IODP workshop on Indian Ocean Drilling scheduled for late 2011

An Integrated Ocean Drilling (IODP) workshop on Indian Ocean Drilling to be held in late 2011 in Goa, India has just been approved, funded by $33,000 from IODP, and supported by the Australian IODP Office, which plans to send 15 Australians and Kiwis to the meeting, including EarthByte’s Dietmar Müller, and Stephen Gallagher (UMelb), Neville Exon (ANU), Richard Arculus (ANU), Mike Coffin (Tasmania) and Richard Wysoczanski (NZ, NIWA). The workshop is timed to suit an April 2012 drilling proposal submission deadline. In line with the new IODP science plan, the proposed workshop would broadly cover the following four themes: 1. Cenozoic oceanography, climate change, gateways and reef development. 2. The history of the monsoons. 3. Tectonics and volcanism. 4. The deep biosphere. Because there has been no drilling in the Indian Ocean for nearly a decade, this workshop is seen as vital in building the international scientific alliances that can lead to further strong proposals. EarthByte has many ongoing projects focused on Indian Ocean research, including a French-Australian Science and Technology (FAST) project on Indian Ocean tectonics (Dietmar Müller, Jerome Dyment (IPG Paris), Jo Whittaker, Ana Gibbons), an upcoming research cruise on the Southern Surveyor to the Perth Abyssal Plain (Jo Whittaker, Simon Williams, Dietmar Müller,), a Statoil-funded industry project focused on the early evolution of the Indian Ocean (Dietmar Müller, Jo Whittaker, Ana Gibbons), and several other projects (ARC Discovery and Linkage) with global themes, but including strong Indian Ocean components, e.g. focused on continental margins surrounding the Indian Ocean, such as Australia’s Northwest Shelf (Christian Heine, Aedon Talsma), the evolution and closure of the Tethys ocean, and India-Eurasia collision (Maria Seton, Sabin Zahirovic, Nicolas Flament, Dietmar Müller) and the evolution of the topography and segmentation of the Indian Ocean floor (Kara Matthews, Dietmar Müller, Jo Whittaker and Paul Wessel (Hawaii).