Resources

RRS Discovery DY094

Cruise summary report

Cruise Info. 
Ship name (ship code)RRS Discovery (74EQ)
Cruise identifierDY094
Cruise period2018-10-16 — 2018-11-09
StatusCompleted
Port of departureSantos, Brazil
Port of returnSantos, Brazil
PurposeResearch
ObjectivesOn the 20th October 2018 the Royal Research Ship (RRS) Discovery sailed to the Rio Grande Rise in the South Atlantic, 1400 km east of Brazil, to investigate cobalt-rich mineral deposits of interest to potential deep-sea mining.

The expedition used robotic vehicles, moored scientific instruments, and novel sampling methods to study the environment that deep-sea mineral deposits form in. Of special interest are crusts of iron and manganese that are rich in cobalt and other metals, critical to moder technology. Two of these in particular are critical to any future efforts for renewable energy: cobalt and tellurium. Cobalt is essential in rechargeable batteries that are needed if we are to move to electric vehicles. Tellurium is essential for high-efficiency solar-electric power generation. Although our work is focused on the potential of deep-sea mineral deposits and possible mining, the results could help reduce our dependence on environmentally damaging carbon-based energy.

Our aim was to study their geological evolution, over tens of millions of years, and the processes that affected the formation of these mineral deposits. Our team includes biologists that are studying the vulnerability of deep-sea fauna to disturbances that would arise if the sites were mined. The autonomous underwater vehicle (AUV) Autosub6000 was launched from RRS Discovery to map the Rio Grande Rise in extraordinary detail. Using high-resolution sidescan sonar, the seafloor was mapped with sufficient detail to see rocks and boulders a few tens of centimetres across. The AUV created black and white acoustic images of the seafloor showing where the mineral deposits are located. Once we mapped the area, high definition video cameras on the remotely operated vehicle HyBIS were used to explore, sample and photograph features on the seafloor, including a huge rift over 1000m deep, sinkholes and the ancient remains of beaches long since drowned.

