New Vents 2007

R/V Sonne SO-191, 11 January – 23 March, 2007

New vents logo

Gas hydrates and cold vents on the Hikurangi margin were the focus of expedition SO-191 by the German R/V Sonne in 2007 (Bialas et al. 2007). The cruise consisted of three legs. Leg 1 was a site survey for the following legs, with seismic, controlled-source electromagnetic (CSEM), bathymetric, and echo sounder surveys together with deployment of a methane sensor. During Legs 2 and 3, detailed investigations at specific sites were conducted involving sea floor and water-column sampling, including deployment of TV cameras and remotely operated vehicles (ROVs).


  • New vents boat
    IfM-Geomar, Germany: Lead institution and Principal Investigator of cruise; material turnover, flux rates, high-resolution deep-tow seismic, ocean bottom seismometer deployments, mapping, fate of methane, pore water and water column geochemistry
  • GNS Science, New Zealand: Co-Principal Investigator of cruise; regional multi channel seismic, methane in the water column, microbiology of aerobic microbes in the water column, database management
  • Max Planck Institute Bremen, Germany: Microbiology of anaerobic microbes at vent sites
  • Bundestanstalt für Geowissenschaften und Rohstoffe (BGR), Germany: CSEM measurements
  • Renard Centre for Marine Geology, Belgium: Heat flow, ROV operations
  • Swiss Federal Institute of Aquatic Science and Technology (EAWAG), Switzerland: Fate of methane bubbles in the water column, physical oceanography, noble gases, microbiology of microbes in the water column
  • Heriot-Watt University, UK: Multi channel seismic, gas hydrate modelling
  • NIWA, New Zealand: Regional multichannel seismic, macrofauna at vent sites
  • University of Auckland, New Zealand: Methane derived carbonates
  • Auckland University of Technology, New Zealand: Meiobenthos and foraminifera at vent sites
  • University of Otago, New Zealand: Regional multichannel seismic, gas hydrate modelling
  • Geoscience Australia: Side scan mapping and GIS
Study areas of R/V Sonne campaign SO-191 (NewVents).

Study areas of R/V Sonne campaign SO-191 (NewVents).


Leg 1:
Multichannel seismic
Side scan
Ocean Bottom seismometers/hydrophones

Leg 2:
Side scan
Lander deployments
Sediment sampling
Carbonate sampling
Water column sampling

Leg 3:
Lander deployments
Sediment sampling
Carbonate sampling
Water column sampling

Download SO-191 Cruise Report (pdf, 44 MB).

See also:
IfM-Geomar’s NewVents sites, Leg 1 (in German), and Legs 2&3,
News Release, GNS Science, 9 February 2007

Results from SO-191 and R/V Tangaroa TAN0607 (CHARMNZ) will be published in a special issue of Marine Geology.


Funding was largely provided by the German Federal Ministry for Education and Research (Bundesministerium für Bildung und Forschung, BMBF) for ship charter, equipment, and personnel. Various additional international and New Zealand sources contributed to the cost of equipment and personnel. Particular thanks to Captain Oliver Meyer, Captain Lutz Mallon and to the entire crew of R/V Sonne for their excellent support throughout the cruise.


Bialas J, Greinert J, Linke P, Pfannkuche O ed. 2007. FS Sonne Fahrtbericht / Cruise Report SO 191 NewVents. Kiel, IFM-GEOMAR. 186 pp.