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D/V Chikyu and Scientific Drilling


Drilling Vessel (D/V) “Chikyu” (Japanese for “the Earth”) is one of three platforms operating as part of the International Ocean Discovery Program (IODP), and is the largest scientific drilling vessel in the world, with a length of 210 m, width of 38 m, draft of 9.2 m and a gross tonnage of ca. 57,000 metric tons. Chikyu is also one of the world’s deepest drilling vessels, and is fitted with riser equipment, technology developed by the oil industry to permit deep sub-seafloor drilling. In Chikyu's case, this means drilling through 7000 meters of crust below the seabed while working in up to 2500 meters of water. In riserless mode, Chikyu has drilled about 1000 meters below the seafloor in nearly 7000 meters of water.

Laboratories, crew accommodations, and navigation facilities, occupy one-third of the vessel. The bow has a helideck for personnel transfer. The rest of the ship is for the drilling floor and drilling equipment. There is a total 2300 m² of lab spaces on four decks. 200 people, roughly 50 scientists, 50 technicians, and 100 ship and drilling crew, can work at sea for extended scientific drilling expeditions.

This wiki is designed to help expedition scientists more efficiently organize and prepare for their work at sea, introduce Chikyu's lab facilities, research materials and equipment, general ship layout, general rules, and other equipment available aboard.

Expeditions & Logistics

This section describes the procedures to apply to sail on scientific expeditions, what you need to do once your application to sail has been accepted, and what kind of logistical preparations you will need. This section also describes how to ship baggage and scientific equipment to and from D/V Chikyu, and other information on boarding/departing ship.

Welcome Aboard Chikyu

This section describes what you'll need to prepare for, and what to expect from, your life aboard Chikyu. Please refer to this page when planning your expedition packing. Information about daily life, safety information, and "how to get along" with your fellow scientists and crew members can all be found here.

Working on Chikyu

The Chikyu labs are the main science facilities on board. This section describes the ship and Laboratory section. Details about the laboratory deck layouts and descriptions of the facilities available on each deck can be found here.

IODP Measurement & Policies

Shipboard measurements for IODP expeditions are categorized as either standard or optional measurements based on the Chikyu IODP policy. This section describes the Chikyu IODP measurements as well as other IODP policies relating sample requests, publication, 3rd party tools, etc.

Chemical List

This section comprises a list of all chemicals provided aboard D/V Chikyu. Please check this list when making your research plans for the expedition. If you require chemicals that are NOT on this list, please contact the Expedition Project Manager (EPM) for your expedition.

Depending on the type and amount of chemicals needed for your research, special order forms and permission may be required.

Sample Requests

The Sample and Data Policy document describes how to request and use data and samples from IODP expeditions. Before making your request, first check the Lab Measurement & Equipment section for available measurements, tools, and equipment aboard Chikyu. Remember to also check the relevant scientific prospectus to familiarize yourself with the expedition science plan.

To make a sample request for a specific expedition, please visit the SDRM website and request an account. Fill out the form as requested, and create your account. You will be making a request for a future expedition, so please click the proper radio button and select the correct expedition. There is a short video presentation describing how to make requests.

Links to Chikyu IODP Webpage

Center for Deep Earth Exploration (CDEX)

Ultra Deep Water Drillship Chikyu

D/V Chikyu IODP Expeditions

JAMSTEC (Japan Agency for Marine-Earth Science and Technology)