DeepInsight23 research expedition back on shore
We have just welcomed back the DeepInsight23 research expedition to shore after a fruitful, exciting, and productive voyage!
After almost 30 days at sea, we are happy to report a successful demobilization of all equipment with diverse geological and biological samples safely transported to labs around the country for the next steps of analysis and interpretation. The data collected on the research expedition will be utilized for different purposes to better understand the entire value chain of deep sea minerals.
Expedition leader Rolf-Birger Pedersen (UiB) says “We see that data collected through DeepInsight23 will provide a unique subsurface understanding previously unattainable along the Mohns Ridge. We will now take the samples and data back to the lab for further analysis.’
The DeepInsight23 research expedition was dedicated to both testing equipment and methodologies and demonstrating industry-academic cooperation and parallel operations to best leverage at-sea opportunities. The expedition’s geologic goal was to provide a better understanding of fault systems, with a research focus on intersecting zones of fault-controlled fluid flow to study deep water-rock interaction. This data will increase the knowledge of the fundamental processes behind the formation and development of hydrothermal systems on the Norwegian continental shelf, and the ecosystems associated with this. This is key knowledge for establishing more efficient exploration models for the identification of sulphide deposits.
Alden Denny (Adepth Minerals) ‘This expedition proved our ability to balance multiple challenging operations executed in a dynamic sea-state environment and come back to shore with a trove of data including invaluable geological and biological samples, hydroacoustic observations, and persistent one-year deployment seafloor observatories.’
The expedition’s biological data collection will also provide a broader database for researchers to understand the environment in the deep sea and what consequences a future extraction of seabed minerals could have on the ecosystem. Increased knowledge about environmental and mineral resources is central to knowledge-based management and utilization of the resources in the deep sea and will bring great value to society.
Jon Hestetun (NORCE): “Through the expedition, we have obtained samples from fauna from previously biologically unknown territory along the Mohns Ridge, which will give important insight into the environment along the Ridge.”
The research cruise was successful in collecting a multitude of different data-categories, partly in parallel operations, by application of the “Exploration Toolbox” concept. The Exploration Toolbox is a set of sensors and sampling equipment, including the FlexiCore, Geophones, Hydrophones, chemical sensors, sediment traps, push-corers and more – that enables efficient data collection across different qualitative axes. The Exploration Toolbox will eventually constitute a predefined scheme for data collection – allowing for standardized exploration of different prospects and locales. As such, the Exploration Toolbox will afford comparable datasets across different areas for establishing baselines and for evaluating prospectivity.