Chief scientist : Yves Fouquet (Ifremer - REM/GM/LCG)
Co-chief scientists : Ewan Pelleter, Cécile Cathalot (Ifremer - REM/GM/LCG)
Partners : Ifremer - LCG, CTDI, LEP, LMEE ; GENAVIR ; UBO-Lemar ; UBO-LGO ; CNRS ; GEOTRACES ; University of Tasmania-IMAS ; University of Liverpool
Location : Mid-Atlantic Ridge 21-26° N
Dates : 15 March to 28 April 2017
Oceanographic Vessel : R/V Pourquoi Pas ?
Objectives : The main objective of the HERMINE expedition (Hydrothermal Exploration and Research for Mineralisation In New Environments) is to explore for seafloor massive sulphide deposits along the Mid-Atlantic Ridge between 21 and 26°N.
These mineralizations form, on the seafloor, sulphide mounds with active chimneys (known as “black smokers”) focusing mineralizing hydrothermal fluids at active venting sites, but also older inactive mounds when hydrothermal activity has ceased, found in greater quantities near active sites. The polymetallic sulphide mineralizations are of great scientific interest and constitute a potential resource for the supply of strategic metals. Active venting sites like TAG or Snake Pit located along this Mid-Ocean Ridge are well known and have been extensively studied by the scientific community, especially for their biological diversity.
Nearly 10 000 km² will be explored within the exploration licence. The multibeam echosounder, the Nautile, hydrocast-CTD probes and dredges will be deployed to depths of 4000 m to explore, locate and study both active and fossilized hydrothermal sites and hydrothermal plumes around the TAG site.