Recent changes in the Ocean Drilling Program


  • Susan E. Humphris,

  • Katherine K. Ellins,

  • Maria Mutti


Sweeping changes have occurred in the Ocean Drilling Program (ODP) in the past year in recognition of new scientific and technological challenges that it will face during the next 5 years. Ocean drilling objectives into the early part of the 21st century, outlined in ODP's 1996 long-range plan, will focus on two core themes that address the highly dynamic nature of Earth's natural systems (Figure 1). The first theme, “Dynamics of Earth's Environment,” encompasses a spectrum of scientific problems related to understanding how the atmosphere, hydrosphere, and biosphere respond to natural and anthropogenic perturbations, particularly on time scales ranging from tens to thousands of years. The second theme, “Dynamics of Earth's Interior,” focuses on examining properties and processes within the lithosphere that elucidate the structure of Earth's outer layers, global mass and energy fluxes, mantle dynamics, and deformation processes.