172 Scientific Prospectus


The major objectives of Leg 172 are to obtain a detailed history of late Neogene paleoceanography and paleoclimate in the North Atlantic by investigating: 1) millennial scale oscillations of stable isotopes (C and O), faunal and floral abundance, percent carbonate and other lithologic components, and trace metals in drift deposits; 2) the nature of cyclicity of these oscillations; and 3) how these cycles are related to the history of Northern Hemisphere glaciations during the late Neogene.

In addition, this proposal seeks to investigate:

€sediment wave migration and drift sedimentation processes,
€detailed variations of the Earth's magnetic field (secular variations and reversals),
€geotechnical/acoustic properties of deep-sea sediments, and
€geochemical signals associated with the formation, dissociation, and distribution of gas hydrate.

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