Vøring Plateau
05.05.2012 - 27.05.2012
Chief scientist:
Christian Berndt

Large vent sites are a significant source for carbon entering the ocean. The aim of the project is to test different hypotheses about the formation and functioning of two exemplary sites on the Vøring Plateau in order to provide better constraints on the temporal and spatial variations of carbon release. This will aid biogeochemical modelling, assessment of the impact on benthic ecosystems and provide further information on the geological processes in the deep parts of sedimentary basins. The two structures have very different origins. The first site is a gas blow-out pipe in the Nyegga gas hydrate province. For this site seismic data already exist and the scientists onboard RV METEOR will acquire additional controlled source electromagnetic data to quantify the amount of hydrocarbons in the shallow subsurface and to infer the distribution of hydrates. This will improve the knowledge about how gas is migrating through the gas hydrate stability zone. The second site is a large vent on the Gjallar Ridge, which initiated as a break-up related hydrothermal system. Although it is the biggest known seep in the North Atlantic it has not been studied so far. The aims of the cruise are to determine if this site can serve as a window to the geological processes active in the deep part of the basin and to understand why this system is still active whereas most other break-up related hydrothermal systems have shut down in the Early Eocene 55 million years ago.