2011 年 76 巻 4 号 p. 341-349
D/V Chikyu is the largest scientific drilling vessel in the world. Her riser drilling capability permits us to drill in water depths of 2,500 m deep, and then down through 7,000 m of crust below the seafloor. The mission for D/V Chikyu is to help achieve the scientific goals of the Integrated Ocean Drilling Program (IODP). One of her key features, therefore, is the onboard coring and laboratory capability ; she can collect continuous core samples as needed, examine the samples aboard as soon as possible, and preserve cores samples as required. D/V Chikyu has an advanced ship engineering capability to install a borehole monitoring equipment as well as for riser operations, even under a strong Kuroshio Current (maximum of 6 knots). Currently being recruited for cutting-edge scientific proposals, D/V Chikyu is looking to be operated in the waters such as Atlantic as well as Mediterranean Sea and also ultra deep drilling to the oceanic mantle, through the Mohorovicic Discontinuity after completing the Nankai Seismogenic Zone drilling project. Of course she has strong interest on basic science in related to gas hydrates, deep-water bio-CCS, and hydrothermal mineralization. Although many technological and engineering challenges are needed to overcome the difficulties involved in these future drilling projects, D/V Chikyu, is ready to sail and lead scientific ocean drilling over the next 10 years with broad collaboration with the industry community.