerguelen Plateau (Southern Ocean), EGU General Assembly 2021, online, 19–30 Apr 2021, EGU21-6414,, 2021.

Anna Joy Drury, Diederik Liebrand, Thomas Westerhold, Helen M. Beddow, David A. Hodell, Nina Rohlfs, Roy H. Wilkens, Mitchell W. Lyle, David B. Bell, Dick Kroon, Heiko Pälike, and Lucas J. Lourens

The evolution of Cenozoic climate since 30 million years ago (Ma) has broadly chartered the transformation from a unipolar to a bipolar world. Highly resolved records of carbonate content (%CaCO3) can provide insight into regional responses to shifting climate, cryosphere and carbon cycle dynamics. Here, we generate the first South-East Atlantic %CaCO3 record spanning 30-0 Ma, derived from X-ray fluorescence (XRF) ln(Ca/Fe) data collected at Ocean Drilling Program Site 1264, located on the Angola Basin side of the Walvis Ridge (SE Atlantic Ocean). We present a comprehensive and continuous depth and age model for the entirety of Site 1264 (~316 m; 30-0 Ma), which constitutes a key reference framework for future palaeoclimatic and palaeoceanographic studies at this location.

We can identify three phases with a distinct orbital imprint on South-East Atlantic CaCO3 deposition, broadly occurring across major developments in climate, the cryosphere and/or the carbon cycle: 1) strong ~110 kyr eccentricity pacing prevails during Oligo-Miocene global warmth (~30-13 Ma); 2) eccentricity-modulated precession imprints more strongly after the mid Miocene Climate Transition (mMCT) (~14-8 Ma); 3) strong obliquity pacing prevails in the late Miocene (~7.7-3.3 Ma) following the increasing influence of high-latitude processes.

The lowest %CaCO3 (92-94%) occur between 18.5-14.5 Ma, potentially reflecting increased dissolution or decreased productivity, probably caused by widespread early Miocene warmth. Around 14 Ma, the increased sensitivity to precession at Site 1264 is associated with an increase in mass accumulation rates (MARs) and could reflect increased regional CaCO3 productivity and/or an influx of less corrosive deep water following regional changes in surface and/or deep-water circulation after Antarctic reglaciation across the mMCT.

The highest %CaCO3 and MARs indicate the late Miocene Biogenic Bloom (LMBB) occurs between ~7.8-3.3 Ma at Site 1264, which is broadly, but not exactly, contemporaneous with the LMBB in the equatorial Pacific Ocean. Global similarities in the expression of the LMBB may reflect an increased nutrient input into the global ocean resulting from enhanced aeolian dust and/or glacial/chemical weathering fluxes, whereas regional variability in the timing and amplitude of the LMBB may be driven by regional differences in cooling, continental aridification and/or changes in ocean circulation during the latest Miocene.

How to cite: Drury, A. J., Liebrand, D., Westerhold, T., Beddow, H. M., Hodell, D. A., Rohlfs, N., Wilkens, R. H., Lyle, M. W., Bell, D. B., Kroon, D., Pälike, H., and Lourens, L. J.: Disentangling controls and orbital pacing of South-East Atlantic carbonate deposition since the Oligocene (30-0 Ma), EGU General Assembly 2021, online, 19–30 Apr 2021, EGU21-3152,, 2021.

Mehrdad Sardar Abadi, Christian Zeeden, Arne Ulfers, Katja Hesse, and Thomas Wonik

Lacustrine sediments are archives of past environmental conditions. In recent decades, multinational ICDP efforts have conducted lake drilling projects to encode the potential of paleoclimate signals. Gamma-ray spectroscopy is a particularly useful tool as it is non-destructive, fast, and affordable even in cased boreholes. Gamma radiation can be used to identify elemental isotopes in the geological record, which is used for stratigraphic correlation and paleoclimatic investigations. 

However, some lake sediments contain tephra layers with specific gamma-ray signatures, presenting a challenge for extracting the primary signals caused by environmental and climatic agents. Here, we use the sediments of Lake Chalco in central Mexico to propose a protocol to identify tephra layers embedded in other sediments using high-resolution spectral gamma-ray spectroscopy. This facilitates dividing the overall sediment column into representative horizons of tephra and non-tephra.

Among the upper 300 m of the lake deposit, our index detected 363 tephra layers, while 388 total tephra layers (≥1 mm in thickness) were reported from the core description of the same borehole, predicting 92% of tephra layers documented in the lake deposits from core descriptions. We suggest that not only the strength of the gamma-ray signal but also the composition of its constituent energy channels can be used to detect embedded tephra layers.

