The Ocean Drilling Program offers a unique opportunity for international scientific cooperation to help understand our Earth system. We are indebted to all those scientists and administrators around the globe who had the vision to create this unparalleled program and to those whose efforts and dedication are responsible for its continuing success. In particular, support from the International Ocean Network is greatly appreciated.

Each cruise on board the JOIDES Resolution renders new challenges, and Leg 186 was no exception. The unprecedented installation of permanent borehole geophysical laboratories required a complex operation that demanded the development of new technical instrumentation. The observatory project was mainly supported by the Ocean Hemisphere Network of Japan. The goals of Leg 186 would not have been realized without the invaluable support and help of the members of the ODP/TAMU staff and the Sedco crew; their enthusiasm for solving new problems was a key to the success of the cruise. Finally, the hard work and competence of the ODP Publication Services staff helped to improve the quality and readability of this volume.