Frequently Asked Questions

How big is the JOIDES Resolution?

It is 143 meters (470 feet) long from bow to stern. It is 62 meters (202 feet) tall from the ocean surface to the top of the derrick.


Why is it called the JOIDES Resolution?

“JOIDES” is an acronym for Joint Oceanographic Institutions for Deep Earth Sampling. This organization used to operate the ship, but it has merged into other organizations and no longer exists. “Resolution” is named after the HMS Resolution, one of the ships used by the explorer Captain James Cook.


How do you pronounce “JOIDES”?



Where is the home port of the JOIDES Resolution?

It doesn’t have one. It travels all over the world and could be in port in a variety of countries in between expeditions.


Who runs the JOIDES Resolution?

The JOIDES Resolution is part of the International Ocean Discovery Program (IODP), an international collaboration of over twenty countries. The United States is the country in the IODP that is in charge of running the JOIDES Resolution. Its operations headquarters are located at Texas A&M University. The funding for operations comes from the National Science Foundation (NSF) and contributions from the other IODP member countries.


Is the JOIDES Resolution the only scientific ocean drilling ship in the world?

No, but almost. The IODP also has a scientific drilling ship called the Chikyu that is run by Japan. The JOIDES Resolution and the Chikyu are the only two drilling ships in the world used only for scientific research. There are also other drilling ships that occasionally do some scientific drilling or can be outfitted to do it for a particular mission.


How many people can be on the JOIDES Resolution?

It can hold about 130 people, half of which are crew running the ship and the others are the science party members for a particular expedition. The science party members are selected based on their qualifications and the relevance of their research to the major goals of the expedition.


How do they decide where the JOIDES Resolution will drill?

It is a process that takes years. Scientists in member countries of the IODP send in proposals identifying the places they would like the JOIDES Resolution to drill to bring up cores that can help answer their scientific research questions. A committee of other scientists review the proposals to decide which ones will be most likely to expand our scientific knowledge. Other research ships then assess the proposed sites to make sure they will be worthwhile to drill. Then they find a spot on the ship’s schedule where the expedition will be in the same vicinity of the Earth as the other expeditions it is back-to-back with.


What is the deepest hole the JOIDES Resolution has drilled?

The deepest hole the JOIDES Resolution has drilled into the seafloor was in the south Pacific on expedition 317. The hole was 1,928 meters (6,326 feet or 1.2 miles) deep! The deepest the JOIDES Resolution ever had to send a drill down to reach the seafloor was 5,707 meters (18,725 feet or 3.6 miles) deep! That happened on expedition 329.


Can I get on the JOIDES Resolution?

The JOIDES Resolution is always on the move, but there is the possibility it may come to a port city near you. If this happens, we try to make opportunities for students over 13 and adults to take guided tours. If you are a classroom teacher, informal educator, or creative science communicator, there are opportunities to be on the ship while it is at sea. Check the “For Educators“ page to learn more.

JOIDES Resolution