“Uncovering the Earth’s Deep Secrets” with Gerardo Iturrino (Sep 2002)

by | Jul 28, 2023 | Scientific Ocean Drilling

Originally presented 28 Sep 2002

Introductory Presentation by Dr. Michael J. Passow

PowerPoint HTML

Seawater covers three-quarters of our planet’s surface, yet we have been able to develop methods to know not only what lies beneath the oceans, but also the sediments and rocks of the crust. Most of these discoveries have been made by the Ocean Drilling Program (ODP) and its predecessor, the Deep Sea Drilling Project. In today’s introductory slide show, you can lead more about the history of underwater exploration, useful background knowledge for the presentation by our guest scientist, Dr. Gerardo Iturrino.

To download the PowerPoint to your computer, click using the right button of your mouse, and choose Save Target As… from the Menu that appears. Then a window will open allowing to choose in which folder you want to save the presentation to. Choose a local drive, or your “My Documents” folder on the desktop, click OK and save. This PowerPoint presentation will be saved to your local computer.

Feel free to use any or all of our resources with your students. They are being organized here for your convenience. We just ask that you cite the source. You can also modify presentations to better accommodate your specific needs.

Earth Science Content

Most of the time, we can only see what is at or near the Earth’s surface. However, crucial information that can tell us about the history, evolution, and composition of our planet is often recorded in subsurface rocks. In the last 35 years, drilling has evolved into an extremely valuable scientific tool for understanding the history and the ongoing dynamic processes within the Earth. The advancements in drilling technologies have become even more important for studying oceanic environments because seawater covers approximately 70.8% of the Earth.

The history of deep ocean drilling began in the late 1960’s with the Deep Sea Drilling Project (DSDP) and the extensive use of a ship named the Glomar Challenger. In the mid 1980¹s, ocean drilling expeditions began operating under the name of the Ocean Drilling Program (ODP) and the JOIDES Resolution replaced the Glomar Challenger as the operating drilling vessel. ODP is scheduled to end in September 2002 and a new Integrated Ocean Drilling Program (IODP) is scheduled to begin operations in 2004 with the addition of several drilling platforms.

The history of ocean exploration has been characterized by a wide range instrument deployments and retrieval of rock samples. Drilling operations have been primarily focused on core sampling and borehole measurements. The Borehole Research Group (BRG) at the Lamont-Doherty Earth Observatory has been conducting borehole investigations for understanding the physical, chemical, and structural characteristics of different oceanic environments for understanding their history and evolution. Dr. Gerardo Iturrino will share some of the important discoveries made during the history of ocean drilling and outline future operations.

This first session will begin with an introduction to the Earth2Class Workshops for Teachers at LDEO, and some other resources of value to educators. Following Dr. Iturrino’s presentation, we will explore some student investigations that utilize concepts and materials generated through BRG and ODP investigations.
Dr. Iturrino is a Logging Scientist in the Borehole Research Group at Lamont-Doherty. This means that he is an expert in deciphering the electronic data collected by the instrument array lowered into each hole drilled by the “JOIDES Resolution,” research vessel of the Ocean Drilling Project.

You can access his powerpoint through http://www.ldeo.columbia.edu/BRG/EDUCATION/PROJECTS/index.html

In December 2001, Dr. Iturrino described some of the work he does and discoveries about hydrothermal vents made through ODP investigations. These can be accessed at http://www.earth2class.org/k12/w4_f2001/content.htm

For more about the Borehole Research Group and Ocean Drilling Program: http://www.ldeo.columbia.edu/BRG/

Integrating Educational Technologies

The Monster Project – Part I: Drawing Your Monster

Using Office Tools (Paint and Word) to promote collaboration and critical thinking.

We will teach how to do the basic monster project, then supply you with suggestions for classroom use – especially in Science.

Curriculum Idea: Even though the original project proposes drawing a Monster, we propose you have your students relate to today’s topic on Imaging the Earth. Have them draw a map and teach others how to draw that map, and the other student has to guess which country it is just from the written directions! Of course this would be a very rough map, but it would help students realize the difficulties of trying to capture the three dimensional geographical features on paper. And how much more difficult it was for early explorers to try to explain their findings to the kings who had sponsored them! You can tie a good Earth Science Lesson with the History Lesson!

Do you have any other ideas? Please share them with us!


The Monster Project Directions

Click on the link above to see how to develop the project.

Today we will try to do Steps 1 and 2. Depending on the amount of time we have, we will draw the monster and describe it as well. Whatever files you make should be saved to a disk. We will be using these in the next workshop.


Ø      Create new files.

Ø      Open existing files.

