2019 Cruises

Direct access to the 2019 marine cruises, by clicking below:

Marine expedition MD223 - MAYOBS4

Expedition leaders: Nathalie Feuillet (IPGP-Tectonique et mécanique de la lithosphère) et Yves Fouquet (Ifremer/Laboratoire Cycles Géochimiques et ressources)

CollaborationsBRGMIfremer, IPGP, Université de Clermont Auvergne, Université de La Réunion

Position: Indien Ocean, East of Mayotte

Dates: 19 July - 4 August 

Research vesselR/V Marion Dufresne

Equipments: AUV IdefX ; Submersible Camera Scampi, Rock dredges, CTD-rosette, ISMS, Multibeam echosounders 

Objectives :

  1. Map the volcanic ridge between the volcano and the seismic zone;
  2. Detect and identify different types of fluid emissions: volcanic and/or hydrothermal plumes;
  3. Monitor the evolution and growth of the new volcano;
  4. Provide local geological context.

For more information on the MAYOBS4 cruise, please visit the following sites:

Access to the French Oceanographic Cruises Catalogue : marine expedition MAYOBS4

Marine expedition MD222 - MAYOBS3

Expedition leader: Isabelle Thinon (BRGM)


Position: Indien Ocean, East of Mayotte

Dates: 13-14 July

Research vessel: R/V Marion Dufresne

Objectives : Recover the eight deployed Ocean Bottom Seismometers to clarify the evolution of the position and depth of earthquakes.

For more information on the MAYOBS3 cruise, please visit the following sites:

Access to the French Oceanographic Cruises Catalogue : marine expedition MAYOBS3

Marine expedition MD221 – MAYOBS2

Expedition leaderStéphan Jorry (Ifremer/Laboratoire Géodynamique et enregistrements Sédimentaires)


Position: Indien Ocean, East of Mayotte

Dates: 11-17 June

Research vesselR/V Marion Dufresne

Equipments: Multibeam echosounders (EM122 and EM710), Single beam echosounder (EK80), Sub-bottom profiler (SBP120), Gravimeter, Magnetometer, Rock dredgesOcean Bottom Seismometer


  1. Recover the OBS and micrOBS deployed in May; recover data and according to results, redeployment of the OBS network to monitor seismicity.
  2. Bathymetric surveys to detect any changes in the undersea relief since last May.
  3. Water column data acquisitions on newly developed landforms to confirm fluid outflows in the area.
  4. Complete the knowledge on magmatism type in Mayotte with rock dredging.

For more information on the MAYOBS2 cruise, please visit the following sites:

Access to the French Oceanographic Cruises Catalogue : marine expedition MAYOBS2

Marine expedition MD220 – MAYOBS1

Expedition leadersNathalie Feuillet (IPGP-Tectonique et mécanique de la lithosphère) and Stéphan Jorry (Ifremer/Laboratoire Géodynamique et enregistrements Sédimentaires)

CollaborationsBRGM, CNRS, IGN, IPGP

Position: Indien Ocean, East of Mayotte

Dates: 2-18 May

Research vesselR/V Marion Dufresne

Equipments: Multibeam echosounders  (EM122 and EM710), Sub-bottom profiler (SBP120), Rock dredges, Ocean Bottom Seismometer

Objectives :

  1. Recover the OBS deployed in February by INSU; data analysis on-board in order to locate the earthquakes more finely and depending on the results, redeployment of OBS to a more restricted area in association with Ifremer micrOBS;
  2. Acquire bathymetry and sediment sounder data, gravimetry and magnetism data in line with seismic events to better understand the context of the crisis.
  3. Image the water column using the multi-beam sounder to detect possible fluid outflows.
  4. Conduct rock dredging on recent or old volcanic effusion to study lava composition.

