The Need for Scientific Ocean Drilling



[1] Mark Twain once said, “I was seldom able to see an opportunity until it had ceased to be one.” The scientific community could soon miss an opportunity in ocean drilling. A recent article in Eos by D. K. Smith et al. (Ocean drilling: Forty years of international collaboration, Eos, 91(43), 393–394, 2010) summarized the history of scientific ocean drilling and presented an overview of the Integrated Ocean Drilling Program (IODP) as it currently operates. IODP will end in 2013, and an ambitious science plan is being developed to launch a new drilling program. Some people have asked, Given the program's past successes, why do we need more scientific ocean drilling?