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  • During the second leg of cruise BGR78 from 22th of February to 29th of March 1978 with R/V EXPLORA the following measurements have been carried out as presite- and postsite surveys of DSDP sites: (1) in the region of the eastern Walvis Ridge 4,350 km multichannel seismic reflection profiles, 4,540 km magnetic measurements, 5,000 km gravimetric measurements and sonobuoy refraction measurements on 11 stations (2) on the Guinea Plateau 740 km multichannel seismic reflection profiles in parallel with gravimetric and magnetic measurements (3) between Cape Verde islands and Mauretania 980 km multichannel seismic reflection profiles in parallel with magnetic measurements, 1,480 km gravimetric measurements and sonobuoy refraction measurements on 2 stations. The geophysical measurements show that the structure of the Walvis Ridge is determined by two main tectonic directions (WSW-ENE and SSW-NNE). Presumably the genesis of the fracture zone in the Walvis Ridge area can be traced back to the sea-floor spreading with overprinting effects due to an inhomogeneity in the mantle ("hot spot"). Both DSDP drilling projects in this part of the Walvis Ridge led to a fragmentary knowledge because site 362 got stuck at a depth of 1.100 m in the Oligocene. BGR's measurements indicate a gap of at least 1.000 m of sediments, especially from the cretaceous period, down to the (acoustic) basement. Site 363 at a submarine high has gaps in the depositional sequence and stops at a depth of 700 m shortly above the basement. So for a better understanding of the geologic development of the Walvis Ridge, further DSDP drillings with a recovery of the complete sedimentary sequence and the following basement cores are necessary. Therefore BGR's measurements of this cruise propose new DSDP sites.

  • The main purpose of the cruise SO75 from 14th October to 12th November 1991 was to test the new instrumentation of the SONNE and the ship itself for the needs of marine geophysics. The second purpose was the investigation of the crustal structure of the Atlantic Ocean from the Madeira-Torre Rise to the continental slope of Portugal which is conjugate to the margin off Newfoundland being investigated by a previous BGR cruise (Hinz et al., 1989). Methods used were multichannel reflection seismics, gravimetry, magnetics, swath echosounding and sediment echography. The test of the ship and its result is discussed in a separate technical report (Roeser et al., 1991). On two lines crossing the Madeira-Torre Rise we have observed seaward dipping reflector sequences. Their position is conjugate to similar features observed off Newfoundland. Magnetic models for one line show a strong magnetization of the whole reflector sequence. Thus, in analogy to the drilled dipping reflector sequence on the Vøring Plateau, it is likely that it mainly consists of lava flows which were extruded subaerially or in shallow water. In contrast to the dipping reflector sequences found earlier, the newly detected sequences are far away from continental crust. Presumably, at the time of their formation the Midatlantic Ridge was subaerial. Geometrical constraints indicate a compressional regime for the eastern part of the Azores-Gibraltar Fracture Zone. Most prominent expression of this is the Gorringe Bank. Our seismic line across it indicates an overthrusting of oceanic crust, however, it does not show any evidence for a Benioff zone. Therefore, only a small amount of oceanic crust can be subducted until now. We have observed compressional features also in the Tagus Abyssal Plain. Our lines north of the Azores-Gibraltar Fracture Zone did not confirm the weak indications for a continuation of the magnetic anomaly M0 across the fracture zone. The present platetectonic models for this area require therefore a modification. For the definition of the ocean-continent transition in the Iberia Abyssal Plain and for the investigation of the nature of the crust near the transition zone 6 ODP drillsites have been proposed. In response to a request by R.B. Whitmarsh from the Institute of Oceanographic Sciences at Wormley, Godalming, we have carried out the required ODP Site Survey.