For more information on the MAYOBS1 cruise, please visit the following sites:

Access to the French Oceanographic Cruises Catalogue : marine expedition MAYOBS1

Marine expedition PEPITE - Paléo-Ecologie et Paléo-envIronnement du maërl en BreTagne à l'holocènE

Expedition leader: Axel Ehrhold (Ifremer/REM/GM/LGS)

CollaborationsUBO/IUEM, CNRS, Université de La Corogne

Contribution Ifremer/Laboratories LGS – CTDI – Pelagos

Position: Belle-Île, Trévignon, Morlaix

Dates: leg 1 : 31 March-15 April ; leg 2 : 15 May-31 May

Research vessel: leg 1: R/V Haliotis; leg 2: R/V Thalia

Equipments: bathymetry, seismic imaging and rock cores (interface corers, gravity corer Kullenberg)

Video : ""Le maërl : écosystème marin fragile et protégé" (12'43")

Objectives: This multidisciplinary project aims to understand the evolution of fossilized maërl in coastal sediments as a marker of the climatic and anthropogenic fluctuations that have affected the Breton coast since the Iron Age.

Maërl is an accumulation on a few centimetres to several meters thick of red limestone algae living in soft-bottom shallow coastal zones. This protected species is a true reservoir of biodiversity and a nursery and recruitment area for many commercially exploited species (scallops, scallops, flat oysters, young bars, etc.).

Little work has been done on the fossil deposits of maerl still preserved in sediments, particularly as a paleo-climatic archive.

The originality of maërl as a paleo-environmental marker is multiple:

  1. it constitutes an ecological and sedimentary signal registered at the scale of the armoricain domain;
  2. it is contemporary with the anthropization of coasts and watersheds;
  3. its sensitivity to repeated increases in turbidity in the environment is an excellent marker of sediment flows from the watershed and/or wave or human remobilization of coastal sediments;
  4. Finally, once fossilized by the silted sediments, it “traps” past biodiversity that can be examined with regard to the current ecosystem to measure its degree of evolution.

The expected results are the following:

  • create a chrono-stratigraphic framework for the establishment and disappearance of maërl colonies;
  • identify the constituent species of primary maerl and more recent sea-bottom colonization sequences;
  • Understand the dynamics of environmental change over several thousand years, by reading possible paleo-climatic, paleo-ecological and anthropogenic correlations between sites.
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Marine expedition ENVRI METHANE

Pilot test for the development of a methodology for studying the outcome of methane from the seabed to the atmosphere.

The CTD-rosette or hydrocast ©HERMINE 2017, IfremerExpedition leader: Livio Ruffine (Ifremer/REM/GM/LCG)

Collaborations: Ifremer ; GeoEcoMar (Romania) ; IGE Grenoble ; UBO Brest ; Geomar (Germany) ; INGV (Italy) ; LCSE (UMR8212) Gif-sur-Yvette

Contribution Ifremer/Laboratory of Geochimical Cycles and ressources: D. Birot, J-P. Donval, T. Douillard, T. Giunta, V. Guyader, L. Ruffine

Position: Black sea

Dates: 1er to 9 April

Research vesselR/V Mare Nigrum

ObjectivesMethane is one of the most abundant reduced compounds on earth and a significant greenhouse gas. It is generated in the superficial sedimentary layer or escapes from deep thermogenic reservoirs, and is released in large quantities on the ocean floor at continental margins. The sedimentary and water columns play a formidable filter role and considerably limit the transfer of methane into the hydrosphere and the atmosphere. For example, of the ~500-600 million tons of methane released annually into the atmosphere, about 1-5% would come from ocean methane, particularly from geological sources. However, studies are limited both in number and in the geographic areas investigated and the effectiveness of these filters depends on many factors which are not yet well known. There is therefore a need to better assess these transfers to gain understanding of the processes involved and determine the consequences of climate change on these filters.This requires the development of a reliable protocol to quantify and assess the outcome of methane from the lithosphere to its transfer to the atmosphere.

