RV METEOR Fahrtbericht / Cruise Report M127 Metal fluxes and Resource Potential at the Slow-spreading TAG Midocean Ridge Segment (26°N, MAR) – Blue Mining@Sea, Bridgetown (Barbados) – Ponta Delgada (Portugal), 25.05.-28.06.2016 (Extended Version).

Petersen, Sven, ed. and Shipboard Scientific Party (2016) RV METEOR Fahrtbericht / Cruise Report M127 Metal fluxes and Resource Potential at the Slow-spreading TAG Midocean Ridge Segment (26°N, MAR) – Blue Mining@Sea, Bridgetown (Barbados) – Ponta Delgada (Portugal), 25.05.-28.06.2016 (Extended Version). Open Access . GEOMAR Report, N. Ser. 032 . GEOMAR Helmholtz-Zentrum für Ozeanforschung Kiel, Kiel, 87, 69 pp. DOI 10.3289/GEOMAR_REP_NS_32_2016.

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Abstract

Cruise M127 is an integral part of the EU-FP7 project “Blue Mining: Breakthrough Solutions for
the Sustainable Deep Sea Mining Value Chain” and is addressing research questions regarding
the nature and resource potential of marine minerals, especially seafloor massive sulfides (SMS)
along mid-ocean ridges. The cruise left from Bridgetown (Barbados) in the evening of May 25th
and reached the working area at 26°N on the Mid-Atlantic Ridge on May 30th (Fig.1.1). One of
the main tasks during the cruise was mapping of the TAG segment (26°N) in various resolutions.
This included ship-based multibeam mapping over the entire length of the ridge segment as well
as high-resolution mapping using an autonomous underwater vehicle (AUV) flying close to the
seafloor (40-100 m altitude).
The ship-based multibeam mapped along 710 nautical miles of profile lines covering
approximately 7,000 km2 in the working area. Another 1,800 nautical miles of lines were mapped
on the transit from Barbados to the working area and from there back to the Azores. The AUV
was used on 19 missions, usually with survey times close to the seafloor of between 10 and 12
hours. Most dives provided maps with a resolution of 2 m and collected a number of other
parameters with its sensors at the same time. Two dives were devoted to mapping points of
interest in 50 cm resolution.
Seismic work, as the 2nd important part of the cruise, included refraction and reflection
seismics with airgun shots and multichannel seismic streamer records being compiled along 49
profiles on 8 survey runs (230 nautical miles in total length). Additionally, 22 ocean bottom
seismometers (OBS) and 9 ocean bottom hydrophones (OBH) deployments were undertaken. The
seismic work was hampered by problems with the compressor, for which the oil could not be cold
enough at the beginning. This was later solved with the help of the ships crew. Deep-towed
streamer work could also not be performed because of continued problems with the streamer that
could not be resolved on board. A series of 6 ocean bottom electro-magnetic stations (OBEM)
were deployed as preparation for the up-coming RRS James Cook cruise, which is also part of the
Blue Mining project.
A modular towed instrument platform (HYBIS) was used to deploy 10 of the (OBS) to the
seafloor with high precision. Since this platform has built-in cameras and can be equipped with a
sampling module we used this instrument later in the cruise to further visually inspect the
seafloor and select locations for sampling.
The final instrument being used was a short (3m) gravity corer for sediment sampling. In the
course of the cruise 35 stations were attempted of which 22 stations successfully retrieved
sediment for some of which ship-board analyses showed very high concentrations of copper.
Rock fragments were recovered in 9 stations indicating the volcanic nature of those sampling
stations. At the end of the cruise all Ocean Bottom Seismometers (OBS) were recovered. Only
the six OBEM were intentionally left behind.
Station work in the working area ended on 20:30 LT on June 23rd when the 5 day transit to
Ponta Delgada was started. During the transits from and to the working area 3 ARGO floats were
deployed and the ship-based multibeam and the 75-kHz ADCP collected data in international
waters. The cruise ended 09:00 LT of June 28th with docking in Ponta Delgada.
Overall on 1/3 of the cruise was used for the transit and 2/3 for stations work and transits
within the working area (Fig. 1.2). Most of station time was devoted to geophysical work
including seismic profiling and the deployment and recovery of the instruments.

Document Type: Report (Cruise Report)
Funder compliance: info:eu-repo/grantAgreement/EC/FP7/604500
Keywords: RV Meteor, Cruise report, M127, TAG Midocean Ridge Segment, Blue Mining, AUV Abyss
Research affiliation: OceanRep > GEOMAR > FB4 Dynamics of the Ocean Floor > FB4-MUHS Magmatic and Hydrothermal Systems > Marine Mineralische Rohstoffe
OceanRep > GEOMAR > FB4 Dynamics of the Ocean Floor > FB4-MUHS Magmatic and Hydrothermal Systems
DOI etc.: 10.3289/GEOMAR_REP_NS_32_2016
ISSN: 2193-8113
Related URLs:
Projects: Blue Mining
Expeditions/Models/Experiments:
Date Deposited: 18 Nov 2016 13:26
Last Modified: 22 Sep 2017 08:39
URI: http://oceanrep.geomar.de/id/eprint/34777

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