FS Maria S. Merian MSM 57-1: 29.07.-12.08.2016 (Reykjavik-Longyearbyen)
In the west of Spitsbergen, Vestnesa Ridge forms an elongated ridge which - because of its special position on the continental rise - is an important element within the continental margin, which is characterized by gas hydrates. Its situation direct in the north of Molloy transform fault and east of the Molloy Ridge, the shortest ridge segment of the Northatlantic spreading ridge, gives Vestnesa Ridge an exceptional position because of the possible hydrothermal influence of gas hydrate dynamics within the continental margin, whose dynamics shall be investigated by means of MeBo drillings. The crest area of the ridge in 1200-1300m water depth is characterized by fluid emissions and pockmarks. High resolution 3D seismic measurements in 2007 and 2010 clearly showed submarine ascension lines of fluid and gas emissions from the seafloor. The correlation of seismic signatures with MeBo drillings and their characteristics shall be compiled for a better interpretation of the total system in both 3D measuring areas.
Bathymetric map of Vestnesa Ridge showing the planned drilling locations.