This grant allowed us to perform an essential site survey of proposed IODP [International Ocean Discovery Program] drilling sites in Guaymas Basin with our Mexican collaborators, Carlos Mortera at UNAM [R/V El Puma, October 14-27, 2014]. In particular, we obtained 15 high-quality gravity cores, up to 5 m deep, from different targets in Guaymas Basin and the Sonora Margin. After this survey, and a second site survey by our German collaborators [Christian Berndt, R/V Sonne, June 23 to July 24, 2015], Ivano, Christina and I obtained funding from the US Science Support Office of IODP for a Guaymas Basin Drilling workshop in Puerto Vallarta, Mexico, Nov. 6 to 10, 2015. This workshop was well attended by US-American, European and Mexican geoscientists, and provided the foundation for the revision of the Guaymas Basin drilling proposal [IODP 833, originally submitted in April 2013, and submitted in revision in October 2016]. For a sequencing survey of the El Puma gravity core samples from Guaymas Basin and Sonora Margin, PI Teske obtained Deep Carbon Observatory sequencing support, through their Census of Deep Life Program [June 2015]. Meanwhile, an independently funded third survey cruise [R/V Alpha Helix, May 13 to June 2, 2016, shore-based proponent D. Lizarralde, WHOI] obtained crucial seismic lines for the revised drilling proposal. Finally, another independently funded Guaymas Basin cruise with R/V Atlantis and HOV Alvin [December 7-29, 2016, Chief Scientist A. Teske] provided highly resolved bathymetry and Alvin seafloor observations of some of our most important off-axis drilling targets.
The combined data of these four site surveys were essential to revise and amend the Guaymas Drilling Proposal. Between January and May 2017, the proposal was fast-tracked through Science Evaluation Panel, External Review, Proposal Addendum, Environmental Protection and Safety Panel, and finally the JOIDES Resolution Facilities Board. As noted in writing [May 24], Guaymas Basin Drilling Proposal 833-2 is now approved; the drilling cruise with JOIDES Resolution is planned for mid-September to mid-November 2019 [Anthony Koppers, JR Facilities Board, pers. comm.]
Thus, the C-DEBI grant has catalyzed a highly successful cascade of site surveys, workshop and proposal revisions that have put the Guaymas Basin deep drilling expedition on the map for 2019 – the next C-DEBI IODP expedition.