Research expeditions

At any one time scientists and technicians from the UK community can be at sea on numerous vessels. Discover where they are and what they are trying to achieve.

Latest expedition

RRS James Cook

Cruise Principal Scientist & Institution Location Duration in days (begins) Aim

Tim Reston

University of Birmingham

Mid Atlantic 




January 2016

Role and Extent of Detachment Faulting at slow-spreading mid-ocean ridge
The objectives of JC132 are to acquire the necessary geophysical data to test the very different, often contrasting, hypotheses for the spatial and temporal evolution of oceanic core complexes (OCC's). These were believed to be the unroofed plutonic and partially serpentinized mantle footwalls of large-offset normal "detachment" faults, structures apparently responsible for accommodating a significant proportion of the plate separation.  Following the passive recording of microearthquakes from the active faults using 25 ocean bottom seismographs (OBS) deployed on JC102 and recovered on JC109, the primary objective of JC132 is to collect active source geophysical data (multichannel seismic reflection (MCS) profiles and wide-angle data using OBS) across, between and around oceanic core complexes in the vicinity of 13° 20 ́N on the Mid-Atlantic Ridge.  At the same time, high-resolution, near-seabed magnetic and micro-bathymetry imaging will determine spreading history. 
It is also hoped that gravity and swath bathymetry data will also be acquired port to port.
Further information can be found here

RRS Discovery

Cruise Principal Scientist & Institution Location Duration in days (begins) Aim
DY065 Repair ESLPA - ESLPA


February 2016


It is planned to stop the vessel on completion of science after DY040 to undertake the following:

  • Extension of the scientific winch control cab, this includes the fitting of a new control chair from which all future winch operations will be conducted.
  • Completion of improved sound proofing/habitability to all Officers cabins and scientific berths not achieved during last Septembers docking.
  • Preparations for the installation of an additional fuel oil separator due for delivery in March, this will provide redundancy for a vessel critical system.
  • Strengthening of the deck in way of the vessels fast rescue boat to eliminate flexing of the deck during launch and recovery.


Ship position

This map shows the positions of the NOC operated vessels RRS Discovery and RRS James Cook.  While every effort is made to keep this map up to date sometimes postion updates are not possible.

Update from the ship (PIM)


DTG:  050216  12:00

Zone: Z

Subj: PIM


Pos: SST North Quay, Astican, Las Palmas

Wx: NNE force 2. Fine and clear. Sheltered waters.


Status: Vessel in Astican Shipyard for repair/maintenance/modification period.

Intentions: Continue with refit work.


Fuel ROB: 400t


Cruise ID: JC132
DTG: 090216 0800
Time Zone: GMT-3

Position: 13° 21'N 044° 51'W
Course: DP
Speed: DP
Wind: ENE 20kts
Sea: Mod sea and swell
Status: Recovering OBS
Intentions: Continue with OBS recoveries. Recover Autosub on completion of mission

Other expeditions


Learn about the research expeditions that are taking place upon the NOC based research vessels during 2014. Read more about 2014's expeditions


Learn about the research expeditions that are taking place upon the NOC based research vessels during 2013. Read more about 2013's expeditions


Learn about the research expeditions that took place upon the NOC based research vessels during 2012. Read more about 2012's expeditions

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Principal scientists

All updated information for cruise participants can be found using the Marine Facilities Planning website: