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6 november, OGS represented aboard German campaign to study mud volcanoes off Calabria

The German research vessel Meteor sailed today from Catania, on a 5 week campaign to study mud volcanoes and gas hydrates in the eastern Mediterranean Sea. The R/V Meteor M112 campaign will begin offshore Calabria, investigating mud volcanoes discovered by OGS in 2005 in the context of the EC projects HERMES (coordinated by Silvia Ceramicola) and HYDRAMED (coordinated by Daniel Praeg)).

OGS will be represented aboard by Daniel Praeg, who was a researcher with the institute from 2004-2014 and remains affiliated. With Daniel will be Flore Mary, a PhD student of the University of Pierre and Marie Curie (Paris VI) based at Géozur (Nice), who is undertaking a regional study of eastern Mediterranean mud volcanoes in collaboration with OGS.

The M112 campaign is led by Prof. Gerhard Bohrmann of MARUM, at the University of Bremen, with a primary aim of studying gas hydrates within mud volcanoes of the Anaximander Mountains south of Turkey. The ship has state-of-the-art equipment to investigate seabed fluid seeps: an Autonomous Underwater Vehicle (AUV SEAL) to acquire micro-bathymetric data; a Remotely Operated Vehicle (ROV QUEST) to observe and sample seabed sediments and ecosystems; an autoclave piston coring system (DAPC) to acquire and preserve samples of gas hydrates at ambient pressures.

The R/V Meteor has previously visited the mud volcanoes offshore Calabrian in 2006 during the HERMES project. OGS researcher Silvia Ceramicola was aboard to undertake ROV investigations of the Madonna dello Ionio mud volcanoes.

Images from the 2006 campaign and more information on mud volcanoes can be seen in a short EuroNews documentary made for the HERMES project at the following link.

The position of the R/V Meteor can be seen on this website.