The objective of the Envri Methane cruise is to develop and implement a protocol for the quantitative study of the contribution of ocean methane to the atmospheric budget over a restricted area in the Black Sea. This involves studying and quantifying the transfer processes from the lithosphere to the water column and then from the water column to the atmosphere. This protocol is based on a combination of expertise of European scientific teams: Ifremer (sedimentary column, water column, sediment/bottom water interface), LGE- Grenoble (water column), Geomar (water column), INGV (sediment/bottom water and surface water/atmosphere interfaces) and CEAL (atmosphere).

Access to the French Oceanographic Cruises catalogue: marine expedition ENVRI METHANE

Marine expedition CHUBACARC

Expedition leaders : Didier Jollivet et Stéphane Hourdez  (CNRS/ UMR 7144 - Station biologique de Roscoff)

Collaborations : IFREMER, CNRS, UPMC et Université de Lille 1

Contribution Ifremer/Laboratory of Geochimical Cycles and ressources : A. Boissier, C. Cathalot, Y. Djedjroh, E. Pelleter, E. Rinnert, O. Rouxel, C. Scalabrin

Position : Southwest Pacific

DatesLeg I : 25 March to 2 May 2019 ; Leg II : 6 May to 7 June 2019

Research vessel: R/V L’Atalante

Objectives: Population connectivity and the degree of variability of local biodiversity at the regional scale are important parameters of ecosystem management when subjected to the anthropogenic effect and, therefore, to their reasoned exploitation. In recent years, the deep hydrothermal ecosystem has been subject to a growing demand for permits/concessions for mining. This environment is therefore also the subject of studies aimed at better knowing the zero state of the communities inferred to this unstable and fragmented system to appreciate its resilience to disturbance.

The objective of the Chubacarc cruise is to gain understanding of the causes of partitioning hydrothermal biodiversity on the western Pacific rear-arc basins on a regional scale, whether they are ecological or related to the biological constraints specific to each species. More specifically, it is necessary to estimate the local and regional diversities of the deep hydrothermal communities of the basins-West Pacific arc and quantify their degree of exchange at the level of the different compartments of living ecosystems (microbes, microeukaryotes, animals).

Additionally, the recent opening of the rear-arc basins (between 2 and 5 Ma) and the wide range of dispersion of hydrothermal species offers the possibility of tracing the history of wildlife colonization by analysing the genetic structure of certain species complexes (e.g. symbiotic gastropods, bivalves, polychaetes).

The Chubacarc cruise therefore aims to characterize several hydrothermal systems located at the level of 4 distinct rear-arc basins:

  1. Manus (PacManus zone, Desmos and Solwara/North Su),
  2. Woodlarck (zone TVG 150),
  3. North-Fidji (Ivory Tower, Mussel Valley)
  4. Lau (Tu’i Malila, Kilo Moana), including the hydrothermal zone of Futuna located at the western extremity (Kulo Lasi and Fatu Kapa).

This scientific cruise is multidisciplinary, mixing several disciplines of the living (ecology, population biology, genetics) and geosciences (fluid and plume geochemistry, mineralization characterization and fine site mapping) with an exploratory portion at the Woodlark Ridge.

The project is divided into four main axes, the first dedicated to the mapping and study of hydrothermal emissions of the different basins, the second to the associated biodiversity, the third to connectivity between sites and basins and the last to study the particular adaptations of this fauna (e.g. symbioses).

Each axis brings together a series of complementary scientific projects and integrates them into a more complete analysis of hydrothermal communities to better understand their resilience to anthropogenic threats such as potential mining, including the one planned for Solwara 1 (active site located in the Manus basin). Various tools will be deployed during ROV Victor 6000 dives.

For more information, don't hesitate to check our website as well as the Facebook page  @chubacarc (produced by the Biology Station of Roscoff).

Access to the French Oceanographic Cruises Catalogue : marine expedition CHUBACARC