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Oceanographic Coring


Sediment coring is at the basis of two main scientific fields :

  • Sedimentology : A geophysical approach of the sea floor to get to a better understanding of the Earth morphology, the birth and moving of the continents, etc. It is also in use for hydrocarbure prospection.
  • Paleoclimatology : The most developed field within the CNRS oceanographic coring community. The plankton living in the ocean has special characteristics that testify from the environment they are living in. When they die, their skeletons fall on the sea ground in layers.

Coring allows to recover these layers respecting their size and arrangements, contrary to “drilling” that destroys it, and do not allow a good resolution. From a core study, it can be deduced, relatively to the coring site and for each time laps recovered : weather, temperature, ocean acidity, atmosphere constitution, magnetism, etc.

Depending on the sedimentation rate, current coring methods can go back in climate history up to 2000000 years. Studying past climate changes allows building models of future changes. Paleo-oceanography is a major issue in these times of global warming, and it already helped a lot to understand the climate changes mechanisms. Since 1995 and the launch of both R/V Marion Dufresne and the IMAGES international scientific program, this field of study gave birth to more than a thousand publications in important reviews.

C2FN-Ocean is a subdivision of C2FN. It is a national coordination structure for oceanic coring, created in 2009 by a partnership between DT INSU (Brest) and the French Polar Institute (IPEV), and based in Brest. It deals with R&D on oceanic coring technology, as described further on this website. It is also in charge of coring operational support and logistic on R/V Marion Dufresne. C2FN-Ocean works in collaboration with various other research institutes and industrials.