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Introduction

Equipment on board

Cruise science

About the cruise...


Where are we?

The Carlsberg Ridge is situated in the northern Indian Ocean, between Africa and the Seychelle Islands. The map to the right shows the area as if the sea has been removed. Dark blue indicates deep sea areas, with shallower areas showing up as light blue. Land is green. You can see that the mid ocean ridge stands proud of the seafloor around it, and is cut by linear features known as transform faults. Click on the map to see a larger version.

The NERC research ship, RRS Charles Darwin (pictured below), will set sail from Port Victoria in the Seychelles on 18th July, and will return to the same port on August 7th. During the cruise, the ship will sail along the axis of the Carlsberg Ridge to allow scientists to take samples from different places on the ridge.

What are we doing here?

The aims of the cruise are to investigate the workings of the mid ocean ridge in this area. This part of the ridge system is known as the Carlsberg Ridge, but it has never been scientifically investigated. In fact, it is difficult to even know exactly where it is located because no-one has ever been to look for it before!

Mid ocean ridges are the place where new ocean crust is born. Molten rock (magma) from the mantle rises up to the surface, splitting the tectonic plates apart and spilling out along a huge crack, known as a mid ocean ridge. The Carlsberg Ridge is special because scientists are not sure where the magma is coming from. Bramley's team aboard RRS Charles Darwin think that it might be coming from one of two places: either from the melting of old mantle directly below the ridge, or from a plume of mantle material rising under the Afar Rift in east Africa. Studying the Carlsberg Ridge will contribute towards our understanding of plate tectonics, and the break-up of continental masses in particular. To find out more about the science on board Charles Darwin, visit our cruise science page.


RRS Charles Darwin

RRS Charles Darwin is a specialised research vessel, specifically adapted for carrying out geological, geophysical, biological and oceanographic investigations. The ship is owned by the Natural Environment Research Council (NERC), and carries its own crew who are responsible for the day to day running of the ship. In addition, the ship has space for up to 18 scientific and technical staff. The ship is specially adapted for lowering equipment over the side and rear - the large A-frame at the back of the ship is used for raising and lowering large, heavy equipment into the sea.



Also in this section...

Equipment on board

Cruise science



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