  • From 1st May to 25th May 2011 the French Institute from Brest Institut Français de Recherche pour l'Exploitation de la Mer (IFREMER) together with BGR conducted a scientific cruise on the IFREMER research vessel L'ATALANTE, which constitutes the 1st leg of the MIRROR survey. In order to acquire supplementary marine geophysical research data to the MIRROR scientific survey a 2nd leg was performed from 2nd June to 11th June 2011. Both legs are spread over the shelf edge and slope of Morocco, the adjacent Essaouira Rise, and the easternmost abyssal plain, and are located between 33°30' N and 30°30' N. The region of MIRROR Leg 2 is situated south of Leg 1. The main research objectives were to image the deep structure of the crust, to test the origin of the magnetic anomaly S1, and to test rifting models in order to understand the nature of the continental margin of Morocco as well as the opening history of the Atlantic Ocean. Another objective was to realize a comprehensive sediment basin analysis for specifying the hydrocarbon potential of the region. In total multi-channel seismic lines with a length of 1,391 km and additional 271 km with the other geophysical methods (magnetic field measurements as well as bathymetry) were acquired. The seismic data acquired during Leg 2 were processed onboard and two of the lines were interpreted. Line BGR11-208 traverses from DSDP Site 415 to Site 416 and ties the MCS grids of both MIRROR legs as well as other former MSC surveys of BGR. Therefore, the line enables a reliable regional seismostratigraphic interpretation and a moderately well mapping of the Jurassic, Cretaceous, and Cenozoic sequences. Large compressional structures are present in the sedimentary cover along the seismic line pointing to transform faults or an activated fracture zone. Regarding the NWW-SEE trending line BGR11-202 the area of investigation can be subdivided into three structural units, a zone of rifted continental margin, a zone of initial seafloor spreading, and a zone of regular seafloor spreading as well as post-Cretaceous igneous activity. Huge rotated basement blocks are located under the shelf and uppermost slope and striking salt domes at the lowermost slope. The zone of initial seafloor spreading is characterized by a sub-basement reflector with overlying tilted basement blocks. The sub-basement reflector trends generally horizontal and appears to be a detachment fault. The magnetic slope anomaly S1 is located at foot of the slope near the western boundary of the zone of rifted continental margin.

  • The POLARSTERN cruise ANTVIII/6 from 14. March to 30. April 1990 incorporated an integrated geophysical reconnaissance survey consisting of multichannel seismic measurements in parallel with gravimetric and magnetic measurements. The survey covered the plateaus Maud Rise, Astrid Ridge and Gunnerus Ridge off Queen Maud Land and the oceanic crust in their vicinity. Severe ice and weather conditions allowed seismic work only on the Gunnerus Ridge and on the oceanic crust. Together with previous BGR lines on the Astrid Ridge and the Maud Rise the new data improve considerably the understanding of the area. The main results are: 1. The oldest identified sea-floor spreading anomaly was M11 before the cruise, now it is M24. Thus spreading has begun not only 135 mill. years B.P., but at least 160 mill. years B.P. 2. The Gunnerus Ridge is strongly asymmetric. The mainly weak magnetic anomalies indicate that in contrast to the Astrid Ridge volcanism was not important during its development. 3. The magnetic anomalies are much stronger on the Astrid Ridge and west of it than east of the Astrid Ridge and on the Gunnerus Ridge. 4. The roughness of the basement surface of the oceanic crust varies in a wide range.

  • 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 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.

  • 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.

