Research expeditions

At any one time NOC scientists and technicians 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 Location Duration in days (begins) Aim
JC102 Christine Peirce

Mid-Atlantic Ridge



April 2014


 Role and Extent of Detachment Faulting at slow-spreading mid-ocean ridge

This research experiment is the first of two legs. The second leg will also take place on the RRS James Cook in October. 

The objectives of this Mid Atlantic Ridge cruise 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. 

Data will be collected by carrying out the first, combined wide-angle and reflection seismic and micro-seismicity study of, and between, actively forming OCCs, and couple this with high-resolution, near-seabed magnetic and micro-bathymetry imaging to determine spreading history.

RRS Discovery

Cruise Principal Scientist Location Duration in days (begins) Aim

Dr. Henry Ruhl

Celtic Sea


March 2014

Shelf Sea Biogeochemistry  (WP2/WP3)

This is the first of five expeditions funded under the Shelf Sea Biogeochemistry research programme onboard RRS Discovery.

The programme aims to reduce the uncertainty in our understanding of nutrient and carbon cycling within the shelf seas, and of their overall role in global biogeochemical cycles.  

This expedition is part of work package 2 (Biogeochemistry, macronutrient and carbon cycling in the benthic layer (BMCC)) and work package 3 (The Supply of Iron from Shelf Sediments to the Ocean).  

This activity will include the deployment of lander systems, a benthic flume, Autosub6000, trawl systems, CTD rosettes, wire deployed sensors, and coring devices.


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:     15-04-14  12:00

Zone:    UTC

Subj:     PIM DY008


 Posn: Berth 26/27 Empress Dock Southampton.

 Wx: Sheltered waters.

 Status: DeMob continues.

Intentions: Routine work.



W. Richardson



DTG: 150414 07:00L

Zone: UTC -3

Cruise: JC102

Subject: PIM


Pos: 12 16.7N 050 07.4W

Co: 257T

Spd: 10.8Kts


WX: ENE x 10Kts, Slt sea and swell, fine and Clear.

Status:  On Passage to Port of Spain, Trinidad.

Intentions:  Continue with passage to Port of Spain, ETA 18/0800L




John A Leask


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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The outputs of research generate new knowledge about the oceans. Transferring scientific knowledge to support business and industry is an important part of our NOC remit.



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Principal scientists

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