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Content archived on 2024-05-27

Calypso, giant sediment cores and support.


Marine sediments record the history of climate, ocean hydrology and productivity, sea level, earthquakes and tectonic changes, environmental changes in the continents on longer time scale, evolution and ecology, and many other parameters of the Earth history. The longer the sediment core is, the better time coverage is obtained. There is a very strong demand, now, for long continuous sediment sections, to increase the temporal resolution of the records (better assessment of the variability) or the time span under study. This is the special interest of the CALYPSO giant corer and its support ship MARION DUFRESNE to answer the needs of scientists for long sedimentary series.
The CALYPSO corer is a unique system, with its 8 to 10 tons weight, a 40 to 60 m iron lance (5 inches 1/2 diameter) and an internal high-pressure PVC liner (12/10 cm diameter), a mechanical trigger and a piston to insure regular rising of the sediment within the lance during the final free fall. A whole new technology has been developed to handle the corer safely, using the capacity of the large oceanographic ship MARION DUFRESNE.

The support ship, MARION DUFRESNE, is at present the only ship able to sample, on a routine basis, cores up to 60 meters long by all water depths between 15 m and 6500 m. Its performances are at least three times those offered by other oceanographic vessels in the world, and this, in the most severe climatic conditions, with a yield of 1 to 3 cores/day. To achieve this work, the MARION DUFRESNE is furthermore equipped with a new generation deep water Multibeam Echo Sounder giving permanently a high quality geomorphological mapping of the sea floor with its 5 plans of frequencies. Associated with these equipments, a digital sediment sounder (3,5 kHz) gives an acoustic record with a penetration over 100 meters of sediments, which is necessary to select coring sites adequate for the scientific problematic. Finally, the size of the ship, its scientific apparatus in the onboard laboratories (650 m2), its accommodation capacity (up to 110 persons among whom 70 scientists; 59 cabins), its sample storage capability (cold stores and refrigerated containers to keep and carry the samples to final land laboratories), its data processing equipment, give a unique opportunity to European scientists.

Participation of users are solicited through Calls for Proposals available on the Web site of the French Polar Institute (IPEV) : The Calls are widely announced by mailing to European oceanographic and geomarine institutes and by advertising in the scientific journal NATURE and during international conferences. An ad hoc Users Selection Panel evaluates the ApplicationForms.

Project Manager:

Dr. Gérard Jugie, Director, IFRTPTechnopole Brest-Iroise, BP 75F-29280 Plouzané
Tel: +33-2-98056502
Fax: +33-2-98056555

Call for proposal

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EU contribution
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Technopôle Brest-Iroise

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Total cost
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