How to cite: Sardar Abadi, M., Zeeden, C., Ulfers, A., Hesse, K., and Wonik, T.: Using borehole gamma-ray spectroscopy to detect tephra layers in lacustrine deposits: An example from Lake Chalco, central Mexico , EGU General Assembly 2021, online, 19–30 Apr 2021, EGU21-2600,, 2021.

Peter Clift and Tara Jonell

Does uplift and erosion of the Himalaya-Tibetan Plateau drive Cenozoic global cooling? We test this classic hypothesis put forward by Raymo and Ruddiman (1992) that suggests enhanced erosion in the Himalaya-Tibetan Plateau drove long-term Cenozoic global cooling through the chemical weathering of siliciclastic sediment. Here we examine three Asian marginal drainage systems (the Indus, Mekong and Pearl) where marine scientific drilling has yielded detailed seismic surveys and geochemical datasets that critically permit sediment mass flux and therefore chemical weathering flux budgets to be made. By compiling suitable bedrock endmember compositions for the fresh bedrock sources, it is possible to calculate the chemical weathering flux and relative CO2 consumption rates for each drainage system into the early Miocene. We correct for evolving provenance of sediment delivered to the offshore and test the sensitivity of our calculations to selected bedrock endmembers, in light of the abundant mafic bedrock exposed Indus and Mekong systems. Appropriate Upper Continental Crust endmembers were further validated using data compiled from the GEOROC database. Regardless of which endmembers were used, calculations demonstrate that the total rate of CO2 consumption decreased by 50% between ~16 and 5.3 Ma, especially within NW Himalaya as onshore erosion slowed and provenance shifted away from mafic arc units in the suture zone. This direct test of the uplift-erosion-weathering hypothesis establishes that chemical weathering fluxes did not increase during the Neogene and cannot be responsible for the drawdown of atmospheric CO2 during that time period. Either additional mechanisms have been driving global cooling since 16 Ma or CO2 consumption via chemical weathering is taking place in other areas outside the Himalaya-Tibetan Plateau.

How to cite: Clift, P. and Jonell, T.: Himalayan-Tibetan Erosion is not the Cause of Neogene Global Cooling, EGU General Assembly 2021, online, 19–30 Apr 2021, EGU21-1232,, 2021.

Dominik Jaeger, Roland Stalder, Cristiano Chiessi, André Sawakuchi, and Michael Strasser

Trace metal concentrations and associated hydrous lattice point defects (OH defects) in quartz can help reveal its host rock’s crystallization history and are easily quantified using electron microprobe and infrared spectroscopy, respectively. These chemical impurities are preserved throughout the sedimentary cycle and thus lend themselves as tracers for sediment provenance analyses, particularly in settings where “traditional” provenance tools, e.g., thermochronology and heavy mineral analysis, are difficult due to factors like low mineral fertility and aggressive tropical weathering.

In this study, we apply this provenance analysis tool to detrital, sand-sized quartz grains from the Amazon River and its major tributaries, draining the Andean orogen as well as the Guiana- and Central Brazil Shields. Trace metal and OH defect concentrations from individual catchments are spread out over wide and mutually overlapping ranges of values. This means that each individual quartz grain cannot be unequivocally attributed to one catchment. However, evaluation of a statistically sound number of grains reveals that Andean quartz is, on average, richer in the trace metal aluminum (and Al-related OH defects) than quartz derived from one of the shield sources.

We evaluate our findings in the context of previous provenance studies on Amazon River sediments and discuss a potential future application of analyzing trace metals and OH defects in quartz in the offshore sediment record. Any past, major rearrangements in the Amazon watershed affecting the ratio of Andean vs. Shield-derived quartz grains should be detectable and our approach may therefore contribute to the reconstruction of Amazon drainage basin evolution.

How to cite: Jaeger, D., Stalder, R., Chiessi, C., Sawakuchi, A., and Strasser, M.: Trace metal concentrations and OH defects in quartz from Amazon River sands & and perspectives for application to the marine record, EGU General Assembly 2021, online, 19–30 Apr 2021, EGU21-16035,, 2021.

