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  • The previous BGR-cruises with RV AURELIA in 2003 and 2004 and RV HEINCKE in 2005 and RV ALKOR in 2006 were designed to collect a grid of seismic MCS-data which should enable us to get a high-resolution overview over the upper 1-2 s TWT of the sediments of the German North Sea sector. The data format is Society of Exploration Geophysicists SEG Y. The aim of this cruise was a detailed survey in the north westernmost area of the German EEZ (exclusive economic zone), the so-called ‘Entenschnabel’ and additionally a mapping of special glacial structures off Sylt Island. The cruise was subdivided into two Legs. One outreaching additional aim was to extend the results from the previous cruises for the Late Tertiary and Quaternary sedimentary evolution into the ‘Entenschnabel’-area which was virtually unexplored by systematic shallow high-resolution seismics. During Leg 1 the BGR high-resolution multichannel seismic reflection system consisting of a GI-Gun (0.8 l) and a 500 m streamer with 36 channels and a shallow swath bathymetric system, type SIMRAD EM1200 by Kongsberg, Bergen, Norway were used. While the BGR-seismic system was used to observe the shallow subsurface down to 2 s TWT penetration depth, the swath bathymetric system was used to identify possible pockmark locations as well as sampling positions for the deployment of the BGR vibration corer during the succeeding Leg 2. All seismic records were processed onboard for the quality control and for a first interpretation loaded into GEOQUEST.

  • A geophysical reconnaissance survey across oceanic fracture zones has been carried out by the BGR in the eastern North Atlantic using S.V. PROSPEKTA. The geophysical measurements, including multichannel seismic reflection profiling, magnetics and gravity were concentrated on three oceanic crustal areas of Mesozoic crust which are crossed by the Hayes Fracture Zone, the Atlantis Fracture Zone and the Kane Fracture Zone respectively. 24 geophysical lines with a total length of 5,362 km have been measured during the time period from 25th October to 4th December 1985. Besides intracrustal seismic events a deep coherent seismic event is often recognizable in the monitor records between 10 - 12 s (TWT) along several lines, which probably is a reflection from the crust-mantle boundary.

  • The cruise BGR95 from 19th November to 28th December 1995 with M.S. AKADEMIK NEMCHINOV was designed to acquire new marine geophysical data for a better understanding of the geological processes and structural variations of the Cretaceous-aged oceanic crust of the Angola Basin in the South Atlantic regarding its reflectivity pattern, its shape of the basement surfaces and its crustal thickness. These evaluations were extended onshore to the ‘Damara Igneous Province’. The aim of this study was the investigation of the rift-related volcanic-magmatic processes accompanying the initial stage of the opening of the South Atlantic Ocean. The survey was a co-operation of BGR, Alfred Wegener Institute for Polar and Marine Research (AWI), GeoForschungsZentrum Potsdam, University of Göttingen and Johann Wolfgang Goethe-University Frankfurt/Main. The M.S. AKADEMIK NEMCHINOV generated the seismic signals by a tuned airgun array of 3260 (= 53.4 l) together with two AWI owned large volume guns of 2 x 2000 (= 65.6 l), recorded the MCS signals with a 3000 m streamer and controlled the shot releases for the ocean bottom hydrophones (OBH’s) and the onshore seismic stations (PEDAS). A total of 5,114 km of multichannel seismic reflection data in parallel with magnetic and gravity measurements have been collected onboard the M.S. AKADEMIK NEMCHINOV. 1069.4 km of the seismic work was done on 3 combined refraction/wide angle offshore and onshore traverses. The offshore part was recorded by 7 ocean bottom hydrophones (OBH) operated by the M.V. POLAR QUEEN (Reichert et al., 1996). The registration onshore Namibia was performed by 25 mobile seismic landstations (PEDAS) on each profile (Schulze et al., 1996). First results are described in the offshore and onshore reports of these investigations (Reichert et al., 1996, and Schulze et al., 1996). The data clearly show distinct series of the seaward dipping reflector sequences (SRDS) and isochronous variations in the accretion of the oceanic crust. The onshore and offshore registrations show deep arrivals from diving and refracted waves in a range up to 200 to 400 km.

