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Images: Plugging the Seafloor with CORKs

The Ocean Drilling Program’s drill ship has deployed several “CORK” observatories in seafloor boreholes to study the circulation of subseafloor fluids (see map below), including the one above in Hole 858G off the Pacific Northwest coast.

A new generation of Advanced CORKs will be deployed, starting in 2001. These will have inflatable packers that isolate separate zones in subseafloor formations so that different processes occurring within each zone may be identified.

Aboard the ODP drillship JOIDES Resolution, roughnecks position a CORK observatory in a long segmented drillpipe leading to a borehole in the seafloor.

CORK assemblies await deployment aboard JOIDES Resolution.