18th Training-through-Research Cruise

ttr 18 map

The 18th cruise of UNESCOIOC TrainingthroughResearch Programme focused on some outstanding problems in the field of modern geological and geochemical processes in the Arctic region. One of the principle scientific targets of the cruise was to find, map and study seepage structures (e.g. pockmarks), and to evaluate neotectonic activity in the Arctic region.


The principal area of interest was located at the south Central Barents Sea and included a southern part of the earlier disputed territory (“grey zone”). The Floating University was the first who brought research vessel in this area after signing the RussianNorwegian maritime border agreement. That is reflected on the official logo of the TTR18 cruise where two countries are merged by Floating University international slogan – Training Through Research.


The investigation started with mapping and sampling of seafloor salt dipiric domes in the western part of the study area. Very extensive set of data, combining bathymetric and acoustic investigations, video observations of the seafloor and bottom sampling of recent sediments and ancient hard rocks from caprock of the diapirs were obtained. During the transit between the Norwegian and Russian sector an impressive underwater channel system was discovered. Further studies were conducted at the Fedynskii High characterized by Cenozoic erosion amplitude, and fluid seepage. In the area above the North Kildin gas field a geochemical mapping of subsurface sediments was performed in order to understand how significant could be gas emanation above the proven gas accumulations. Finally mapping and sampling was done in a high-density pockmarks region at the very east of the study area.

                               Scientific highlights of the TTR18 cruise


the high resolution mapping of the areas where Permian salts form domelike structures on the seafloor;

the first bottom sampling of the sites of fluid discharge along salt diapir flanks;

the first collection of species representing benthic community around the salt diapirs outcropping on the seafloor;

the first collection of the fragments of Palaeozoic and Mesozoic rocks captured from deeply buried strata and brought to the surface by salt diapirs in the Central Barents Sea;

the estimation of recent “growing” activity of the salt diapirs in the study area;

the discovery and high resolution mapping of an underwater channelvalley system;

the first collection of species representing benthic community within the underwater channelvalley system;

the set of high resolution seismic profiles to estimate the Cenosoic erosion character and amplitude;

the geochemical mapping of subsurface sediments in the area of the North Kil’din gas field to characterize gas emanation into seawater and atmosphere.


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cruise summary