iMAGE-CREATE is assembling elements of several “Virtual Core Libraries” from established repositories to create real-world portfolios of ocean drilling projects for training purposes. Ocean drilling provides a critical archive of the geology of the ocean basins and plays a crucial role in the study of the composition and structure of the Earth’s crust. Canadian researchers have been leading participants in ODP (1983-2003), and DSDP before that (1966-1983), and our German partners are scientific leads on many of the current and planned expeditions of IODP (since 2003). iMAGE-CREATE is a member of the Integrated Ocean Drilling Program (IODP, now International Ocean Discovery Program) through the Canadian Consortium for Ocean Drilling (CCOD) and its European partners (ECORD). Through this membership iMAGE-CREATE trainees are participating on IODP expeditions and are using archived data and samples from DSDP, ODP, and IODP to study the ocean crust. iMAGE-CREATE trainees regularly participate in the “Virtual Drillship” courses presented to ECORD partners, which provides essential background experience for the effective use of the core libraries, as well as important training for participation on drilling expeditions.
Three Core Repositories store curated cores and logs from DSDP, ODP and IODP, including the physical samples drilled from the seafloor. These are the Gulf Coast Repository at Texas A&M University, the IODP Bremen Core Repository at MARUM, and the Kochi Core Center in Kochi Japan. Each center provides direct access to drill core from the entire history of the DSDP, ODP and IODP, with opportunities for iMAGE-CREATE trainees to participate in core-related research, on-site training, and outreach activities. Original files of scanned and photographed core are collected and archived by each center. The Kochi Core Center (KCC) maintains its own Virtual Core Library (VCL), which includes digital images as well as XCT scans of geological core samples from the drilling vessel D/V Chikyu.
iMAGE-CREATE students also have access to a number of regional core repositories, such as the North Sea Core Library, the CSIRO Virtual Core Library in Australia, and the National Virtual Core Library of AuScope, which collectively house millions of meters of core that have been photographed, digitally scanned, and imaged by hyperspectral sensors.