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Mr. Brown. Thank you, Dr. Bally.
Professor Sclater?

Mr. SCLATER. Mr. Chairman, members of the committee, I would like to read the second part of my prepared testimony, and to go quickly over the first part of it and then put it in your record.

Mr. Brown. Without objection, it will be entered in the record. [The biographical sketch of Prof. Sclater follows:]

FEBRUARY 6, 1980. RELEVANT VITAE, J. G. SCLATER Born: June 17, 1940, Edinburgh, Scotland.

Degrees : B. Sc. Physics, Edinburgh University, Scotland, 1962; Ph. D., Cambridge University, England, 1966.

Employment: 1965–1972—Postdoctoral, then Research Scientist at the University of California at San Diego, Scripps Institution of Oceanography ; 1972– 1977, Associate Professor at M.I.T.*; and 1977–1980, Full Professor at M.I.T.*

Expertise: Chief Scientist, numerous oceanographic expeditions; Co-chief Scientist, Log 22, Deep Sea Drilling Program; served many panels JOIDES Program; Member, Ocean Sciences Committee, National Academy of Sciences, 1974–1977 ; presently member, National Academy of Engineering Committee considering engineering aspects of future drilling in the deep sea for scientific purposes.

Awards : 1979 recipient Rosenstiel Award in Oceanography.
Publications: Approximately 90 publications in scientific journals.

Research interests: Tectonic evolution of the Indian and southern oceans; the subsidence, heat flow, and age of the ocean floor; the subsidence, mode of formation of continental basins and shelves ; and predictions of degree of thermal maturation of shelf and basin sediments.

STATEMENT OF PROF. JOHN SCLATER, DEPARTMENT OF MARINE

GEOPHYSICS, MASSACHUSETTS INSTITUTE OF TECHNOLOGY Mr. SCLATER. I find testifying at this time on this particular program difficult. The reason is that I feel the program has not been crystalized completely, and second, I think few people have had a chance to discuss or review the ocean margin drilling program. I have been able to keep up with this because I have been on the committee that is serving as an adviser to NSF on the engineering problems associated with the drilling.

You have heard from Dr. Bally and have heard his views how some of the programs work and how they have come to pass. I would like to address my testimony to the proposal as presented to us on September 1979 by the National Science Foundation. Essentially for reasons of cost, principally due to the necessity of drilling with a riser the program has been reduced to what I will call the present program. This program was presented to the engineering committee by NSF in December 1979. It consisted of one hole in the Gulf of Mexico, two in the deep Atlantic and four on the continental slope off the east coast of the United States.

As a scientist who is working on the continental margins and who might be involved in the OMD program at a future date, I have reservations with the present program.

The continental slope drilling has now become the dominant objective and most of the time and effort will be spent on this problem. Thus the scientific objectives associated with drilling on the slope have to

• Also involved in Joint Graduate Program with Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution.

justify the cost. What especially concerns me is that this drilling has been limited to four holes in water depths between 2,000 and 4,000 meters. Of the area between continent and the deep sea the slope at depths greater than 2,000 meters is in my mind the least attractive area to drill at this time. First, it represents only 3 to 4 percent of the surface of the ocean and less than 25 percent of the distance between the continent and deep ocean proper.

Second, the basement of much of the slope can only be observed through geophysical measurement and cannot be reached by drilling. Thus, the justification of the program is solely the sediment recovered. Finally, because it is in deep water and we do not know the depth of deposition of these sediments through time the quantitative analysis of the subsidence that has been so successful on the shelf cannot be applied to the slope.

As the program is presently structured I find it difficult to support on purely scientific grounds and I know that my concerns are also shared by a large body of the academic community. Our specific problems are (1) There are so few holes that the program is now dominated by drilling on the slope; (2) we feel that it is difficult to justify such a large amount of money for scientific objectives that are second order; and (3) it is not clear that if cost overruns occur how the science budget will be handled. It is the opinion of myself and the other scientific members of the engineering committee that even for the present OMD program the possibility of such overruns has to be considered.

It is my opinion that cost cutting on the original proposal should be done on the basis of science. The least important scientific objectives should be dropped first. In the case of the present drilling proposal, I feel that if cuts have to be made, that it is the slope drilling program that should go and the broad based riserless drilling that should be retained, together with the scientific objectives outlined in the continental margins report. It should be remembered that the oil industry is already drilling in 1.500-meter water depths. If present projections of increasing depth of drilling keep up they will be at 3,000 meters by the end of this decade.

The present Challenger drilling nrogram has generated much excitement and support. The proposed ocean margin drilling program, in my opinion, does not share the same level of support. However there is a totally different way of looking at this program.

There are good possibilities that the slope portion of the continental margins such as the area of drilling proposed in this program may contain substantial accumulations of oil and gas. I believe it is in the national interest at the present moment to investigate the potential of these possible accumulations. Though there will be some benefits to science, it is in the field of geological resource potential that this program will have its largest effect. Hence I feel there is a strong resource potential argument for drilling.

