Schmidt Ocean Institute research vessel Falkor is entering her first full year of oceanographic research cruises in 2013.  With four research projects planned, involving 6 cruise legs, 4 research teams, and 2 remotely operated vehicles operating across 2 oceans, 2013 promises to be a busy first year of science at sea for R/V Falkor and Schmidt Ocean Institute research collaborators in the United States and abroad.  

R/V Falkor 2013 scientific cruise program will include the following four research projects:

March 2013:  Imaging the K-T Impact Structure - Campeche Escarpment

An international team of researchers led by Dr. Charlie Paull from Monterey Bay Aquarium Research Institute will be working on R/V Falkor in the southern Gulf of Mexico studying the possible causes of the most dramatic and profound extinction event in the history of the Earth.  This cruise will support multibeam mapping of the seafloor at Campeche Escarpment to understand the consequences of a ~10 km diameter asteroid crashing into the Earth ~65 million years ago in the shallow water of what is now the Yucatan Peninsula of Mexico.  Read more... 

June 2013:  Hydrothermal Exploration of Mid-Cayman Rise with Nereus

Led by Dr. Chris German, an international team of scientists from WHOI, British Geological Survey, NASA Jet Propulsion Lab, and Marine Biological Laboratory will be working on R/V Falkor to investigate and explore Mid Cayman Rise.  Mid Cayman Rise is the Earth’s deepest and slowest spreading mid-ocean ridge that hosts diverse and remarkably abundant submarine venting phenomena with at least four separate sources of venting located along its ~110 km axis.  A broad range of oceanographic marine operations is planned in support of this project onboard R/V Falkor, including CTD casts, multibeam mapping, operations of HROV Nereus in ROV and AUV modes, and live video broadcast from the bottom of the ocean to the audiences worldwide through the satellite Internet connection. Read more...

August/September 2013:  Open Ocean to Inner Sea

A team of Canadian scientists from the University of Victoria, University of British Columbia, Memorial University of Newfoundland, and University du Québec à Rimouski will work on R/V Falkor under the leadership of Dr. S. Kim Juniper from the University of Victoria to investigate the dynamics of hypoxia on the west coast of Canada and its consequences for ocean life.  This cruise will support a program of coordinated usage of the VENUS and NEPTUNE Canada undersea cabled networks and other observing infrastructure to track potentially harmful intrusions of low-oxygen, corrosive (low pH), deep-ocean waters that upwell off the west coast of Vancouver Island, move landward, enter Juan de Fuca Strait at depth, and then spread through the Strait of Georgia and into adjacent basins, including Saanich Inlet.   Read more...

Sept./October 2013:  Subseafloor Microbial Ecosystems at Axial Seamount

R/V Falkor will operate near the summit of Axial Seamount (45° 56’N, 130° 0’W) with a team of scientists from the Marine Biological Laboratory, University of Washington, OSU, NOAA Pacific Marine Environmental Laboratory, University of Massachusetts, Amherst, and J.Craig Venter Institute onboard with the goal to investigate functional dynamics, interactions and biogeochemical Impact of chemolithoautotrophic subseafloor microbial ecosystems at Axial Seamount mid-ocean ridge cabled observatory.  The diverse research team led by Dr. Julie Huber from the Marine Biological Laboratory will investigate how the viral and microbial communities that live in the rocky outer layer of a submarine volcano interact and alter the flow of carbon and nutrients in the subseafloor crustal ecosystem.  ROV ROPOS will be utilized on R/V Falkor to support intensive instrument deployment and sample recovery operations during this cruise.  Read more...

Stay tuned for updates on our 2013 cruises on our web site, Google+, Facebook, YouTube, and Twitter.