Operations Summary During Riserless Drilling to >7700 mbsl in the Japan Trench for IODP Expedition 343 & 343T: JFAST, and Discussion of the Relationship Between Drilling Parameters and Rock Damage.

Friday, 19 December 2014
Lena Maeda1, Sean Toczko2, Nobu Eguchi1, Frederick M Chester3, James J Mori4, Virginia G Toy5, Ikuo Sawada1 and Tomo Saruhashi1, (1)JAMSTEC Japan Agency for Marine-Earth Science and Technology, Kanagawa, Japan, (2)JAMSTEC Japan Agency for Marine-Earth Science and Technology, CDEX, Kanagawa, Japan, (3)Texas A & M University, Geology & Geophysics, College Station, TX, United States, (4)Kyoto University, Kyoto, Japan, (5)University of Otago, Dunedin, New Zealand
During IODP Expedition 343: The Japan Trench Fast Drilling Project (JFAST), two main boreholes were drilled from the D/V Chikyu in ~7000 m water depth. An uncored hole that penetrated to 850.5 meters below seafloor (mbsf) (total depth [TD] = 7740 meters below sea level [mbsl]) was documented using logging while drilling (LWD) tools. From an adjacent partially cored hole drilled to 844.5 mbsf (TD = 7734 mbsl) 21 cores were acquired that spanned the two main fault targets. The operations lasted 88 days.

 The drilling operation was very technically challenging. The drill string had to be withdrawn a number of times due to high seas, and technical issues; five holes were drilled (one abandoned after spud-in) and reoccupied in >6800 m water depth. A simple observatory was deployed in the wellhead installed during Exp 343 during the follow-up Exp 343T.

 In certain intervals during coring we mostly recovered loose, subrounded fine gravel clasts of the two major lithologies penetrated to those depths (silt and mudstones). We have performed particle shape and size analysis on these gravel aggregates. Particle shape variations apparent visually are not clearly quantified by conventional ‘shape descriptors’. Variations in particle size distributions are apparent and we will discuss whether these relate to variations in drilling parameters.