Yama Dixit, Stephen Chua, Yu Ting Yan, and Adam Switzer

The Maritime Continent (MC) is located within the Indo-Pacific Warm Pool, which is known as the largest area of warm sea surface temperatures with the highest rainfall on Earth that drives the global atmospheric and hydrologic circulation. The complex climatic system of the MC is controlled by large-scale phenomena such as the seasonal migration of the Intertropical Convergence Zone which causes the northwest and southeast monsoon circulation in the region as well as tropical Indo-Pacific climate phenomena, the Indian Ocean Dipole in the west and the El Niño-Southern Oscillation operating to the east of the MC. In addition to interactions of these climate phenomena, their influence varies across the region due to island topography and ocean–atmosphere fluxes. Despite dedicated efforts, a comprehensive picture of the impacts of abrupt climate events such as the ‘8.2 ka event’ during the Holocene on the MC has proved elusive. Here we use sedimentology and stable isotopes of benthic foraminifera collected from the marginal marine sediments off the Kallang River Basin, Singapore to reconstruct paleoenvironmental history of the early-mid Holocene. Owing to the high sedimentation rate (~4.4 mm/yr), the timing and nature of the ‘8.2 ka event’ was examined in detail in this region making this an invaluable and unique archive to study up to sub-centennial changes. Comparison of the Kallang record with other high-resolution marine and absolutely dated terrestrial archives speleothems revealed that the timing of the onset of ‘8.2 ka event’ in the western IPWP region lags the cooling in the North Atlantic and that of Asian and Indian monsoon failure, by ~100years possibly implying a north-south signal propagation. The termination of the ‘8.2 ka event’, however may have occurred near synchronously between high and low tropical regions at ~7.96ka BP possibly linked via both atmospheric and oceanic processes.


How to cite: Dixit, Y., Chua, S., Yan, Y. T., and Switzer, A.: Evidence of 8.2-ka event in Southeast Asia inferred from marginal marine sediments off Kallang River Basin, Singapore, EGU General Assembly 2021, online, 19–30 Apr 2021, EGU21-13902,, 2021.

Chris Mark, Laura Stutenbecker, Sergio Andò, Gary O'Sulivan, and J. Stephen Daly

Provenance analysis of clastic sediment is a powerful tool to track the evolution of hinterland tectonics and sediment routing systems, for which detrital U-Pb geochronology has proved a popular and rapidly-growing technique. However, >90% of published studies employ zircon (3,691/3,933 results for the keywords detrital geochronology; Clarivate Analytics Web of Science), a mineral which exhibits strong fertility bias towards felsic to intermediate igneous sources, and is rare in metamorphic settings in the absence of anatexis (e.g., Moecher & Samson, 2006). Thus, the development of complementary proxies is desirable. Garnet group minerals are particularly promising because garnet is dominantly formed in metamorphic settings and is a rock-forming mineral in several common metamorphic lithologies; it is thus typically abundant in clastic sediment sourced from orogenic terranes. Moreover, it can incorporate sufficient U to be dated in-situ by the U-Pb method (e.g., Millonig et al., 2020).

Here we focus on the Oligo-Miocene pro-foreland basin of the European Alps. Evolving from a distal marine to a fluvial-alluvial environment affected by at least one major marine incursion, the basin preserves a rich record of tectonic and climatic change in the hinterland. We report detrital garnet U-Pb and trace-element data acquired by laser ablation inductively coupled plasma mass spectrometry (LA-ICPMS), which we integrate with compositional data obtained by energy- and wavelength-dispersive X-ray spectroscopy (Stutenbecker et al., 2019), and crystallographic data from Raman spectroscopy. We integrate these results with detrital apatite, rutile, and zircon U-Pb data, and discuss the implications for Alpine tectonics and drainage evolution, and future potential for detrital garnet U-Pb analysis.    

Millonig, L., et al., 2020. Earth Planet. Sci. Lett. 552, 116589, doi: 10.1016/j.epsl.2020.116589

Moecher, D., & Samson, S., 2006, Earth Planet. Sci. Lett. 247, 252–266, doi: 10.1016/j.epsl.2006.04.035

Stutenbecker, L., et al., 2019, Solid Earth 10, 1581–1595, doi: 10.5194/se-10-1581-2019

How to cite: Mark, C., Stutenbecker, L., Andò, S., O'Sulivan, G., and Daly, J. S.: Alternatives to zircon in sedimentary provenance analysis: A case study in detrital garnet U-Pb and trace-element analysis, EGU General Assembly 2021, online, 19–30 Apr 2021, EGU21-8980,, 2021.