  • In the period from 22nd December, 1987 to 15th January, 1988 a geophysical reconnaissance survey has been carried out with S.V. EXPLORA on the Argentine Eastern continental margin. A total of 3,675 km of digital seismic reflection profiles in parallel with gravimetric and in part magnetic measurements, and 13 sonobuoy refraction profiles were recorded during this survey. The general aim of the survey was to search the Argentine eastern continental margin between 37°S and 47°S for evidence of continent-ocean boundary structures previously recognized by us off South Africa. The following preliminary results were obtained: (1) Five regional seismic markers/unconformities have been observed, named from bottom to top AR V to AR I. (2) Two units are recognizable on all reflection seismic records: A buried lower unit the top of which is marked by the distinct 'AR IV' unconformity of presumably Beriasian/Valangian age, and a tectonically undisturbed upper sedimentary unit. (3) The dominant feature of the lower unit is a 50 km to 100 km broad wedge-shaped body characterized by an internally divergent pattern of reflection horizons having seaward dip. The seismic characteristics and recent ODP drilling is consistent with the wedge being formed from extrusive basaltic rocks. (4) The more than 5000 m thick wedge is parallel with the shelf edge and can be traced continuously for 1200 km. Its landward pinchout coincides with the magnetic slope anomaly 'G'. (5) A giant contourite mound of Neogene age has been recognized in the southeastern part of the survey area. (6) Bottom simulating reflectors have been recognized. Their occurrence is associated with the contourite mound.

  • On the F.S. POLARSTERN cruise ANT-IV/3 (6th December, 1985 - 13th March, 1986) multichannel seismic measurements were carried out in parallel with magnetic and gravimetric measurements on 33 lines with a total length of 6,263 km. 3,350 km of the multichannel seismic lines have been processed aboard. The geophysical studies were designed to investigate the structure and geological development of the Weddell Sea continental margin from meridians zero to 60°W, and to define suitable and safe drilling locations for Leg 113 of the Ocean Drilling Program. The main results of the geophysical studies are: (1) The discovery of an approximately N50°E trending failed drift basin, following the trend of a negative magnetic anomaly and a positive gravity anomaly. (2) The discovery of two extensive wedge-shaped and symmetric basement units around a failed drift basin between longitudes 40°W and 20°W. The seismic characteristics, i.e. seismic velocities of > 4 km/s and an internally divergent pattern of reflectors suggest that both wedges are formed from extrusive/intrusive volcanic rocks. (3) The confirmation of a major plate tectonic boundary trending approximately N80°E to N60°E, i.e. the EXPLORA-ANDENES escarpment. (4) The confirmation of a glaciogenic progradational wedge beneath the shelf of the Weddell Sea Embayment, made up of several thousand metres of sediments. (5) The definition of 13 suitable and safe drilling locations for ODP-Leg 113.

  • The area of the 1st leg of METEOR cruise no. 67 lies off the Moroccan coast between longitudes 32.5°N and 35°N and latitude 12°W. Within this continental margin segment multichannel reflection seismic measurements were carried out in parallel with magnetic and gravimetric measurements on 22 lines with a total length of 4,378 km during the period from January 20th to February 13th 1984, with the research objectives: i) to collect new geophysical data for a better understanding of magmatic-volcanic and tectonic processes during the initial drifting phase, and ii) to search for suitable positions for deep drilling sites of the "Ocean Drilling Programme" in the transition zone between continental and oceanic crust. A distinct and sharp reflection seismic boundary running from about 31°30'N/11°W in the south to 34°30'N/10°25'W in the north separates flat-lying Mesozoic sediments overlying slightly structured basement of the Jurassic "Magnetic Quiet Zone" from the complex Moroccan piercement zone in the east. A prominent magnetic anomaly, called S1, is nearly coincident with the sharp reflection seismic boundary, and is thought to represent most probably the initial drifting zone. The Moroccan piercement zone is interpreted to represent the eastern part of a pre-Jurassic rift-basin which conjugated western part lies off Nova Scotia/Canada. Subsidence associated with small-scale rotational block-faulting was time-transgressive in the Moroccan piercement zone, e.g. it started in Triassic time in the central part of the rift-basin and affected successively its landward parts apparently due to successively cooling of the stretched and thinned crust. Weak magnetic anomalies trending approximately NE-SW were recorded within the Jurassic "Magnetic Quiet Zone" lying west of magnetic anomaly S1. These anomalies can be correlated over distances of up to 300 km. They are interpreted to represent either variations of the geomagnetic field intensity or field reversals during a time of weak geomagnetic field.

