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The Ocean Sediment Coring Program is providing samples of sediments and a small amount of crystalline volcanic or igneous rock from far beneath the floor of the deep ocean basins. Drilling uses largely proven and conventional rotary drilling technology.

The program fulfills a real need of the times. Two hundred years ago, based on suitable navigational instruments, the era of Captain Cook mapped the oceans. One hundred years ago, the H.M.S. Challenger measured the depths of the ocean basins and established the broad contours of the bottom of the oceans. Today, the Ocean Sediment Coring Program is adding the next dimension of time to our knowledge of the ocean basins.