Ellie Pryor, Ian Hall, Morten Andersen, Daniel Babin, Yue (Merry) Cai, Steven Goldstein, Sidney Hemming, Jeroen van der Lubbe, and Margit Simon

Sediment provenance is of key importance for understanding transport history and characterising sediment source regions in the marine and terrestrial environment. Radiogenic isotopes are widely used to identify inland and coastal sediment origins. They document changes in detrital terrigenous sediment fluxes which can be related to continental hydrological variability. Understanding sediment sources to the ocean is a pre-requisite before interpreting past climate archives in marine sediment cores.

South African coastal drainage basins are composed of various geological units, each reflected by different radiogenic isotope signals in the sediment. In addition to the age and nature of their source rocks, the sediment type influences this radiogenic signature.

Here, we present a review of the present-day radiogenic isotopic fingerprints of South African river catchments signals from new river sediment samples with the aim to gain a broad spatial coverage of the source rocks in the region and their relative contributions of terrigenous sediment delivered to the ocean. This information will be applied to marine sediment core MD20-3591 (36° 43.707 S; 22° 9.151 E, water depth 2464m), located offshore South Africa which has the potential to record both Agulhas Current and terrestrial variability. The core site receives a significant amount of terrigenous material from the African continents via riverine input. During the last glacial period, these rivers flowed across the continental shelf within a subdued incised valley. The Gourritz River catchment drains the Cape Supergroup and Karoo Supergroup, typical of these southern drainage basins, whereas the eastern Cape rivers drain the Karoo Supergroup geological unit which is capped by the Drakensberg basalts.

We are using the knowledge gained from these new South African terrestrial river sediment samples to identify the sources and transport pathways of the terrigenous sediments in MD20-3591. Of particular interest is the sensitivity of the radiogenic isotopic signatures to grain size variabilities and how this relationship can help to define local or distal sediments. These records will allow us to explore variability in regional hydroclimate in relation to the abundant archaeological evidence of cultural and technological innovations of Middle Stone Age humans in southern Africa.

How to cite: Pryor, E., Hall, I., Andersen, M., Babin, D., Cai, Y. (., Goldstein, S., Hemming, S., van der Lubbe, J., and Simon, M.: Reconstructing provenance changes in sediments supplying the South East African margin, EGU General Assembly 2021, online, 19–30 Apr 2021, EGU21-8738,, 2021.

Shahin Dashtgard, Ludvig Löwemark, Pei-Ling Wang, Romy Setiaji, Yu-Yen Pan, and Romain Vaucher

 Shallow-marine sediment typically contains a mix of marine and terrestrial organic mate­rial (OM). Most terrestrial OM enters the ocean through rivers, and marine OM is incorpo­rated into the sediment through both suspension settling of marine plankton and sediment reworking by tides and waves under fairweather conditions. River-derived terrestrial OM is delivered year-round, although sediment and OM delivery from rivers is typically highest during extreme weather events that impact river catchments. In Taiwan, tropical cyclones (TCs) are the dominant extreme weather event, and 75% of all sediment delivered to the surrounding ocean occurs during TCs.

Lower Pliocene shallow-marine sedimentary strata in the Western Foreland Basin of Taiwan comprises mainly completely bioturbated intervals that transi­tion upward into strata dominated by tidally generated sedimentary structures, indicating extensive sediment reworking under fairweather conditions. Physical evidence of storm deposition is limited. However, lower Pliocene strata contain OM that is effectively 100% terrestrial OM in sediment that accumulated in estimated water depths <35 m. The overwhelming contribution of terrestrially sourced OM is attributed to the dominance of TCs on sedimentation, whereby ∼600,000 TCs are estimated to have impacted Taiwan during accumulation of a ~200 m long succession. In contrast, the virtual absence of marine OM indicates that organic contributions from suspension settling of marine OM is negligible regardless of the preserved evidence of extensive reworking via fairweather processes (i.e., waves and tides). These data suggest that (1) even in the absence of physical expressions of storm deposition, TCs still completely dominate sedimentation in shallow-marine environments, and (2) the organic geochemical signal of preserved shallow-marine strata is not reflective of day-to-day depositional conditions in the environment.

How to cite: Dashtgard, S., Löwemark, L., Wang, P.-L., Setiaji, R., Pan, Y.-Y., and Vaucher, R.: Geochemical evidence of tropical cyclone controls on shallow-marine sedimentation (Pliocene, Taiwan) , EGU General Assembly 2021, online, 19–30 Apr 2021, EGU21-6250,, 2021.

