Advances in Earth Science ›› 2017, Vol. 32 ›› Issue (12): 1297-1306. doi: 10.11867/j.issn.1001-8166.2017.12.1297

Special Issue: IODP

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Thirty Years of the Seafloor CORK Borehole Observatories: Development, Applications and Future Perspective

Jiasong Fang 1, 2( ), Jiangyan Li 1, Li Zhang 3, *( )   

  1. 1.Shanghai Hadal Science and Technology Engineering Research Center, Shanghai Ocean University,Shanghai 201306, China
    2.Laboratory for Marine Biology and Biotechnology, Qingdao National Laboratory for Marine Science and Technology, Qingdao 266071, China
    3.School of Earth Sciences, State Key Laboratory of Geological Processes and Mineral Resources, China University of Geosciences (Wuhan),Wuhan 430074,China
  • Received:2017-10-16 Revised:2017-11-28 Online:2017-12-20 Published:2018-03-06
  • Contact: Li Zhang;
  • About author:

    First author:Fang Jiasong(1961-),male, Honghu City, Hubei Province, Professor. Research areas include marine microbiology and

  • Supported by:
    Project supported by the National Natural Science Foundation of China “Assess the role of piezophilic bacteria in carbon cycle of the South China Sea”(No.91328208) and “Carbon isotope fractionation in biosynthesis of lipids by gram-positive piezophilic bacteria from the deep sea and the deep biosphere”(No.41673085).

Jiasong Fang, Jiangyan Li, Li Zhang. Thirty Years of the Seafloor CORK Borehole Observatories: Development, Applications and Future Perspective[J]. Advances in Earth Science, 2017, 32(12): 1297-1306.

In the past 50 years, we have witnessed remarkable progress in our understanding of the Earth and ocean system, as a result of the internationally integrated deep ocean drilling programs, the Deep Sea Drilling Program (DSDP), the Ocean Drilling Program (ODP), and the Integrated Ocean Drilling Program (IODP). One of the legacies of the deep ocean drilling programs is the development and applications of the CORK, Circulation Obviation Retrofit Kit. Earth and ocean sciences have been shifting from a traditional discontinuous, expeditionary mode toward a mode of sustained in situ observations today. The seafloor CORK observatories offer Earth, ocean and life scientists new opportunities to study multiple, interrelated deep marine subsurface processes, over time scales ranging from seconds to decades. Here, we first provided a concise examination of the development history of the CORKs, then described the first installations of ODP CORKs, the evolution of different models of CORK, and finally, summarized the scientific lessons learned in the installation and operation effort of the CORKs. In the end, we offered our perspectives on using CORKs to study geological, hydrogeological, microbiological, and biogeochemical processes in the deep marine subsurface biosphere, particularly pertaining to China’s efforts in establishing and enhancing its deep-sea and deep-biosphere research and monitoring programs.

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