Contamination tracer testing with seabed drills: IODP Expedition 357
- 1Bigelow Laboratory for Ocean Sciences, East Boothbay, ME 04544, USA
- 2MARUM, University of Bremen, 28334 Bremen, Germany
- 3British Geological Survey, The Lyell Centre, Edinburgh, EH14 4AP, Scotland, UK
- 4School of Oceanography, University of Washington, Seattle, WA 98195, USA
- 5Institute for Geochemistry and Petrology, ETH Zürich, 8092 Zürich, Switzerland
Abstract. IODP Expedition 357 utilized seabed drills for the first time in the history of the ocean drilling program, with the aim of collecting intact sequences of shallow mantle core from the Atlantis Massif to examine serpentinization processes and the deep biosphere. This novel drilling approach required the development of a new remote seafloor system for delivering synthetic tracers during drilling to assess for possible sample contamination. Here, we describe this new tracer delivery system, assess the performance of the system during the expedition, provide an overview of the quality of the core samples collected for deep biosphere investigations based on tracer concentrations, and make recommendations for future applications of the system.