Tong He
The late Miocene provides the chance to assess the changing boundary conditions on a warmer world than present. While the climate variability is well understood for the oceanographic records, the water availability and dynamics in terrestrial environment in the densely populated East Asian remains enigmatic. Little is known about the precipitation response to the Antarctic ice-sheets during this time interval. To understand this critical relationship between low- and high-latitude climates, we use a new indicator based on the carbonate variability in Red Earth on the northern Chinese Loess Plateau to reconstruct water availability throughout the interval (7.5–6.9 Ma). Our high-resolution reconstructions show that the carbonate leaching/reprecipitation cycle is dominantly forced by the astronomical parameter obliquity (40-kyr) that is in accord with the Antarctic ice-volume controlled oceanography records at ~7 Ma. Supported by goethite and hematite records in the same site, soil temperatures and precipitations are fully coupled, interpreted as marking the climate pattern of Asian monsoon during the late Miocene. Cyclic correlation between the carbonate variability and the goethite, hematite data, reveal that the obliquity controlled precipitation oscillations were superimposed on a long-term increase of the Asian monsoon, which was synchronous with intensifification of climate cooling, the declining of partial pressure of carbon dioxide, and the growing of Antarctic ice-volume. Combined with the atmospheric- and oceanic-adjustments, we suggest that the cross-equatorial pressure gradient has led to the rise of Asian monsoon.

How to cite: He, T.: High-Resolution Carbonate Variability in Red Earth Deposits: Implications for Water Cycling Dynamics during the Late Miocene, EGU General Assembly 2021, online, 19–30 Apr 2021, EGU21-2962,, 2021.

Artur Engelhardt, Jürgen Koepke, and François Holtz

Hole U1473 (32° 42.3622’ S; 57° 16.6880’ E), located on the summit of Atlantis Bank at the ultra-slow spreading Southwest Indian Ridge was drilled to 789.7 m below seafloor (mbsf) during IODP Expedition 360. It consists of massive gabbros cut by nearly 400 felsic veins, which are evolved, SiO2- enriched lithologies comprising ~1.5 vol% of the drill core. They vary in composition from diorite to trondhjemite. For their formation, 3 endmember models are discussed: (1) fractional crystallization; (2) hydrous anatexis of mafic rocks; (3) liquid immiscibility in an evolved MORB system.

Mineral assemblages in the felsic veins include mainly plagioclase, amphibole, Fe-Ti oxides ± quartz and minor zircon, apatite, ± titanite, ± biotite, ± K-feldspar.

Vein minerals often show strong zoning, which is especially expressed in amphiboles clearly visible by their variation in color ranging from brown to green corresponding to compositions from pargasite via pargasitic amphiboles, magnesiohornblendes to tremolite/actinolite. Moreover, zoning patterns can be observed in plagioclases from the veins, in which their An contents vary from An34 down to An5. This is distinctly lower than in the plagioclases of the host gabbros, which are virtually unzoned.

Clinopyroxenes at the contact between felsic vein and host gabbro show reactions either towards orthopyroxene or amphibole. TiO2 in brown pargasites in the host rock at the contact is enriched (up to ~4.6 wt%), whereas counterparts of the same crystals in the felsic veins are distinctly lower in TiO2 varying from ~2.5 wt% down to 0.1 wt% TiO2, associated with variation in color from brown to green. Calculated equilibrium temperatures based on Ti-content in amphibole (Ernst & Liu, 1998), consequently lead to higher formation temperatures for amphiboles in the host gabbro (up to ~1000 °C) compared to their counterparts in the veins, ranging from ~890 °C to ~500 °C.

Amphiboles contain ~0.2 wt% F and distinctively lower contents in Cl (with one exception found). Most amphiboles at the contact show a core-rim evolution trend with decreasing F and increasing Cl content, implying a magmatic formation with increasing influence of processes involving a hydrothermal fluid. Only one out of twenty-two investigated samples shows a trend vice versa.

The record of eutectic crystallization expressed by granophyric structures of quartz and plagioclase indicates that the felsic veins crystallized from a melt.

Ernst, W. G., & Liu, J. (1998). Experimental phase-equilibrium study of Al-and Ti-contents of calcic amphibole in MORB—A semiquantitative thermobarometer. American mineralogist, 83(9-10), 952-969.

How to cite: Engelhardt, A., Koepke, J., and Holtz, F.: IODP Hole 1473A (Atlantis Bank, SWIR) - Formation of felsic veins in gabbros: reactions at the contact between felsic melt and host rock, EGU General Assembly 2021, online, 19–30 Apr 2021, EGU21-2356,, 2021.