  • The preceding results of the Deep Sea Drilling Project/International Program of Ocean Drilling (DSDP/IPOD) have shown that inspection of borehole cores in the Southern Ocean and around Antarctica are necessary for reconstruction of the development of the Atlantic Ocean and for the understanding of the sedimentary deposition which is strongly affected by the palaeo-oceanographic processes. As the geological development of the Weddell Sea plays a key role for the reconstruction of the south-american and african part of the former supercontinent Gondwana, the Federal Institute for Geosciences and Natural Resources (BGR) has decided to conduct a synoptic geophysical survey in the eastern Weddell Sea and in front of the eastern Antarctic continental margin. This survey has been designed as a prearrangement for a larger "presite" program for preparation of future DSDP/IPOD sites. The main focus of the geophysical survey during the first leg of cruise BGR78 from 5th of January to 13th of February 1978 with M.S. EXPLORA has been put on the continental margin of the south-eastern Weddell Sea and eastern Antarctica between 20°E and 30°W and south of 67°S. Especially the lines BGR78-03 to BGR78-23 of seismic reflection measurements have been carried out in this region which were affected by heavy ice conditions at this time. Additionally, on 43 stations sonobuoy refraction measurements have been conducted.

  • SONNE cruise SO-85 was designed to study the variability of the oceanic crustal structure along flow-line profiles over Early Tertiary through Early Cretaceous old crust in the Cape and Argentine basins of the South Atlantic. Between 21th February and 20th April 1993 deep imaging seismic reflection data in parallel with magnetic, gravimetric and hydroacoustic measurements have been collected along a 1,405 km long flow-line traverse across the Cape basin, and along three flow-line traverses across the Argentine basin with a total length of 4,255 km. A special geophysical survey was carried out on the Argentine continental margin. Although bad weather hampered the geophysical measurements in the Argentine basin, some new and intriguing observations were made: (1) the presence of an elongated wedge of seaward dipping reflectors, often associated with the distinct magnetic anomaly 'G', was confirmed on both, the South African and Argentine continental margins; (2) the sequence of seaward-dipping reflectors consists of two wedges. The younger wedge rests partly on the older one; (3) the surface of the oceanic crust lies more deep in the Argentine basin than in the Cape basin; (4) the structure of the oceanic crust is more variable in time and space within the Argentine and Cape basins than within the Angola and Brazil basins; (5) despite this, it appears that the oceanic crust generated during the younger half of the Cretaceous magnetic quiet period up to C 33r is characterized by relative high reflectivity in lower crustal levels; (6) high-amplitude magnetic anomalies C 33 through C 34 are apparently correlatable with oceanic crustal segments characterized by common seismic features, e.g. a smooth and scarped surface of the oceanic crust; (7) an elongated, positive gravity anomaly exists at about 58°E between 43.5°E and 47°E.

  • The major pre-alpine tectonic lineaments as the Glückstadt Graben and the Avalonia-Baltica suture zone run across the southern Baltic. The BalTec-expedition aimed at the gapless imaging of these fault systems from the seafloor down to the Paleozoic basement. Scientifically the expedition was motivated by two hypotheses. We postulated that advances and retreats of ice-sheets during the glacials initiated and reactivated faulting of the Post-Permian succession, thereby generating several kilometers long near-vertical faults and anticlines. We further postulated that – in contrast to the generally accepted text book models – deformation of the initially up to 1800 m thick Zechstein salt started already during salt deposition as the consequence of salt load induced basin subsidence and resulting salt creep. The profile network was further designed to allow for linking the stratigraphy between previously generated local underground models in the frame of the TUNB project. Altogether we collected 62 reflection seismic profiles of an entire length of 3500 km. Parasound and multibeam data were collected along 6000 km each. The marine gravimeter collected data along the entire ship’s track of 7000 km. Two wide-angle reflection / refraction profiles have been measured in order to image the deep structure of the Teisseyre-Tornquist Zone off Poland and to investigate North-South striking fault systems in the Bay of Kiel.

  • During the cruise with S.V. EXPLORA within the Ross Sea on the second marine-geophysical expedition of the Federal Institute for Geosciences and Natural Resources (BGR) to Antarctica, in total 6,745 km of magnetic, gravity and digital reflection seismic lines and additionally 1,400 km gravity lines were acquired in the period from January 10th to March 2nd 1980. On 43 stations sonobuoy refraction measurements have been carried out. The main results are: (1) In the eastern part of the Ross Sea Shelf two striking discontinuities have been identified in the reflection seismics representing gaps in the sediments at the turn-over of the Upper Miocene to the Pliocene (ca. 7 mio years B.P.) and between the Middle and Upper Miocene (ca. 11.5 mio. years B.P.) according to results of DSDP boreholes. (2) In the southern part of the Ross Sea Shelf the basement is uncovered at depths over 700m due to a thrust of the shelf ice recently. (3) A structural unit extends alongside the meridian of 180° separating the Ross Sea into two different geologic regions. This unit is characterised by two basement highs with seismic velocities exceeding 5 km/sec. (4) In relation with the GANOVEX expedition two profiles have been measured off northern Victoria Land which indicate two large faults with a faulting amount of 2 km. Another area is characterised by intrusive and volcanic bodies.

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