2012 Cruises

2012 Cruise Map

Cruise ID
Principal Investigators
Archived Field Data
Processed Seismic Data
Collaborative Research: Mantle serpentinization and water cycling through the Mariana trench and forearc
Douglas Wiens (WUSTL)
01 Feb - 02 March
Collaborative Research: Mantle serpentinization and water cycling through the Mariana trench and forearc
Douglas Wiens (WUSTL)
03 -22 March
Yes (with MGL1204)
 Yes (with MGL1204)
Collaborative Research: Geophysical Constraints on Mechanisms of Ocean Plateau Formation from Shatsky Rise, Northwest Pacific
Jun Korenaga (Yale)
23 March - 17 April
Collaborative Research: Coring the Line Islands Ridge for Paleoceanographic Research
Jean Lynch-Stieglitz (GaTech)
01 -28 May
Collaborative Research: Evolution and hydration of the Juan de Fuca crust and uppermost mantle: a plate-scale seismic investigation from ridge to trench.
Suzanne Carbotte (LDEO)
10 Jun - 09 July
Collaborative Research: A Short, Open-Access 2D MCS Acquisition Program off Washington State
Steve Holbrook (UWYO)
10 - 24 July
NOAA-VENTS-NeMO Research Program on Undersea Hydrothermal Venting Systems
David Butterfield (UW)
12 - 27 August
 Not Applicable


This project will utilize active- and passive source seismic techniques, using short period and broad band OBSs, respectively, in the Mariana forearc, trench, and outer rise, in order to image the distribution of upper mantle serpentinization. This study will address a central question regarding the importance of serpentinite for understanding subduction zones. The research will quantify the flux of water subducted by upper-mantle serpentinite, and explore the relationships between serpentinization and seismicity in the outer forearc and outer rise.  More information.
Shatsky Rise in the northwest Pacific is one of the gigantic oceanic plateaus, and has been chosen as a top-priority target given its unique tectonic setting such as the formation on the ridge-ridge-ridge triple junction during frequent magnetic polarity reversals. In the summer of 2010, a combined 2D MCS/OBS survey was conducted with R/V Marcus Langseth, and the OBS seismic refraction experiment was completed in full. About one third of the planned MCS reflection lines were, however, left for a future cruise, because the cruise was disrupted twice by medical diversions, each of which took about a week owing to the remoteness of the study area.  More information.
An upcoming research expedition on the Lamont-Doherty Earth Observatory research vessel Marcus G. Langseth will map and sample sediments along the Line Islands in the central equatorial Pacific. The expedition, led by Jean Lynch-Stieglitz (Georgia Tech) and Pratigya Polissar (LDEO) will recover surface and long piston cores that will provide sediment material to study the past changes in the marine Intertropical Convergence Zone (ITCZ) as well as the behavior of El-Nino Southern Oscillation (ENSO).  More information.
Subduction zones, where two tectonic plates collide, produce some the world's most devastating earthquakes and tsunamis, volcanic eruptions, and landslides. As one tectonic plate descends beneath the other, water stored within the descending plate is released and is believed to play an important role in these subduction-related phenomena. Despite the importance of water bound in oceanic plates for subduction processes, little is known about the extent and distribution of hydration, and how the state of hydration of the descending slab contributes to earthquake hazards and formation of arc volcanism at different subduction zones.  More information.
A scientific team of 20 scientists sailed aboard the R/V Langseth, acquiring seismic images of the Cascadia subduction zone.  Through their work they hope to provide new insights on the position and structure of the plate boundary between the downgoing Juan de Fuca plate and the overlying North American plate.  This plate boundary is unusually enigmatic, because it produces fewer regular earthquakes than most subduction zones.  Tsunami and paleoseismic data suggest that this subduction zone is capable of generating earthquakes up to magnitude ~9, so understanding the position and morphology of the plate boundary is important for obvious reasons.  Additionally, the seismic images show the mechanical structure and fluid pathways in the subduction system – all of which provides important information on seismic hazards and subduction processes. 
What’s unique about this project: (1) cruise participants were selected from open applications, and (2) both the raw and processed data produced were immediately publicly released, so that anyone can use the data.  The shipboard science team consisted of three of the Primary Investigators (PIs), plus 17 students, postdocs, and young faculty. The 17 participants were from 14 different organizations (12 universities and two different USGS offices): 13 graduate students, 2 postdocs, and 5 faculty.  More information. 

1216  Axial Volcano Investigation

This cruise is a combination of several programs and multiple PIs funded by NSF, NOAA, and the Gordon and Betty Moore Foundation. David Butterfield of the University of Washington and NOAA Pacific Marine Environmental Lab is in charge of the chemistry and microbiology work at Axial Seamount, with dives funded by NOAA to support the NeMO long-term observatory at Axial Seamount. Axial Seamount erupted in 1998 and 2011. The project began in 1998 and has involved submersible operations in nearly every year since then. Monitoring instruments including geophysical sensors (hydrophones, bottom pressure and tilt recorders), temperature sensors, and chemical sampling instruments have been deployed and maintained over many years. NeMO and associated projects are collecting data to understand how hydrothermal ecosystems on undersea volcanoes evolve with volcanic eruption cycles.  More information.