Research Drilling Proposals for the Brazilian Equatorial Margin

New Wave Media

February 3, 2014

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A NSF-sponsored workshop will be held in the coastal town of Maresias, São Paulo, Brazil, from the 4th to the 6th of February 2014, to discuss, plan and define the conceptual basis for developing an International Ocean Discovery Program (IODP) Drilling Proposal to investigate the Brazilian Equatorial Margin. This workshop is intended to move ahead with this exciting possibility and facilitate discussion among the scientific community on ways to use the ocean drilling facility to explore the processes behind:

a) The short- and long-term changes in global climate;

b) The opening and expansion of the South Atlantic Ocean.

The Brazilian Equatorial Margin (BEM) is a passive, stable margin at equatorial latitudes characterized by continuous sedimentary sequences divided among a series of basins. These basins contain a unique record of regional tectonic, biotic, and climatic events from the end of the early Cretaceous to present. The workshop aims to build community support and to develop an integrated drilling strategy to obtain high-quality tectono-sedimentary and paleoceanographic records for the Mesozoic and Cenozoic BEM to improve our knowledge of the response of the regional physical and biological systems to the opening and expansion of the South Atlantic, and long- and short-term changes in global climate, particularly the extreme greenhouse events, and Cenozoic cooling. More specifically, by integrating coring data with models, the results of drilling will offer new insights into:

(1) regional sea level response to glacioeustatic and tecto-sedimentary changes along the BEM;

(2) evolution of tropical marine climate (sea surface temperature and salinity) to elevated levels of atmospheric CO2;

(3) regional circulation (i.e., current intensity) and sea level response to opening of Southern ocean gateways, Eocene cooling and the appearance and expansion of continental ice-sheets;

(4) the evolution of tropical marine ecosystems, productivity, and carbon fluxes; 

(5) the evolution of the equatorial landscape and sediment fluxes to the margin.

Paschoa, Claudio
Claudio Paschoa is Marine Technology Reporter's correspondent in Brazil.
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