The meeting was hosted by Anne de Vernal (Vice-Chair) at the Université du Québec à Montréal (UQAM), Canada.
ECORD Council approved the amendment to the ECORD MoU to extend the Chair's mandate to one year. Mireille Perrin will remain Chair until September 30, 2011. Anne de Vernal, current Council Vice-Chair, will become the Chair as of October 1, 2011 until September 30, 2012. The ECORD Executive is composed of Mireille Perrin, Anne de Vernal, Mike Webb, José Ramón Sánchez Quintana and Guido Lüniger.
Dr. Kiyoshi Suyehiro, President of IODP-MI, presented the FY11 IODP Annual Program Plan (APP) to the Council. The APP was revised after the Tohoku earthquake and related tsunami damaged to the Chikyu. A workshop on “Rapid Response Drilling” was held in Tokyo to discuss possible drilling operations in the area affected by the earthquake. Following the positive outcome of the “Preliminary Feasibility Study” of the Mohole project, it is planned to set up a “scoping office” to progress further on the planning. K. Suyehiro informed the Council that the New Science Plan for 2013-2023 was finalised and printed copies will be available soon. The new Science Advisory Structure will start operating this fall.
Mathilde Cannat, IODP-MI Board of Governors (BoG), reported on the activities of the IODP-MI Board of Governors. A new chair will be elected at the next meeting.
Ian Ridley (NSF) presented the IODP budget situation in the US. Due to increasing costs and flat level budget, the decision was made to postpone the South Alaska Margin expedition, initially planned for the summer of 2012. As a consequence, the JOIDES Resolution will implement three expeditions instead of four, unless additional funding sources are located. For the next phase of IODP, a long-term viable business model for the JR is required.
Shingo Shibata (MEXT) reported on the situation in Japan. The Chikyu was damaged in the tsunami. It will take about a year to replace the lost azimuth thruster. However, the ship can operate with only 5 thrusters and will be able to fulfil its commercial contract from early July 2011 to late January 2012. The Chikyu will resume operations within IODP from April 2012. For the next phase of IODP, there is a strong interest in Japan to implement the MoHole as well as the GOLD (Gulf of Lion Drilling) projects.
Jan de Leeuw reported on the last SASEC meeting held in Miami in January 2011. The New Science Plan and the Terms of Reference for the new SAS have been finalised. The only pending problem is the future of engineering development, which will be discussed at the next and last SASEC meeting in June in Amsterdam.
Catherine Mével reported on EMA activities. The ECORD Newsletter #16 was released on April 2011 and is posted online. EMA, in coordination with ICDP, organised the joint ECORD/IODP-ICDP booth and Townhall meeting at the European Geosciences Union meeting in Vienna, in April 2011. ECORD/IODP booths are also planned to be held at Goldschmidt 2011 (August, 14-19, Prague) and the 3P Arctic Conference (August 30-Sept. 2, Halifax). The conference in Halifax will be an opportunity to develop better links with industry in the Arctic area: a session will be organised by the ECORD Industrial Liaison Panel (ILP) to present results of past IODP expedition in the Arctic (ACEX) and future plans within IODP. Outreach activities will be organised in association with the JOIDES Resolution port call scheduled in Lisbon on mid-January 2012.
C. Mével reported on the successful DS3F workshop “Improving Technologies for Sub-Seafloor Sampling and Instrumentation” held in February 2011 in Grenoble. This meeting identified areas where Europe can play a leading role in technological developments.
To facilitate development of drilling proposals, the Council decided to directly support a follow-up of the Magellan programme, which ends next August. Magellan Plus will have a broader scope and include both continental and ocean drilling.
Catherine Mével informed the Council that the Aurora Borealis (AB) Project is postponed, due to the lack of funding commitments. As a consequence, the project has been removed from the ESFRI roadmap and therefore, the ship will not be available for drilling in polar areas in a near future.
Robert Gatliff gave an update on ESO and MSP plans until 2013. No MSP expedition is planned for FY11. Six MSPs proposals are currently residing at the Operations Task Force (OTF). ECORD funding will support the implementation of one expensive project (requiring a drilling platform), and possibly a cheaper one (using a seabed drill). ESO is currently scoping the Chicxulub and the Baltic Sea projects, as well as the Atlantis Massif and the Hawaiian Drowned Reefs as possible cheaper projects. Which expedition(s) will actually be implemented will depend on the ranking at OTF as well as on practical issues, such as permitting, platform costs, etc.
Rüdiger Stein reported on ESSAC activities. Report of the last SPC - OTF - PMO meetings have been mainly focused on the IODP ship schedules for the last two years of the program (FY11 to FY13). Nominations to the new SAS panels have been requested by IODP-MI. ESSAC will favour continuity and encourage young scientists to apply when current representative are rotating off. R. Stein summarised the current situation regarding quotas and staffing. He presented the three summer schools approved by ESSAC for 2012.
ECORD Council approved the ESSAC, EMA and ESO budgets for 2012.
The Council discussed the new phase of ocean drilling (2013-2023) and adopted the following statements:
- As a consortium, ECORD needs to consider the concerns of its member countries. If one country fails to fund the next phase, there is a risk of domino effect,
- ECORD consider it will be a major challenge in the current economic climate to meet the $20 m pa-target but ECORD is committed to try (via direct funding and leverage of additional funds) and seek for the status of platform provider. However ECORD does not anticipate at this time being able to contribute more than $6 m pa to commingled funds,
- MSPs are essential to all ECORD member countries,
- To address a wide range of the science goals listed in the New Science Plan, the regular operation of the JOIDES Resolution in all oceans is essential to all ECORD member countries,
- ECORD welcomes the unique contribution to deep scientific drilling that is offered by the Chikyu,
- ECORD supports the general principle that each platform provider covers the costs of its own platform and cannot commit to fund other platforms on a regular basis,
- The commingled funds must be used in priority to support core integrative activities. A high level of transparency in the accounting of commingled funds will be essential,
- If there is a surplus of commingled funds, ECORD support the concept of 'opportunity funds'. These may be used to support a platform for a specific expedition, specific instrumentation (e.g. CORKs), engineering development, etc. A clear definition of 'opportunity funds' and of the decision making process for their utilisation is required.
Council endorsed the business plan presented by EMA and ESO. In particular, Council encouraged EMA to develop contacts in support of the “Distributed European Infrastructure for Subseafloor Sampling” project.
Council received a first report from the Chair of the ECORD Evaluation Committee, Arne Bjorlykke. A last meeting of the committee is organised early July to discuss the New Science Plan and to finalise the report.
After summer, the New Science Plan, the ECORD evaluation report and the ECORD Business Plan will be forwarded to all ECORD funding agencies to help their decision on participation in the next phase. Countries willing to participate are requested to submit an expression of interest before the end of 2011. The new ECORD MoU will be prepared and hopefully signed in FY12. In parallel, the new IODP MoU will be prepared and ECORD will be able to sign as a single member in FY12.
Next Council meeting: November 1-3, 2011, Granada, Spain
|ECORD Council members/alternates
|Anne de Vernal (Vice-chair)
|Mireille Perrin (Chair)
|Carlota Escutia Dotti
||The United Kingdom
||ECORD Evaluation Committee
|Mohamed Amine Benchikh
|Carlota Escutia Dotti
||IODP Canada - CCOD