Articles | Volume 20
Workshop report
17 Dec 2015
Workshop report |  | 17 Dec 2015

Advancing subsurface biosphere and paleoclimate research: ECORD–ICDP–DCO–J-DESC–MagellanPlus Workshop Series Program Report

H. J. Mills, J. de Leeuw, K.-U. Hinrichs, F. Inagaki, and J. Kallmeyer

Abstract. The proper pre-drilling preparation, on-site acquisition and post-drilling preservation of high-quality subsurface samples are crucial to ensure significant progress in the scientifically and societally important areas of subsurface biosphere and paleoclimate research. Two of the four research themes of IODP and ICDP and one of the four research areas of the Deep Carbon Observatory (DCO) focus on the subsurface biosphere. Increasing understanding of paleoclimate is a central goal of IODP and incorporated within the scope of the IMPRESS program, the successor of the IMAGES program. Therefore, the goal of our IODP–ICDP–DCO–J-DESC–MagellanPlus-sponsored workshop was to help advance deep biosphere and paleoclimate research by identifying needed improvements in scientific drilling planning and available technology, sample collection and initial analysis, and long-term storage of subsurface samples and data. Success in these areas will (a) avoid biological and other contamination during drilling, sampling, storage and shipboard/shore-based experiments; (b) build a repository and database of high-quality subsurface samples for microbiological and paleoclimate research available for the scientific community world-wide over the next decades; and (c) standardize, as much as possible, microbiological and paleoclimate drilling, sampling and storage workflows to allow results and data to be comparable across both space and time. A result of this workshop is the development and suggested implementation of new advanced methods and technologies to collect high-quality samples and data for the deep biosphere and paleoclimate scientific communities to optimize expected substantial progress in these fields. The members of this workshop will enhance communication within the scientific drilling community by crafting a handbook focused on pre-drilling, drilling and post-drilling operations.

Short summary
Proceedings and results are presented from the Seoul 2014 Advancing Subsurface Biosphere and Paleoclimate Research workshop. Participants discussed past and present directions of IODP and ICDP subsurface research, including efforts with DCO and IMPRESS. Discussions led to the formation of a level-based communication system with the goal of improving communication and expectations between all drilling disciplines. The production of a biology-themed handbook to guide surface research is planned.