Jacob Peterson, Marie Jackson, Joshua Marquardt, Peter Lippert, Nobumichi Tamura, Pauline Bergsten, Pauline Vannier, Alexandra Klonowski, Stephen Knobloch, Viggo Marteinsson, and Magnus Gudmundsson

A series of basaltic eruptions from 1963 to 1967 off the southern coast of Iceland produced the oceanic island of Surtsey. Investigations of this volcanic system provide a time-lapse window into the real-time alteration of basaltic tephra through interactions with meteoric water in a subaerial tuff cone and with seawater in submarine deposits. In 1979, a 181 m core was recovered from a borehole (SE-01) on the eastern flank of the Surtur vent. In 2017, the ICDP-supported SUSTAIN drilling project drilled two vertical cored boreholes (SE-02a, SE-02b) to 151 and 187 m below surface (m b.s.) parallel to the 1979 borehole, and an additional angled cored borehole (SE-03) to 354 measured depth. These newly recovered cores, in comparison with the 1979 core, have promoted research into alteration processes within the volcano over the half century since its eruption. The scientific drilling undertaken in both 1979 and 2017 provides data critical to investigating mechanisms and rates of mineralogical change in basalt, evolving material and magnetic properties, and the characterization of basalt-hosted microbial communities.

            Previous research, including mineralogical analyses and geophysical downhole logging, reveals a weakly altered region at ~143-155 m b.s. that corresponds with a submarine zone of cool seawater inflow.  The purpose of this study is to better understand processes in this zone by examining SE-02b drill core samples taken at 141.6 m b.s. (83-86 °C) with mineralogical analyses and at 148 m b.s. (83-84 °C) with magnetic analyses and microbial community analyses. Mapping of the weakly-consolidated basaltic tuff at micrometer-scale using synchrotron X-ray micro-diffraction and micro-fluorescence studies shows that the basalt is primarily composed of fresh sideromelane glass, volcanic crystals, and open voids. Olivine and labradorite are the principal volcanic minerals; they have begun to alter to lizardite and aluminous tobermorite, respectively. The basaltic glass has begun to alter to nanocrystalline clinochlore and smectitic clay mineral, mainly nontronite and montmorillonite. The abundance of fresh glass, however, confirms a weakly altered region of the volcano. Uniaxial and cubic single domain titanomagnetite is the principal magnetic remanence carrier in the glass, whereas the magnetic minerals in more highly altered zones of lapilli tuff, only a few meters distant, are more oxidized and exhibit different magnetic anisotropies, consistent with the growth of secondary titanomaghemite. The properties of magnetic remanence remained relatively stable in the cool seawater inflow zone but changed very rapidly during fluid-rock interactions at higher hydrothermal temperatures. The microbial community detected in the drill core sample at 148 m b.s. from SE-02b is dominated by taxa generally found in seawater such as Psychromonas, Glaciecola, Marinomonas and suggests a possible infiltration of microbial taxa from the seawater to the submarine deposit. This anomalously permeable, poorly-consolidated horizon provides a strong contrast to the characteristics of the well-lithified lapilli tuff deposits and demonstrates the potential for substantial variability in mineralogical, magnetic and microbial submarine processes in other Surtseyan volcanoes and seamount structures.

How to cite: Peterson, J., Jackson, M., Marquardt, J., Lippert, P., Tamura, N., Bergsten, P., Vannier, P., Klonowski, A., Knobloch, S., Marteinsson, V., and Gudmundsson, M.: Material, Magnetic, and Microbial Features of a Submarine Inflow ZoneTraversed by SUSTAIN Drill Cores, Surtsey Volcano, Iceland, EGU General Assembly 2021, online, 19–30 Apr 2021, EGU21-6496,, 2021.

Male Köster, Myriam Kars, Florence Schubotz, Man-Yin Tsang, Yuki Morono, Fumio Inagaki, Verena B. Heuer, Sabine Kasten, and Susann Henkel

(Bio-)geochemical processes in subseafloor sediments are closely coupled to global element cycles. To gain an improved understanding of changes in (bio-)geochemical conditions on geological timescales, we investigate sediment cores from a 1180 m deep hole in the Nankai Trough offshore Japan (Site C0023). The sediment cores were taken during International Ocean Discovery Program (IODP) Expedition 370 (Temperature Limit of the Deep Biosphere off Muroto), which aimed at exploring the prerequisites and limits of deep microbial life [1]. Over the past 15 Ma, Site C0023 has moved ~750 km relative to its present-day geographic position from the central Shikoku Basin to the Nankai Trough due to motion of the Philippine Sea plate [2]. During its tectonic migration, Site C0023 has experienced significant changes in depositional and thermal conditions as well as resulting (bio-)geochemical processes.

