The Ocean Drilling Program (ODP) has completed 61 internationally staffed expeditions and ten years of scientific ocean drilling in search of answers relating to the tectonic evolution of passive and active continental margins, origin and evolution of oceanic crust, origin and evolution of marine sedimentary sequences, and paleoceanography. To address these problems, ODP has made numerous advances in technology for retrieval of continuous undisturbed cores under hostile environmental conditions. ODP curates over 198 km of cored material and associated scientific data bases and publishes results of the scientific expeditions in a continuous series of Proceedings volumes.
During its tenth year, ODP continued its pioneering exploration in the Atlantic Ocean. Leg 152 was the first cruise to address processes of volcanic rifted margins by investigating deformation of the lithosphere and mechanisms of magma emplacement on the East Greenland margin. Leg 153 recovered extensive sections of utramafic and mafic rocks from the slow spreading Mid-Atlantic Ridge south of the Kane Fracture Zone (MARK Area) in order to investigate the chemical composition and evolution of the lower crust and mantle. Leg 154recovered sediments on the Ceara Rise spanning the last 55 m.y. that are suitable for depth transect reconstruction for a variety of temporal resolutions. This depth transect should help o constrain the Cenozoic history of deep water circulation and chemistry. Leg 155 occupied 17 sites on the Amazon deep-sea fan and has shown that major glacial to interglacial changes in sea-level and climate are reflected in the architecture and lithology of turbidite deposits. Leg 156 investigated temporal and spatial scales of fluid flow, the role of faults in fluid transport, and the relationships between mechanical state and seismicity in the northern Barbados accretionary prism. Leg 157 drilled seven sites in theMadeira Abyssel Plain and volcaniclastic apron around Gran Canarie to focus on the history of volcanic activity in the Canary Hotspot, the detailed evolution of large volcanic oceanic islands, the growth of volcanic aprons and the filling of the distal Madeira Abyssal Plain. Leg 158 investigated fluid flow, alteration and mineralization and associated geochemical fluxes, microbiological processes and the subsurface mixture of an active hydrothermal system on a slow spreading, sediment-free mid-ocean ridge (TAG area - Mid Atlantic Ridge).
Leg 159 is scheduled to drill on the equatorial Atlantic transform bordering Ghana, Africa; Legs 160 and 161 are a two program effort in the Mediterranean Sea; Leg 163 returns to SE Greenland to study volcanic rifted margins; Leg 164 studies gas hydrates on the Blake Ridge-Carolina Rise; Leg 165 investigates Caribbean Ocean History; Leg 166 studies sea-level fluctions in the Bahamas; Legs 167-170 investigates the California margin, Juan de Fuca hydrothermal flow, sedimented ridges and Costa Rica convergent margin, respectively. This paper focuses on ODP's scientific and technical achievements during its tenth year of field operations and discusses areas of future study.
The Ocean Drilling Program (ODP), an international basic research program of scientific ocean drilling, is the successor program to the Deep Sea Drilling Project (DSDP) with Texas A&M University as the science operator.