  • During RV SONNE cruise 137 from 21st November to 28th December 1998 Geoscientific Investigations on the active Convergence Zone between the east Eurasian and Indo-Australian Plate (GINCO I) were carried out along the Sunda Arc, off Sumatra, Java and the Sunda Strait. The studies were headed by the BGR in close cooperation with German and Indonesian research institutions. A total amount of 5,500 km of magnetic, gravity and swath bathymetric profiles were recorded of which multi-channel seismic data exceeded 4,100 km. The scientific objectives were: (1) investigation of the structure and age of the accretionary wedges, outer arc highs and fore-arc basins off Sumatra and Java with special emphasis on the evolution of the Sunda Strait and the Krakatau area (2) differences in tectonic deformation between oblique (Sumatra) versus frontal (Java) subduction (3) search for oceanic crustal splinters in the accretionary wedges (4) definition of seismic sequences, thicknesses and ages of the fore-arc basin sediments as a pre-requisite for later on hydrocarbon assessments (5) identification and regional occurrence of bottom simulating reflectors (BSR) indicating gas hydrates. From the GINCO I project there is evidence for the existence of two accretionary wedges along the Sunda Arc: wedge I is of assumed Paleogene age and wedge II of Neogene to Recent age. The first inner wedge I is composed of tectonic flakes which are correlated from SE Sumatra across the southern Sunda Strait to NW Java. This implies a very similar plate tectonic regime at the time of the flake development during the Upper Oligocene to Lower Miocene and without marked differences in plate convergence direction from Java to Sumatra. Wedge I shows backthrusting along the northern transition toward the fore-arc basin. Today, wedge I forms the outer arc high and the backstop for the younger, outer wedge II. Magnetic, gravity and seismic results show, that within both wedges, there are no indications for an oceanic crustal splinter as hitherto postulated. Both wedges are underlain by oceanic crust of the subducting Indo-Australian slab which could be correlated from the trench off Sumatra up to 135 km to the northeast and up to 65 km from the trench off Java. Since the top of the oceanic crust differs considerably in reflectivity and surface relief we distinguished two types in the seismic records. One type is characterized by strong top reflections and a smooth surface and underlies accretionary wedge II and the southwest part of the wedge I (outer arc high) off Sumatra and Java. The second type has a low reflectivity and a rougher relief and underlies the tectonic flakes of accretionary wedge I (outer arc high) between the southwestern tip of Sumatra, the SundaStrait and NW Java. The missing outer arc high off the southern entrance of the Sunda Strait is explained by Neogene transtension in combination with arc-parallel strike-slip movements. The NW-SE running, transpressional Mentawai strike-slip fault zone (MFZ) was correlated from the SE Sumatra fore-arc basin to the NW Java fore-arc basin. Off the Sunda Strait northward bending branches of the MFZ are connected with the Sumatra Fault zone (SFZ). It is speculated that the SFZ originally was attached to the Cimandiri-Pelabuhan-Ratu strike-slip faults and shifted from the volcanic arc position into the fore-arc basin area due to clockwise rotation of Sumatra with respect to Java as well as due to increasingly oblique plate convergence since the late Lower Miocene. We explain the transtension of the western Sunda Strait (Semangka graben) and the transpression with inversion of the eastern Sunda Strait, along the newly detected Krakatau Basin, by this rotation. Seismostratigraphic interpretation revealed 5 main sequences (A - E), tentatively dated as Paleogene to Recent in age. The oldest seismic sequence A of assumed Eocene to Oligocene age is bounded at the top by a major erosional unconformity that was identified on all GINCO seismic profiles. The seaward diverging seismic pattern of sequence A is interpreted as a correlative sequence to the prograding Paleogene deltaic sediments encountered by wells offshore central and northern Sumatra. This is opposed to previous interpretation which assumed seaward dipping reflector sequences of basaltic origin erupted along the former Mesozoic passive margin of Sumatra. According to constructed time structure maps, the main NW-SE running depocentres of the post-Paleogene sediments are arc-parallel off Sumatra and Java with thicknesses of 3 s (TWT) and 5 s (TWT), respectively. The main depocentres of the Semangka graben and of the Krakatau Basin of the Sunda Strait strike north-south and have infills of 2 s - 5 s (TWT). Bottom simulating reflectors (BSR) occur within the upper sequences C - D along the flanks of the fore-arc basins and along doming structures but could not be detected in basin centres. Empiric relations of heat flow values and depths of BSR were determined indicating that with increasing waterdepth and decreasing heat flow the depths of the BSR increase.