By combining a large set of complementary pore-water, solid-phase and rock magnetic data with sedimentation rates and sediment ages, our aim is to (1) reconstruct the evolution of (bio-)geochemical processes, especially the cycling of iron, along the tectonic migration, and to (2) investigate if iron(III) minerals are still available to serve as energy substrate for microbial respiration in the deep sediments. Our results demonstrate that a transition from organic carbon-starved conditions with predominantly aerobic respiration processes to an elevated carbon burial environment with increased sedimentation occurred at ~2.5 Ma. Higher rates of organic carbon burial as a consequence of an increased nutrient supply and primary productivity likely stimulated the onset of organoclastic iron and sulfate reduction, biogenic methanogenesis and anaerobic oxidation of methane. A significant temperature increase by ~50°C across the sediment column associated with trench-style sedimentation since ~0.5 Ma potentially increased the bioavailability of organic matter and enhanced biogenic methane production. The resulting shifts in reaction fronts led to a diagenetic transformation of iron (oxyhydr)oxides into pyrite in the lower organic carbon-starved sediments several millions of years after burial. We also show that high amounts of iron(III), which were preserved in the deeply buried sediments due to carbon-starved conditions are still available as energy substrate for microbially mediated processes at Site C0023.

Our study emphasizes that depositional and thermal changes ultimately driven by the tectonically induced migration have the potential to strongly influence and control geochemical conditions and (bio-)geochemical processes within the whole sediment column. Such studies are needed to gain a fundamental understanding of the coupling between depositional history, (bio-)geochemical processes and the resulting diagenetic overprint on geological timescales, thereby linking the sedimentary iron, sulfur and carbon cycles.


[1] Heuer, V.B. et al., 2020. Science 370: 1230-1234.

[2] Mahony, S.H. et al., 2011. Bulletin 123: 2201-2223.

How to cite: Köster, M., Kars, M., Schubotz, F., Tsang, M.-Y., Morono, Y., Inagaki, F., Heuer, V. B., Kasten, S., and Henkel, S.: The influence of tectonic migration of ocean floor on (bio-)geochemical and diagenetic processes in subseafloor sediments from the Nankai Trough off Japan, EGU General Assembly 2021, online, 19–30 Apr 2021, EGU21-4080,, 2021.

Christophe, Y. Galerne, Daniel Lizarralde, Christian Berndt, Florian Neumann, Tobias, W. Höfig, Joann M. Stock, Manet, E. Peña-Salinas, Raquel Negrete-Aranda, and Andreas, P. Teske and the Expedition 385 Scientists

We document the geometry of a massive sill at the root of an approximately 20-m high and 800 m-wide ring of hydrothermal formations, termed Ringvent, located 28.5 km off-axis on the northwestern flanking regions of the actively rifting Guaymas Basin (Gulf of California). Using petrophysical data collected during the IODP Expedition 385 and processed 2D seismic profiles, we present evidence on the mechanics of sill emplacement and how the related hydrothermal vent conduits were constructed. The currently active moderate-temperature hydrothermal vent field indicates that, despite being cold and crystallized, the magma plumbing system, is tapping into a deeper geothermal source of the basin. The vent system roots at the vertical end of the magma plumbing system with the top of the sill located at a depth range of 80 to 150 m below the seafloor. Our research aims at constraining how far deep the geothermal fluids are coming from, and identifying how close the hydrothermal system is from a steady-state condition, to draw implications for how frequently such a system may arise in nascent ocean basins.

How to cite: Galerne, C. Y., Lizarralde, D., Berndt, C., Neumann, F., Höfig, T. W., Stock, J. M., Peña-Salinas, M. E., Negrete-Aranda, R., and Teske, A. P. and the Expedition 385 Scientists: Magma plumbing system and associated hydrothermal vents in the Guaymas Basin - geometry and implications, EGU General Assembly 2021, online, 19–30 Apr 2021, EGU21-13015,, 2021.

Heiko Woith, Kyriaki Daskalopoulou, Martin Zimmer, Tomáš Fischer, Josef Vlček, Jakub Trubač, Jan-Erik Rosberg, Tomáš Vylita, and Torsten Dahm

Anomalies in timeseries are frequently reported in the context of earthquake precursor studies. The state of knowledge can be summarized as follows: (i) significant anomalies exist, (ii) seismo-tectonically induced anomalies might exist, (iii) anomalies of non-tectonic origin exist and may look very similar to tectonic ones. Thus, presumably only a fraction of all reported precursors is real in the sense that they are of seismo-tectonic origin. A key problem in earthquake prediction research is to understand the origin of an anomaly and thus the separation of internal and external drivers like e.g. rainfall.  