The question raised by your staff report is, if resource potential or resource assessment is the major goal, then why is NSF the lead agency? Though I understand it is not traditional for NSF to ruin such programs, there is a justification for their involvement. NSF, JOIDES, Global Marine, University of California San Diego, and five foreign countries have demonstrated with the Challenger their expertise at managing and operating a very complex drilling program which has lasted 12 years, drilled approximately 500 holes, and is still producing exciting science. If there is going to be industry-Government drilling in the deep sea for whatever reason, scientific or resource assessment, serious consideration should be given to keeping this excellent management structure together. If Congress and the Federal Government do want to have a drilling program it cannot be a bare-bones project and more of the major scientific priorities have to be included. For widespread scientific support the program must first return closer to the original mix of science and other objectives outlined in the FUSAD and the Continental Martins report. Second, a method of support should be developed such that the cost overruns or the oil companies pulling out will not produce severe budgetary problems in the future that will damage the efforts of scientists to do basic research in other areas of interest. The scientific community should not be asked to run a resource assessment program with limited scientific objectives where they bear a large share of the financial risk in an already tight NSF budget.

In summary, I feel that the whole idea of NSF running a drilling program is still in a state of flux with the objectives, program and management structure still far from settled. There is need for a lot more discussion between the administration, NSF, Congress, and the scientific community before any sort of final decision is reached.

Thank you, Mr. Chairman.

[The prepared statement of Mr. Sclater, plus questions and answers for the record follow:]

PREPARED STATEMENT OF DR. J. G. SCLATER, PROFESSOR, MARINE GEOPHYSICS, MIT,

CAMBRIDGE, MASS. Mr. Chairman, Ladies and Gentlemen : I find testifying at this time on this particular program difficult. First, it is not clear that the NSF and the scientific community have actually agreed on a final program and second, very few of the scientific community at large have had a chance to discuss and review the most recent version of the Ocean Margin Drilling program. As a serving member of the committee examining the engineering needs of further drilling in the deep sea for scientific purposes I have tried to keep abreast of most of the developments in this program. I view my testimony as representing my personal views and the impressions I have gathered from other scientists over the past few months. (The committee examining engineering needs has not taken a stand one way or the other on the scientific merits of the OMD program.)

OBJECTIVES

The objectives for future scientific work in the deep sea relating to drilling have been covered in three reports. These are (1) The Fnuture of Scientific Ocean Drilling (FUSOD)', (2) The Merits and Potential of a Proprosed Ocean Drilling Program for the 1980's (“Blue Ribbon” report)? and (3) Continental Margins-Geological and Geophysical Needs and Problems.?

The FUSOD and Blue Ribbon reports assume drilling has a future and outline a proposed program. This includes drilling for scientific purposes on the deep ocean floor of the Pacific, the Atlantic, around Antarctica and on the continental margins on either side of the Atlantic Ocean. In contrast, the Continental Margins report came up with two non-drilling major priorities : (1) sediment dynamic studies (i.e. how the sediments get to and are deposited on

1 "The Future of Scientific Ocean Drilling." JOIDES, July 1977.

"The Merits and Potential of a Proposed Ocean Drilling Program for the 1980's." NSF, July 1979.

3 Continental Margins-Geological and Geophysical Research Needs and Problems,” NASNRC, June 1, 1978.

the shelves and what happens to them as they are buried) and (2) a suite of geophysical traverses off both the east and west coasts of the U.S. and the coast of Alaska (i.e. what is the structure of the shelves, how have they been formed and what is their relation to the continents and oceans on either side). It endorsed the FUSAD document but stated that shelf and slope drilling should follow the highest priority scientific problems and be done only if adequate funding is assured for these and other scientific studies.

PROGRAMB

During the past year a group convened by JOI (Joint Oceanographic Institutions) examined these reports and after consultation with JOIDES presented a program to NSF which was a compromise between drilling in the deep sea, drilling on the margins and the scientific objectives outlined by the Continental Margins report. They presented their deliberations to the engineering committee in September of 1979. In essence it consisted of 15 to 20 drill holes, about half in a riserless mode, equally spaced geographically between the Pacific and Atlantic. To satisfy some of the scientific objectives of the Continental Margins report a large amount of money was left in to do geophysical and geological work on the shelves and slopes. This program which included scientific drilling, survey work and some geological resource potential objectives (i.e. drilling on the slope off the East Coast of the United States) was they felt the best compromise between deep sea science, continental margin research and resource assessment. Basically it had something for everyone. Though drilling on the continental slopes was the largest endeavor in the program it was not the dominant scientific problem. I could support this program though personally I would have preferred to see more emphasis on the scientific objectives of the Continental Margins report and less emphasis on the drilling. This program I feel had support from the scientific community.

