International Ocean Discovery Program (IODP) Expedition 385T aimed to take advantage of a transit of the R/V JOIDES Resolution from Antofagasta, Chile, to San Diego, California (USA), to accomplish new sampling and data collection from legacy borehole observatories in Deep Sea Drilling Project (DSDP) and Ocean Drilling Program (ODP) Holes 504B and 896A on the southern flank of the Costa Rica Rift. In addition, the US Science Support Program organized the participation of 3 Outreach Officers to evaluate the performance of the JOIDES Resolution Outreach Officer program as well as 2 educators and 12 undergraduate students for a shipboard “JR Academy.” Our scientific objectives were to collect (1) new Formation MicroScanner logs from Hole 504B for improving lithologic interpretations of crustal architecture at this archetype deep oceanic crust hole and (2) fluid samples from both holes for evaluating the crustal deep biosphere in deep and warm oceanic crust. These operations in Holes 504B and 896A have direct relevance to Challenges 5, 6, 9, 10, 13, and 14 of the IODP 2013–2023 Science Plan. Accomplishing both of these scientific objectives required the removal of old wireline CORK observatories, including associated inflatable packers that were installed in the cased boreholes in 2001. The fluid sampling plan also included testing a new Multi-Temperature Fluid Sampler. Despite successfully removing the CORK wellhead platforms from both holes, we were unable to remove the packers stuck in casing at both locations after 48 h of milling operations in Hole 504B and 2 h of milling operations in Hole 896A, thus precluding accomplishing any of the scientific objectives of the expedition. We provide an assessment of the final state of the holes and recommendations for possible future operations.
International Ocean Discovery Program (IODP) Expedition 385T will revisit two Deep Sea Drilling Project (DSDP) and Ocean Drilling Program (ODP) legacy sites—Holes 504B and 896A on the Costa Rica Rift flank—to advance lithostratigraphic, hydrogeological, and deep biosphere studies of upper oceanic crust. Hole 504B has served as a standard reference site for upper oceanic crust for decades despite low core recovery during drilling operations. Hole 896A serves as an analog site of crustal alteration for examining biogeography in the crustal deep biosphere. During Expedition 385T, we will advance lithostratigraphic records of in situ crustal architecture through Formation MicroScanner (FMS) logging, with priority for these operations in Hole 504B. The new logs from Hole 504B will reveal whether unrecovered intervals are highly fractured and/or brecciated and whether alteration style and intensity are correlated to volcanic architecture, which will allow for assessment of the hypothesis that hydrothermal alteration and mineralization style are spreading-rate dependent. We will also advance crustal hydrogeological and deep biosphere research through temperature logging and water sampling in both holes, with priority for these operations in Hole 896A. The new FMS-based lithostratigraphy coupled with new fluid assessment will also allow for improvements on the thermal limits of microbial life and seawater-basalt reactions. These operations in Holes 504B and 896A have direct relevance to Challenges 5, 6, 9, 10, 13, and 14 of the IODP 2013–2023 Science Plan. To achieve these data and sample recoveries from these legacy sites, existing wireline observatories installed in both holes will be removed and the remaining cased holes will be left open for possible future installation of next-generation observatories. The expedition will be implemented as an abbreviated (10 operational days) expedition with no new coring.