Rutgers Oceanographers Set the Precedent for a New Program in U.S. Ocean Coring

In July 2019, Rutgers postdoc Samantha Bova and Rutgers professor Yair Rosenthal led a team of 33 scientists on a month-long ocean expedition aboard the JOIDES Resolution to study the oceanographic and hydrologic history of the northern margin of the Antarctic Circumpolar Current and the South American continent. The expedition was the first in the new NSF funded JR100 program, intended to provide the US paleoceanographic community a new way for recovering long sediment records (up to 100 meters below seafloor). Eight sites were cored, recovering a total of 2232 m of sediment cores during the expedition. These sites extend over a wide latitudinal distance (46-36°S) covering the modern transition from the Antarctic subpolar to the subtropical zones, as well as spanning water depths intersecting the main water masses in the southeast Pacific. The next step in the research will be to evaluate rapid (100 to 1000 year) changes in ocean water chemistry, composition, and temperature that will not only help reconstruct climate over the last 200,000 years but also inform us about how Earth will respond to a warmer than present climate. Bova and Rosenthal were assisted by Hailey Riechelson (graduate student, Rutgers), Mark Yu (graduate student, Rutgers), Vincent Clementi (graduate student, Rutgers), Anya Hess (graduate student, Rutgers), Laura Haynes (postdoc, Rutgers), William Biggs (undergraduate student, Rutgers), Jim Wright (professor, Rutgers), and many others from institutions across the U.S. and abroad.