For reasons of cost, principally due to the necessity for drilling with a riser in a blow out prevent mode, the program was curtailed to the present Ocean Margin Drilling (OMD) program. This program as presented to the engineering committee by NSF in December 1979 consisted of one hole in the Gulf of Mexico, two in the deep Atlantic and four on the continental slope at depths between 2000 and 4000 meters off the East Coast of the United States. (The continental margin is split into two regions, the shelf and the slope. The shelves which have typical depths on the order of 130 meters represent 7% of the sea floor. The slopes which range from the shelf to the deep ocean at 5000 meters depth represent 8-9% of the ocean floor. Only 3 to 4% of ocean floor lies at depths between 2000 and 4000 meters.)

As a scientist who is working on the continental margins and who might be involved in the OMD program at a future date I have reservations with the present program. The continental slope drilling has now become the dominant objective and most of the time and effort will be spent on this problem. Thus, the scientific objectives associated with drilling on the slope have to justify the cost. What especially concerns me is that this drilling has been limited to four holes in water depths between 2000 and 4000 meters. Of the area between continent and the deep sea the slope at depths greater than 2000 meters is in my mind the least attractive area to drill at this time. First, it represents only 3-4 percent of the surface of the ocean and less than 25 percent of the distance between the continent and deep ocean proper. Second, the basement of much of the slope can only be observed through geophysical measurement and cannot be reached by drilling. Thus, the justification of the program is solely the sediment recovered. Finally, because it is in deep water and we do not know the depth of deposition of these sediments through time the quantitative analysis of the subsidence that has been so successful on the shelf cannot be applied to the slope.

As the program is presently structured I find it difficult to support on purely scientific grounds and I know that my concerns are also shared by a large body of the academic community. Our specific problems are: (1) There are so few holės that the program is now dominated by drilling on the slope. (2) We feel that it is difficult to justify such a large amount of money for scientific objectives that are second order. (3) It is not clear that if cost overruns occur how the science budget will be handled. (It is the opinion of myself and the other scientific member of the engineering committee that even for the present OMD program the possibility of such overruns has to be considered.)

It is my opinion that cost cutting on the original proposal should be done on the basis of science. The least important scientific objectives should be dropped

first. In the case of the present drilling proposal, I feel that if cuts have to be made that it is the slope drilling program that should go and the broad based riserless drilling that should be retained together with the scientific objectives outlined in the Continental Margins report. It should be remembered that the oil industry is already drilling in 1500 meter water depths. If present projections of increasing depth of drilling keep up they will be at 3000 meters by the end of this decade.

ALTERNATIVE SCENARIO The present Challenger drilling program has generated much excitement and support. The proposed Ocean Margin Drilling program, in my opinion, does not share the same level of support. However there is a totally different way of looking at this program.

There are good possibilities that the slope portion of the continental margins such as the area of drilling proposed in this program may contain substantial accumulations of oil and gas.' I believe it is in the national interest at the present moment to investigate the potential of these possible accumulations. Though there will be some benefits to science, it is in the field of geological resource potential that this program will have its largest effect. Hence I feel there is a strong resource potential argument for drilling.

The question raised by your staff report is, if resource potential or resource assessment is the major goal, then why is NSF the lead agency? Though I understand it is not traditional for NSF to run such programs there is a justification for their involvement. NSF, JOIDES, Global Marine, U. Calif. Sand Diego and five foreign countries have demonstrated with the Challenger their expertise at managing and operating a very complex drilling program which has lasted 12 years, drilled approximately 500 holes and is still producing exciting science. If there is going to be industry/government drilling in the deep sea for whatever reason, scientific or resource assessment, serious consideration should be given to keeping this excellent management structure together. If Congress and the Federal Government do want to have a drilling program in the deep sea then it is my opinion that this group would do a first class job of running it. However, if the NSF and the academic community are to do this the program cannot be a bare bones project and more of the major scientific priorities have to be included. For widespread scientific support the program must first return closer to the original mix of science and other objectives outlined in the FUSAD and the Continental Margins reports. Second a method of support should be developed such that the cost overruns or the oil companies pulling out will not produce severe budgetry problems in the future that will damage the efforts of scientists to do basic research in other areas of interest. The scientific community should not be asked to run a resource assessment program with limited scientific objectives where they bear a large share of the financial risk in an already tight NSF budget.

In summary, I feel that the whole idea of NSF running a drilling program is still in a state of flux with the objectives, program and management structure still far from settled. There is need for lot more discussion between the ad. ministration, NSF, Congress and the scientific community before any sort of final decision is reached.

Before I answer your specific questions it is necessary for me to present some general comments that will make my replies easier to understand. A scientific problem is considered first order if its solution will increase our fundamental knowledge and lead to a broader understanding of the available information. Because scientists pursue research with different objectives in mind it is possible that they will have varying ideas of what is first order and hence what is important. This is particularly true of the Ocean Margins Drilling program

“Continental Margin Subsidence and Paleoheatflow: An Important_Parameter in Formation of Petroleum Hydrocarbong," L. Royden, J. G. Sclater and R. P. Von Herzen, AAPG, Feb. 1980.

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