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European Consortium for Ocean Research Drilling (ECORD)
Hosting Legal Entity
European Centre Research And Teaching In Geosciences
CEREGE, Europôle Méditerranéen de l'Arbois, BP 80, Aix-en-Provence cedex 4, PO: 13545 (France)
Type Of RI
Coordinating Country
Participating Countries
United Kingdom
Current Status:
Operational since 2003
Operational since 2013
Scientific Description
Scientific drillships allow scientists to access some of Earth’s most challenging environments, collecting data and samples of sediment, rock, fluids and living organisms from below the seafloor. Scientific ocean drilling programs have transformed the understanding of our planet by addressing some of the most fundamental questions about Earth’s dynamic history, processes and structure, and by opening up new lines of inquiry. Drilling scientists and engineers have developed tools and methodologies that are now used across the terrestrial and marine geosciences, and in the private sector. Equally important, scientific ocean drilling has fostered enduring international collaborations, trained new generations of multidisciplinary students and scientists, and engaged the public worldwide in scientific discovery.With multiple platforms, proven drilling, sampling and long-term observational techniques, as well as the diverse range of science that can be addressed by studying Earth beneath the sea, the 2013-2023 International Ocean Discovery Program (IODP) - the world largest marine geosciences programme - will build on this legacy and address global challenges facing current and future generations with new research approaches, expanded scientific communities and continued development of its unique collaborative model.The European Consortium for Ocean Research Drilling (ECORD) was created by 12 countries in 2003 to join the international Integrated Ocean Drilling Program (IODP) as a single member. ECORD co-ordinates the European and Canadian contributions to IODP and has currently 18 member countries (17 European plus Canada), with Poland as the most recent member.The International Ocean Discovery Program will use three primary drilling platforms which will be operated by three independent Individual Platform Providers contributing to IODP by fulfilling objectives identified in the Science Plan “Illuminating the Earth's Past, Present and Future” ( • the US-supplied multipurpose drillship JOIDES Resolution, • the Japanese riser-drilling-capable Chikyu for ultra-deep drilling in the ocean crust, the underlying mantle, and subduction zone environments, • the ECORD Mission-Specific Platforms (MSP) chartered on a specific project basis for drilling in technically challenging conditions, including high latitudes and shallow-water environments. In addition, Long-term borehole observatories provide data through which generations of researchers can build on the legacy of scientific ocean drilling, collecting new samples and deploying new instruments as technology and ideas change.

RI Keywords
Resources, Earth sciences, Landslides, Fluid flows, Geochemistry, Downhole measurements, Ocean crust, Earthquakes, Climate change, Marine geology, Geophysics, Palaeoclimatology, Geohazards, Geomicrobiology, Scientific drilling, Biogeochemical cycles, Paleoceanography, Hydrogeology, Borehole observatories
RI Category
In situ Earth Observatories
Scientific Domain
Earth and Environmental Sciences
ESFRI Domain
ECORD Science Operator (ESO)

ESO is a consortium of European scientific institutions formed to undertake Mission-specific platform (MSP) drilling and coring expeditions for ECORD on behalf of the Integrated Ocean Drilling Program (IODP) and its successor the International Ocean Discovery Program. The ESO Implementing Organization (IO) comprises the British Geological Survey (BGS), the University of Bremen and the European Petrophysics Consortium (EPC).

ECORD Science Support and Advisory Committee

ESSAC is the ECORD Science Committee and is responsible for scientific planning and co-ordination. ESSAC will maximise the scientific and technological contribution of ECORD to IODP. In addition ESSAC is responsible of: 1) Funding of summer schools; 2) Funding of research grants for young scientists; 3) Organizing a distinguished lecturer program.

ECORD Industry Liaison Panel (E-ILP)

The ECORD Industry Liaison Panel (E-ILP) acts as a link between academia and industry to promote scientific and technologic collaboration. Its main tasks are to: 1)Provide support and offer guidance to the academic community for meeting industrial and related scientific objectives; 2) Identify topics of interest to the industrial community that might be initiated by industrial members but developed jointly with academics; 3) Facilitate mutual communication and cooperative scientific activities between ECORD and related industries; 4) Maximise economic benefits from sharing resources (e.g. manpower, drilling of sites, development of joint drilling and sampling technologies, core and data analysis, improved downhole measurement and observatory capabilities, etc.).

European Petrophysics Consortium (EPC)

The European Petrophysics Consortium (EPC) involves three European universities, Leicester (UK), Montpellier (France) and RWTH Aachen (Germany). The EPC central office is located at the University of Leicester and is responsible for the management of the consortium. EPC links into an international logging consortium and its combined petrophysical expertise is available to all scientists involved in IODP. The EPC team provides high-level scientific and technical support to the IODP and ECORD across the range of highly variable environments drilled by the non-riser and mission-specific platforms (MSP).

ECORD Science Operator (ESO)

Drilling equipments: e.g. seaflloor rockdrills, logging capabilities, long-term borehole observatories, core petrophysics measurements, core repository and data management infrastructures with long-term, secure archiving and free access of data.

Date of last update: 23/05/2018
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