RV Celtic Explorer Embarks on New Seabed Mapping Campaign

The R.V. Celtic Explorer has set sail last night, May 11, from St. John’s, Newfoundland and Labrador, where last June it launched the very first seabed mapping expedition under the Atlantic Ocean Research Alliance.

The expedition takes place May 11-21 with graduate students and early career researchers representing Europe, Canada and the United States joining a team of international experts to map some 12000km2 of un-surveyed seafloor from the deepest parts of the Atlantic Ocean.

Ireland’s national seabed mapping programme, INFOMAR launched a travel bursary called the Atlantic Seabed Mapping scholarship, AtSeaMap, to help support student researchers to come onboard.

This is the fourth seabed mapping survey to take place under the Atlantic Ocean Research Alliance. Xavier Monteys, Geological Survey of Ireland, will lead a team of 12 international scientists, who will map a transect of the Atlantic seafloor between St. John’s, Newfoundland, and Galway, Ireland. Together they will investigate discoveries from previous expeditions, while training the next generation of young seabed mappers through an innovative series of ocean research training delivered on-board.

The early stage researchers joining the survey as part of the AtSeaMap initiative are Jamie Maxwell, National University of Ireland Galway, Ireland; Peter MacIntosh, Memorial University, Newfoundland and Labrador, Canada; and Rachel Wireman, College of Charleston, USA.

The Canadian Coast Guard vessel Louis St. Laurent will build on this work later this summer sailing from Halifax, Nova Scotia, Canada on 22nd July and arriving in Tromsø, Norway on 5th August.

The INFOMAR Atlantic Seabed Mapping scholarship, AtSeaMap, is funded by the Department of Communications, Energy and Natural Resources.

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