ABOARD JOIDES RESOLUTION — Dozens of scientists from different countries are set to start an expedition to the South China Sea, to explore the formation of the sea as part of the International Ocean Discovery Program (IODP).
In the first of two expeditions, 33 scientists from China, the United States, France and other countries boarded the US drilling ship JOIDES Resolution on Feb 8, which was docked at a Hong Kong port.
The scientists will explore the lithosphere extension during the continental breakup, by drilling four sites to a depth of 3,000 to 4,000 meters in the northern area of the South China Sea. The study will contribute to understanding how marginal basins grow.
China has 26 scientists from top Chinese universities and research institutions on the expeditions, the most of any participating country.
Since joining the IODP, China has played a major role in two previous expeditions to the South China Sea in 1999 and 2014, respectively. Scientists collected samples through deep-sea drilling, for studying climate change and basin formation in the South China Sea.
A total of 66 scientists from 13 countries will participate in the expeditions (Expedition 367 and 368), lasting four months.