May 7, 2013
In an effort to study a variety of marine organisms which live and have evolved in extreme environments, the Japan Agency for Marine-Earth Science and Technology (JAMSTEC), led by President Asahiko Taira, has begun a project called QUELLE2013 in January 2013, using the manned research submersible SHINKAI 6500 and its support vessel YOKOSUKA. QUELLE2013 is a scientific voyage for global-scale surveys and research on ecosystems in hydrothermal vent areas and other unique and extreme environments in the Indian, Atlantic and Pacific oceans.
1. Objectives of surveys at Rio Grande Rise and Sao Paulo Ridge off Brazil
This project is part of JAMSTEC’s comprehensive studies on chemosynthetic and other marine organisms living in the deep sea, below the sea floor, and in other extreme environments as well as such extreme environments themselves. The objectives of this project are to conduct field surveys on unique marine environments shaped by vast submarine topography and organisms living in such environments, and to find out exactly what is going on, unravel the correlation between organisms and their habitats, and learn how such unique environments were created. The unique marine environments include over-5,000-meter-high extremely-steep topography, a complex environment where deep-sea currents meet from both the Antarctic and the North Atlantic oceans, and areas with outcrops of mantle-derived rocks.
SHINKAI 6500 dived in the South Atlantic Ocean for the first time.
(1)Southern slopes of the Sao Paulo Ridge at depths of 2,600 to 4,200 meters
Period: April 23 to 28, 2013
ii. Survey on depth distribution of organisms
(2)Surveys in Rio Grande Rise at depths of 650 to 1,200 meters
Period: April 22, and April 30 to May 2, 2013
ii. Survey on biological communities in various habitats
The surveys off Brazil have been carried out jointly with CPRM (Companhia de Pesquisa de Recursos Minerais), the Institute of Oceanography at the University of São Paulo, and PETROBRAS
* Research results will be released after compiling a report.
|May 6 to 8||YOKOSUKA and SHINKAI 6500 are open to the public in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil.|
|May 11 to 22||Surveys are conducted at the Sao Paulo Plateau off Brazil.|
|May 25 to 27||YOKOSUKA and SHINKAI 6500 are open to the public in Santos, Brazil.
A symposium and other events are held in Sao Paulo, Brazil.
|Mid-June to early-July||Surveys are conducted near the Cayman Islands, a British territory in the Caribbean Sea.|
|* The above schedules are subject to change due to weather, work progress or other conditions.|
*1 Rio Grande Rise is an area of uplifted seafloor off Brazil with a flat summit some 1,000 meters below sea level. There is an over 5,000-meter high vertical cliff at the center of the rise.
*2 Sao Paulo Ridge is also an area of uplifted seafloor, the slopes of which are steeper than the Rio Grande Rise. It also has a 1,700-meter high steep cliff extending from 2,500 to 4,200 meters below sea level.