  • From 19th November to 19th December 2004 BGR conducted a marine geophysical cruise between 34°S and 36°S off Uruguay and between 46°S and 50°S off Argentine. The main research objective was to contribute to a better understanding of the initial breakup and the early opening of the South Atlantic. In continuation of our former work on the South Atlantic continental margins off Argentina, Brazil, Uruguay, Namibia and South Africa marine geophysical research (multi-channel seismics, refraction-/wide-angle reflection seismics, magnetics and gravity) was performed in close cooperation with the Argentine and Uruguayan authorities Comisión Nacional del Límite Exterior de la Plataforma Continental (COPLA) of Argentina and Servicio de Oceanograficia, Hidrograficia y Meteorologia de la Armada (SOHMA) of Uruguay. Multi-channel seismic lines with a total length of 3,754 km and additional 3540 km with the other geophysical methods were acquired . Along two lines refraction-/wide-angle reflection seismic work was carried out. The preliminary analyses of the new seismic data show different images of the crustal structures between Uruguay and southern Argentine with regard to the distribution and volume of offshore volcanic rocks (seaward dipping reflector sequences, SDRS) along the South American Atlantic margin. On the northern profiles between 34°S and 36°S one single well developed wedge of SDRS is present. Although the landward termination (‘feather edge’) on most of the lines is masked by multiples the average total width of the wedge across the margin seems to be 90 – 100 km and is very constant for this margin segment. This is strong contrast to the results from former cruises (BGR87, SO85 and BGR98) which covered the area between 38°S and 45°S. There, the SDRS showed distinct multiple wedges which in some places extend over 120 km across the continental slope. The investigation of the sedimentary section yielded that in the area off Uruguay widespread bottom simulating reflectors (BSR) are present. This indications for stable gas hydrates cover a total area of 7000 km2. One major aim of the cruise was to cover the transition between a volcanic passive margin and a non-volcanic passive resp. sheared margin. This was accomplished in the southern part of the investigated area. Two EW-trending profiles across the Argentine shelf into the Argentine Basin still show indications for SDRS but these structures are only 25 – 30 km wide. The profiles which extend from the NE to the SW crossing the Agulhas-Falkland Fracture Zone (AFFZ) onto the Falkland Plateau show the typical trend of a sheared margin. At the northern rim of the Falkland Plateau a set of small pre-rift half grabens were found indicating pre-rift extensional tectonic phases. The magnetic data in the area off Uruguay show lineations which are preliminary interpreted as chrons M0 to M3. This might indicate that the first (oldest) oceanic crust was created at a time around the magnetic polarity reversal between the normal interval M4 and the reversed interval M3 (126-127 Ma). Together with existing data from previous cruises this indicates that the breakup of the South Atlantic started further South because there magnetic chrons back to M9 (130 Ma) were identified. In the southernmost part of the margin at 47°S only the magnetic lineations M0 to M4 were identified in the oceanic domain Nevertheless, it is likely that between M4 and the assumed position of the continent ocean boundary/transition (COB/COT) older oceanic crust exists that for some reasons does not show correlatable lineations. The the free-air gravity map is dominated by the main topographic and structural features in the survey area. Rifted continental margins are characterized by prominent free-air gravity anomalies elongated parallel to the ocean-continent transition. The continental slope is considerably steeper in the North off Uruguay than in the South and thus the gravity high is much more pronounced in the North than in the South. The simple Bouguer anomaly map also shows the difference between the more gentle and wider continental slope in the South and the steeper slope in the North. The lowest Bouguer gravity values are found in the area of the basins on the continental shelf. Especially the Salado Basin in the prolongation of the Rio de la Plata and the Colorado Basin at about 40°S are indicated by Bouguer gravity anomaly highs. The interpretation by forward density modelling shows, however, the presence of SDRS units in the North of relative high density in the area of the continental slope. Whereas the modelling shows no indications for such volcanic bodies in the South. Although the MCS data indicate a small SDRS wedge but this body may be too small to cause an anomaly.From 17th April to 6th June 2003 BGR conducted a marine geophysical cruise between 30°S and 38°S off the Atlantic coast of South Africa. The main research objective was to contribute to a better understanding of the initial breakup and the early opening of the South Atlantic. In continuation of our former work on the South Atlantic continental margins off Argentina, Brazil, Uruguay and Namibia marine geophysical research (multi-channel seismics, wide-angle refraction seismics, magnetics and gravity) was performed in cooperation with the Petroleum Agency South Africa (PASA). Multi-channel lines with a total lenght of 3,260 km, and additional 1,365km, with the other geophysical methods were acquired. Combined onshore/offshore refraction seismic work in cooperation with GeoForschungsZentrum Potsdam (Germany) and the Council for Geoscience (South Africa) was also part of the program.

  • During cruise BGR79 from 29th June to 3rd September 1979 the Federal Institute for Geosciences and Natural Resources (BGR) carried out marine seismic reflection surveys in the three separate areas of the North Atlantic Ocean (Norwegian Sea, Scotian Basin, and U.S. East Coast Area) with S.V. EXPLORA. Simultaneously gravity, magnetic and reflection seismic data were recorded on parts of the lines. In addition, 66 sono-buoys were deployed for seismic refraction data recording on various seismic lines in all three areas. A detailed survey in the Norwegian Sea took place in the time from 29th June to 15th July, 1979 between the southern Vøring Plateau, the Jan Mayen Fracture Zone, the Møre Basin and the Faeroe-Shetland escarpment during leg 1 of cruise BGR79. The data showed that the Møre Basin contains a small sub-basin in the western part, the West-Shetland Basin. Further seaward, an outer high as well as a zone of intrusions were imaged.

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