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Published on Feb 14, 2017
In the International Ocean Discovery Program, sediments from the seafloor are collected and analyzed while at sea, and the cores are then stored in one of three IODP repositories around the World. The Gulf Coast Repository in the USA is responsible for storing cores from the Pacific and Southern Oceans, the Caribbean Sea, and the Gulf of Mexico. The Bremen Core Repository in Germany stores cores from the Atlantic and Arctic Oceans, and the Mediterranean, Black, and Baltic Seas. And the Kochi Core Center in Japan houses cores from the Western Pacific, Bering Sea, and Indian Ocean.
Scientists have free and open access to a wealth of physical and digital data through the IODP web portal (http://web.iodp.tamu.edu/OVERVIEW/). As new analytical techniques are developed, they can be applied to archived cores, and researchers can conduct global studies of IODP core samples in their own labs. Kira Lawrence, of Lafayette College, applies alkenone paleothermometry to the samples she requests through the repositories and has conducted seminal research on regional climate changes in the Pliocene. The IODP encourages access to core samples and welcomes sample requests from scientists in multiple disciplines.