This expedition was part of the Marine E-tech project, which is an international collaboration between the NOC, British Geological Survey (BGS), HR Wallingford, the UK Universities of Edinburgh, Bath and Leicester, and the Brazilian University of Sao Paulo, and is jointly funded by the governments of the UK and the State of Sao Paulo, Brazil.
Chief scientistBramley J Murton (National Oceanography Centre, Southampton)
Cruise reportRRS Discovery DY094 cruise report dy094.pdf (34.70 MB) 
Ocean/sea areas 
GeneralSouth West Atlantic Ocean (limit 20W)
SpecificRio Grande Rise
Track chartsRRS Discovery DY094 cruise track — dy094trk.pdf (0.65 MB) 
Measurements 
Geology and geophysics 
DredgeQuantity: number of samples = 1
Description: Fossil trilobite
DredgeQuantity: number of samples = 6
Description: Sediments from dredge bucket
DredgeQuantity: number of samples = 221
Description: Discrete geological samples of rock
DredgeQuantity: number of samples = 6
Description: Fossil sharks teeth
DredgeQuantity: number of samples = 143
Description: Discrete geological samples of ferromanganese crust
DredgeQuantity: number of samples = 296
Description: Discrete samples of biological origin
Bottom photographyQuantity: number of dives = 13
Description: HyBIS ROV dives
In-situ seafloor measurement/samplingQuantity: number of dives = 13
Description: HyBIS ROV dives
In-situ seafloor measurement/samplingQuantity: number of samples = 143
Description: Discrete geological samples of ferromanganese crust
In-situ seafloor measurement/samplingQuantity: number of samples = 221
Description: Discrete geological samples of rock
In-situ seafloor measurement/samplingQuantity: number of samples = 296
Description: Discrete samples of biological origin
Geophysical measurements made at depthQuantity: number of dives = 5
Description: AUV Autosub6000 missions
Multi-beam echosoundingQuantity: activity duration in hours = 384
Description: Multibeam echosounding
Moorings, landers, buoys 
Geology and geophysics 
Dredge29° 7' 54" S  35° 58' 42" W — Dredge on bottom Station 57, depth 666m
Dredge30° 59' 57" S  34° 4' 30" W — Dredge on bottom Station 53, depth 925m
Dredge29° 10' 31" S  34° 2' 12" W — Dredge on bottom Station 34, depth 927m
Dredge29° 9' 38" S  35° 59' 1" W — Dredge on bottom Station 56, depth 669m
Dredge29° 0' 18" S  34° 1' 23" W — Dredge on bottom Station 51, depth 761m
Dredge29° 7' 0" S  34° 1' 11" W — Dredge on bottom Station 47, depth 815m
Dredge29° 8' 25" S  35° 59' 44" W — Dredge on bottom Station 46, depth 690m
Dredge29° 11' 34" S  34° 2' 7" W — Dredge on bottom Station 35, depth 927m
Dredge29° 9' 45" S  34° 1' 45" W — Dredge on bottom Station 22, depth 851m
Dredge30° 59' 6" S  34° 3' 26" W — Dredge on bottom Station 52, depth 921m
Dredge29° 9' 54" S  34° 1' 47" W — Dredge on bottom Station 41, depth 682m
Dredge29° 9' 10" S  34° 15' 1" W — Glider recovery Station 18, depth 1529m
Dredge29° 19' 9" S  34° 19' 58" W — Dredge on bottom Station 68, depth 600m
Dredge29° 19' 3" S  34° 18' 31" W — Dredge on bottom Station 64, depth 697m
Dredge29° 18' 1" S  34° 18' 5" W — Dredge on bottom Station 63, depth 664m
Dredge29° 18' 20" S  34° 15' 56" W — Dredge on bottom Station 62, depth 697m
Dredge29° 18' 52" S  34° 15' 20" W — Dredge on bottom Station 12, depth 682m
Dredge29° 20' 28" S  34° 14' 21" W — Dredge on bottom Station 16, depth 703m
Dredge29° 21' 18" S  34° 15' 19" W — Dredge on bottom Station 17, depth 699m
Dredge29° 10' 43" S  34° 1' 53" W — Dredge on bottom Station 23, depth 797m
Dredge29° 11' 7" S  34° 1' 28" W — Dredge on bottom Station 24, depth 682m
Dredge29° 20' 12" S  34° 16' 30" W — Dredge on bottom Station 28, depth 632m
Core - soft bottom29° 14' 52" S  34° 8' 41" W — Gravity Core on bottom Station 3, depth 1459m
Core - soft bottom29° 13' 0" S  34° 11' 32" W — Gravity Core on bottom Station 4, depth 1459m
Core - soft bottom29° 13' 1" S  34° 5' 42" W — Gravity Core on bottom Station 5, depth 1430m
Core - soft bottom29° 15' 44" S  34° 2' 49" W — Gravity Core on bottom Station 42, depth 1407m
Core - soft bottom29° 15' 43" S  34° 2' 51" W — Gravity Core on bottom Station 43, depth 1402m
Bottom photography29° 2' 31" S  34° 5' 53" W — HyBIS Dive on bottom Station 39, depth 1410m
Bottom photography30° 59' 59" S  35° 44' 47" W — HyBIS Dive on bottom Station 45, depth 714m
Bottom photography30° 59' 33" S  34° 1' 58" W — HyBIS Dive on bottom Station 50, depth 873m
Bottom photography29° 0' 48" S  34° 3' 31" W — HyBIS Dive on bottom Station 40, depth 927m
Bottom photography29° 14' 36" S  34° 1' 7" W — HyBIS Dive on bottom Station 55, depth 1327m
Bottom photography29° 18' 28" S  34° 14' 37" W — HyBIS Dive on bottom Station 9, depth 965m
Bottom photography29° 14' 56" S  34° 8' 40" W — HyBIS Dive on bottom Station 1, depth 1457m
Bottom photography29° 10' 31" S  34° 2' 35" W — HyBIS Dive on bottom Station 33, depth 984m
Bottom photography29° 15' 45" S  34° 2' 50" W — HyBIS Dive on bottom Station 32, depth 1388m
Bottom photography29° 16' 58" S  34° 17' 31" W — HyBIS Dive on bottom Station 67, depth 671m
Bottom photography29° 18' 55" S  34° 14' 54" W — HyBIS Dive on bottom Station 61, depth 710m
Bottom photography29° 8' 45" S  34° 0' 13" W — HyBIS Dive on bottom Station 27, depth 684m
Bottom photography29° 9' 17" S  34° 2' 21" W — HyBIS Dive on bottom Station 1, depth 1152m
Bottom photography29° 19' 16" S  34° 16' 40" W — HyBIS Dive on bottom Station 14, depth 686m
Multi-beam echosounding29° 18' 7" S  34° 23' 7" W — Multibeam Survey end
Multi-beam echosounding29° 18' 7" S  34° 14' 4" W — Multibeam Survey start
Long/short range side scan sonar29° 16' 58" S  34° 16' 37" W — AUV deployment station 54
Long/short range side scan sonar29° 1' 28" S  35° 49' 9" W — AUV deployment station 44
Long/short range side scan sonar29° 19' 50" S  34° 17' 24" W — AUV deployment station 15
Long/short range side scan sonar29° 11' 24" S  35° 59' 43" W — AUV deployment station 25
Long/short range side scan sonar30° 58' 57" S  34° 3' 5" W — AUV deployment station 31
Magnetic measurements29° 1' 28" S  35° 49' 9" W — AUV deployment station 44
Magnetic measurements30° 58' 57" S  34° 3' 5" W — AUV deployment station 31
Magnetic measurements29° 16' 58" S  34° 16' 37" W — AUV deployment station 54
Magnetic measurements29° 19' 50" S  34° 17' 24" W — AUV deployment station 15
Magnetic measurements29° 11' 24" S  35° 59' 43" W — AUV deployment station 25