Opening the South China Sea

Opening the South China Sea
Location: Hong Kong, Taiwan
Team: Trevor J. Williams
Purpose: Marine Tectonics
Start Date: Jan. 27-March 30, 2014

The South China Sea is one of the most geopolitically contested marine realms on earth. But it is also of keen interest to geologists who want to understand how this ocean basin, bordered by China, the Philippines, Malaysia and Vietnam, opened up. On an International Ocean Discovery Program cruise aboard the JOIDES Resolution, scientists will drill through seafloor sediments to understand how the basin reached its present form. Marine geologist Trevor Williams of Lamont-Doherty Earth Observatory is directing downhole logging operations. Follow his dispatches from the ship here.

The Story at the Bottom of the South China Sea

by | 2.10.2014 at 11:17am
Sediments drilled from beneath the South China Sea are a window into the region's past geology and climate. (Bill Crawford/IODP)

We have drilled 2,600 feet below the sea floor and in another 500 feet, will reach the crystalline igneous basalt of the ocean crust. Though finding the age of the basalt is our main aim, the thick sediments that overly the crust also have a story to tell.

Drilling Deep into the South China Sea’s Past

by | 2.4.2014 at 11:56am
SCS map

The J.R. has set sail from Hong Kong. Trevor Williams explains what his research team hopes to accomplish.