Blog Research Cruise 1 – M127


The Meteor cruise (M127) will start from Bridgetown (Barbados) on May 25th and will end in Ponta Degada (Azores, Portugal) on June 28th, 2016. Scientists and techniciants from GEOMAR (Kiel, Germany), FFCUL (Lisbon, Portugal), NOC (Southampton,UK), IFREMER (France), Memorial University (St. Johns, Kanada), and SIOSOA (Hangzhou, China) will participate in the cruise.

Technologies used include detailed high-resolution bathymetric mapping by an autonomous underwater vehicle (AUV) equipped with a variety of sensors for the detection of inactive SMS deposits, combined with 2D- and 3D-seismic observations and the ship-board investigation of surface sediments. This will allow us, for the first time, to address the segment-scale distribution of metals over time. Additionally, equipment for electromagnetic investigations that are to be performed during the follow-up cruise on the British RV James Cook in July/August 2016 will be deployed.

  • November 2016 – Cruise report

    When the crew left the ship more work had to be done on the official reporting of this cruise. This resulted in an Extended Cruise report by S. Petersen. The first 4 chapters (Summary, participants, Research program and the narrative of the cruise) can be found on the Blue  Mining website under tab: results or follow the link to the report

  • 2016.06.28-Seismics.

    Time for another blog! We are in the second half of this exciting cruise and so far we have been able to present you with a lot of information about what we have been doing to date. The AUV has been regularly bringing back fantastic high-resolution bathymetric data, magnetic data and self-potential data. After several (literal) sleepless nights of gravity coring we have obtained a number of good length cores of sediments as detailed in the last post, with further coring scheduled over the rest of the working time during the cruise. Read more

  • 2016.06.20 – all about the gravity coring!

    On June 1st, the first gravity core was recovered on the northern part of the hydrothermal area. We were all ready to discover what the seafloor may deliver, staring at the monitors showing the rope tension during the penetration of the core into the seabed, and keeping our breath when the coring device came back on board. The first core gave us just over one meter of spongy and sticky beige carbonate ooze. This is a promising start! <Read more>

  • 2016.06.03

    Here we are for the third post on the Blue Mining blog! Today is Friday 3rd of June, 10th day since Barbados. Time is flying, the horizon stays the same – blue ocean, blue sky – , days are busy and we lost the count of them. Fortunately we always know when Friday is, delicious fish on the menu! read more


  • 2016.05.31

    Welcome back to the Blue Mining blog series. We’ve now successfully completed the transit leg of our journey! We have been able to use these last couple of days of transit to complete test dives for both the Abyss AUV (autonomous underwater vehicle) and the HyBIS platform, and also deployed an ‘Argo’ buoy for the international ARGO network that monitors oceanographic data from drifting buoys all over the globe more

  • 2016.05.28 – Finally! The Blue Mining Cruise Blog! – First Entry!

    Welcome to this first instalment of the Blue Mining blog! Over the next couple of months we are aiming to keep all our avid readers up to date with our ongoing science, across both the RV Meteor (M127) and RRS James Cook (JC138) cruises associated with the EU-FP7 funded project “Blue Mining”. This first cruise, M127, is led by chief scientist Dr. Sven Petersen and co-chief scientist Dr. Jörg Bialas, (both GEOMAR) and is addressing research questions and technology development associated with work packages 1 (resource discovery) and 2 (resource assessment).

    Over the next few days we are planning to provide a bit more information regarding each of the working groups on board (sediment coring, geological mapping, seismology, meteorology), the technology they use (such as the autonomous underwater vehicle AUV Abyss), aims for the cruise and how they aim to achieve these aims. However we will start with some background information about the TAG hydrothermal field, and why this is of such interest to our project. (read more)

  • 2016.05.25 – Start of Research Cruise 1- M127

    Submarine massive sulfide deposits (SMS) are often seen as a possible future contribution to a secure metal supply for global human needs. Resource estimates, however, are lacking several of the fundamental answers that need to be addressed. There are currently several orders of magnitude between resources estimates based on observations at the seafloor and those based on metal fluxes.

    We need to understand how much of the metal that is released by high-temperature fluid convection over a given length of a ridge axis and over a specific geological time frame is actually deposited as massive sulfides. Additionally, exploration is currently mainly targeting young, active deposits due to the ease of identifying chemical and physical tracers of hydrothermal activity in the water column… (read more).