The 20th year celebration of the International Continental scientific Drilling Program (ICDP) Melanie Leng

This October the ICDP celebrated 20 years since its formation in 1996. During this time ICDP has contributed funding to around 50 deep drilling projects including drilling into the San Andreas Fault, taking sediment cores from some of the biggest and oldest lakes in the world, and most recently (this summer) drilling the “ring peak” of the Chicxulub impact crater. Here Melanie Leng talks about the 20th year celebration event of the ICDP...

One hundred ICDP stakeholders from across the world and member countries
met at GFZ in Potsdam to discuss ICDP into the future. 
Over the last 20 years the ICDP program has grown both in member countries (now around 20) and funding. At present the ICDP supports on average 3-5 deep drilling projects a year spending much of the combined $5M annual membership fees on drilling contributions (usually between 20 – 40% of the drilling operations cost). For this 20th year celebration, ICDP held a 2 day event in which key stakeholders were invited to present and discuss the way forward for the program. We were asked to think about and discuss whether the Operations Support Group (who look after everything from supporting project and operations, to on site drilling expertise and oversight, data management and archiving, to training courses, outreach and events) needed to be changed.

Over the 2 days we discussed ways in which the operations could be bettered, for example ICDP staff helping more with the over sight of the drilling operations, ICDP having a greater equipment pool (especially for down hole logging) and attaining greater “reach” rather than outreach. Educating and training of our early career researchers was seen as a priority.

The ICDP now has the task of thinking about the suggestions of the 100 or so stakeholders. I am sure our discussions will help ICDP continue supporting the global geoscience community with great international research that is underpinned by the technically challenging and expensive drilling that ICDP enable.

One surprising outcome of the meeting was the discovery that ICDP did not have a Facebook page! This was soon rectified with the help of some of our social media users (take a look at

The UK is a member of ICDP and as such our geoscientists can propose and participate in world class geoscience research with teams made up from amongst the best in the world. Melanie Leng (@MelJLeng) is the UK lead for ICDP and represents the UK on the ICDP Executive Committee.

For more information have a look at the ICDP-UK website or the main ICDP website.