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The new Brazilian IODP membership and the near-future possibility of JR operation in the South Atlantic together are building tremendous scientific momentum to investigate issues to be tackled with drilling the BEM. In particular two initiatives, T-BEM and P-BEM, are strongly linked in their areas of geographic interest (Fig. 1), even though they encompass a wide range of scientific themes:

figure1
Figure 1

A joint workshop offers the possibility to concentrate on both common and specific challenges for each BEM proposal

  1. Identify drilling locations and possible sites to be shared between the two proposals. Brazilian waters are well surveyed for industry purposes, in particular within the shelf, and, on the east coast also the abyssal plain. On the contrary the slope and the abyssal plain of BEM, where drilling targets are more approachable, have limited datasets; therefore, the BEM proposals will share some site-survey data to maximize the possibility of solving their specific scientific questions. A site survey-task group has been put in place and it is actively working on improving seismic imaging (including a small informal meeting planned for fall, 2015). The BEM-II workshop will offer the opportunity for discussion of appropriate seismic datasets by the larger community and with the input from industry, to identify:
    • primary drilling sites aiming at the recovery of complete Cenozoic sedimentary sequences in several basins
    • favorable places to extend drilling to the basement deformed by fracture zones.
    BEM-II will allow us to closely coordinate the drilling strategy and work toward the successful submission of site survey packages to IODP.

  2. Strengthen the links and synergies across the two BEM proposals As strongly advised by SEP, a coordinated approach will allow to identify main targets for each drill site, accompanied by the collection of complementary data useful for the other BEM projects.

  3. Discuss issues raised by SEP and reach agreement on the prime scientific objectives of each proposal.

  4. Develop drilling, logging and sampling programs for each proposal.