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Scientists are on board the R/V JOIDES Resolution for two months to investigate the interaction of currents and monsoons in and around Western Australia. They retrieve and analyze ocean floor core samples that carry clue’s to Earth’s past.
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The International Ocean Discovery Program (IODP) conducts scientific ocean drilling expeditions throughout the world’s oceans in search of clues to Earth’s past. The current expedition is Expedition 356: Indonesian Throughflow, aboard the U.S. vessel for scientific ocean drilling, the JOIDES Resolution (http://www.joidesresolution.org). On this expedition we are investigating the interaction of currents and monsoons in and around Western Australia. We’ll do that by drilling sediment samples from six different sites in the northwest Australian shelf, to see how sediments have changed over the last 5 million years. We’ll use the data we collect to work out how the Indonesian Throughflow and Leeuwin Currents have changed over this time, and the patterns of the northwest Australian monsoon over the same period. We will also use our data to study the movement of the Australian tectonic plate. The scientific objectives are to: Look at the history of the Indonesian throughflow and Leeuwin current a. See how the flow of these currents has affected the development of reef systems Look at how these currents have affected climate a. Understand the history and changes of the Australian monsoon b. Understand the nature and timing of aridity (dryness) in Australia Construct subsidence curves a. Better visualize the vertical movement of the Australian plate b. Investigate changes in sea level c. Look at the subsidence history A team of 30 scientists from around the globe are on board for two months to work on these questions. Hand-in-hand with the amazing technology required to drill deep into the ocean floor, we are collecting the core samples that hold clues to answer these questions. Join us to ask us anything about this intriguing science, how we got here, what we hope to discover, and our lives on board the ship! We will be back at 1 pm ET (10 am PT, 5 pm UTC) to answer your questions, ask us anything!