State-of-the-art fluid monitoring techniques allow for a high temporal resolution compared to the low-resolution discrete sampling approach used in the last decades. A unique approach will allow to monitor ascending fluids along a vertical profile in a set of drillings from a depth of a few hundred metres to the surface. This setup can provide hints on the origin of temporal variations related to the opening of fault-valves, admixture of crustal fluids to a background mantle-flow or the release of hydrogen during fault rupturing. Gas migration velocities can thus be measured directly from the arrival times of anomalies at different depth levels. In addition, potential admixtures of mantle fluids with crustal or meteoric fluids during the ascent to the Earth’s surface can be quantified.

A prototype of a multi-level gas monitoring system has been implemented at a mofette. Mofettes are gas emission sites where CO2 ascends through long-lived, narrow channels from the deep crust and possibly the Earth’s upper mantle and thus provide natural windows to magmatic processes at depth. The primary objective of our research on mofettes is to clarify physical links between fluid properties, their pathways and the relation to swarm earthquakes. The Hartoušov mofette field with an estimated daily CO2 flux between 23 and 97 t over an area of about 350,000 m2 has been chosen as a key site in the frame of the ICDP project: “Drilling the Eger Rift: Magmatic fluids driving the earthquake swarms and the deep biosphere.” It is located in the Cheb Basin, which terminates the Czech part of the Eger Rift to the West and is known for recurring earthquake swarms and mantle degassing. Gas and isotope compositions will be continuously analyzed in-situ at different depth levels (30 m, 70 m, 230 m) reached by three adjacent boreholes.

How to cite: Woith, H., Daskalopoulou, K., Zimmer, M., Fischer, T., Vlček, J., Trubač, J., Rosberg, J.-E., Vylita, T., and Dahm, T.: Multi-level fluid monitoring to understand the origin of transients, EGU General Assembly 2021, online, 19–30 Apr 2021, EGU21-4267,, 2021.

Tim Freudenthal, Michael Riedel, and Heinrich Villinger

The MARUM-MeBo sea bed drilling technology is developed since 2004 at the MARUM Center for Marine Environmental Sciences at the University of Bremen (Freudenthal and Wefer, 2013). Presently two drill rigs are in operation for drilling and coring down to more than 70 m (MARUM-MeBo70) and 200 m (MARUM-MeBo200), respectively. The robotic drill rig with the required drill tools is deployed on the seabed, where the drill string for conducting coring is assembled during the drilling operation. In addition to wireline core barrels a temperature probe can be used for measuring formation bottom hole temperature at discrete drilling depths by pushing the probe about 15 cm into the base of the bore hole. The temperature is logged for about 10 – 15 minutes in order to allow for dissipation of the frictional heat generated during pushing and equilibration to formation temperature. When the temperature measurement is completed, the probe is recovered out of the drill string and the drilling operation can be continued.

The trip out of the drill string after reaching the target drill depth can be used for logging of the geophysical properties within the borehole and the adjacent formation. A memory logging tool is lowered into the drill string with the sensor part penetrating through the drill bit. When the drill string is tripped out the probe is raised together with the drill string inside the borehole and conducts the geophysical measurements. This method called “logging while tripping” is especially suitable for unconsolidated sediments and logging in unstable borehole conditions, since the drill string stabilizes the borehole above the sensor part during the logging operation. For the MeBo drill rigs we have spectrum gamma ray, magnetic susceptibility, dual induction and acoustic probes available. The latter is also equipped with a temperature sensor for measuring borehole temperature. 

In this presentation we show examples from MeBo drilling campaigns where core drilling, borehole logging and formation temperature measurements where combined. A focus of this presentation is the analysis of borehole temperature measurements during trip out. We investigate how geothermal flux and lithological changes (i.e. thermal conductivity) influence the bore hole temperature measurement by modeling the temperature evolution within the borehole during drilling and trip out.



Freudenthal, T and Wefer, G (2013) Geoscientific Instrumentation, Methods and Data Systems, 2(2). 329-337. doi:10.5194/gi-2-329-2013

How to cite: Freudenthal, T., Riedel, M., and Villinger, H.: Borehole logging and temperature measurements with the MARUM-MeBo sea bed drilling technology: Recent developments and scientific applications, EGU General Assembly 2021, online, 19–30 Apr 2021, EGU21-5904,, 2021.