Ø      Working with images:

o       Resizing

o       Using palettes

o       Saving vs. Save As…

o       Renaming

Ø      Toggling between two Windows (Word and Paint)

Ø      Inserting Images in Word

Ø      Working with Fonts, Colors, Formatting

Ø      Inserting Tables – using tables to create professional layouts (learn to configure borders, cell format, etc.)


LDEO Web Sites www.ldeo.columbia.edu

Remote Sensing  http://www.ldeo.columbia.edu/remote/remote.html

Climate Data Library  http://ingrid.ldgo.columbia.edu/

International Research Institute for Climate Prediction http://iri.ldeo.columbia.edu/

Ocean Drilling Project (Borehole Research) http://www.ldeo.columbia.edu/BRG/

Seascapes  http://www.ldeo.columbia.edu/datarep/index.html

Borehole Research Group ­ http://www.ldeo.columbia.edu/BRG/

Lamont-Doherty Earth Observatory Data Repository – http://www.ldeo.columbia.edu/datarep/index.html

Other Ocean Drilling Program resources: http://www.joiscience.org/

Joint Oceanographic Institutions – http://www.joi-odp.org/

Ocean Drilling Program ­ http://www-odp.tamu.edu

Long Term Downhole Instruments: CORK (Circulation Obviation Retrofit Kit) – http://www.brancker.ca/CORK.htm

Joint Oceanographic Institutions for Deep Earth Sampling (JOIDES) Office – http://joides.rsmas.miami.edu/

Achievements and Opportunities of Scientific Ocean Drilling – http://joides.rsmas.miami.edu/legacy/

Understanding Our Dynamic Earth through Ocean Drilling.  Joint Oceanographic Institutions, 1755 Massachusetts Ave., NW, Suite 700, Washington, DC 20036-2102. 79 pp. pp. 1996.

A Guide to the Ocean Drilling Program–Celebrating 30 Years of Ocean Exploration: 1968 – 1998. JOIDES Journal, Winter 1998 – 99. 72 pp.

Downhole Measurements in the Ocean Drilling Progam. Joint Oceanographic Institutions, 1755 Massachusetts Ave., NW, Suite 700, Washington, DC 20036-2102. 24 pp.

ODP Highlights. Joint Oceanographic Institutions, 1755 Massachusetts Ave., NW, Suite 700, Washington, DC 20036-2102. 32 pp.

Opportunities in Geochemistry for Post-2003 Ocean Drilling. U.S. Science Support program/Joint Oceanographic Institutions, 1755 Massachusetts Ave., NW, Suite 700, Washington, DC 20036-2102. 20 pp. 2002.

Class Assignments

Curriculum and Technology Integration:

Develop a lesson for the Monster Project. You must put goals, standards they address, tie-in to the Earth Science curriculum and how technology enhanced the activity (added value). Bring this lesson to the next workshop for discussion.

Remember, you can make use of any of the resources shown at the workshop or present in the E2C website.

The lesson can be posted to the E2C website by copying and pasting it to the form below. Make sure all fields are filled in and press the submit button.

Monster Lesson Form

Teacher Lessons:

Title: Monster Topo Map

Grade: 9

ILS: 1. Models of Our Planet

Name: R Meyer

Email: Prof2277@aol.com


To explore basic information on topographic maps


Paint program, printer, paper and pencil


Students use paint program to make a topographic map of their own design. They must include at least 5 contour lines ,one river valley, a steep slope and shallow slope, as well as contour interval. They need to indicate true north and include a longitude and latitude line. After they do the above they print 2 copies with their name on it. One copy they then type or write on explaining their map. Each student has a partner and then takes their partners written explanation and tries to redraw it.


Look at both the students original map and the one they try to redraw from their partners information.



  • Title: Finding what causes crustal movement
  • Grade: 11
  • ILS: 4. Plate Tectonics
  • Name: James Signorelli
  • Email: dmhsscience@hotmail.com


To introduce the forces and mechanism of change which is constantly reshaping the crust of the earth.


1. Computer with Internet access

2. Xerox copies of the “Baseball Seam” world map from “This Dynamic Earth” web site.


Web Search: Go to the search engine and type in “Plate Tectonics” Click on “THIS DYNAMIC EARTH” Read each site under the main title. Click on all icons and read the text. Make a hard copy of the world map detailing the plate boundries (Baseball seam map).


Set up a 2000 ml beaker of water and corn syrup on top of a hot plate. Place tiny glass “boiling beads” into the beaker. As the mixture heats up, the beads will swirl from the bottom to the top and back down again. These are convection currents. Have the class observe the motion for several minutes. Q1. How does the crust crack, tear, and pull apart? Q2. How does the crust compress and push into neighboring plates. Using your observations of the beads (convection currents) answer these questions.


Create a WebQuest for this general topic. Class can subdivide the major topic into smaller “research areas”. Each area is then presented as a research topic in a class presentation. This satisfies the NJ Core requirement for public speaking.