ODP South Atlantic 2001 - Cruise No. M49 - January 4 - May 5, 2001 - Capetown (South Africa) - Halifax (Canada) (English)

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METEOR Cruise 49 combined four legs to the Walvis Ridge, in the southwestern South Atlantic off Argentine, Uruguay and southern Brasil and in the equatorial Atlantic. All cruises were related to pre-site survey for active proposals in the Ocean Drilling Program, which included marine multichannel seismics and geologic sampling. The first leg M49/1 (Capetown-Montevideo) was devoted to reflection seismics, sediment echosounder and bathymetric measurements to investigate Paleogene sedimentary sequences on the outer Walvis Ridge. Extreme climatic conditions in the Paleogene, dating utilizing astronomical cycles and the reconstruction of paleoceanographic development are main objectives of the ODP proposal (J. Zachos), which could be supported with new survey data. The second leg M49/2 concentrated with reflection seismic, bathymetric and sediment echosounder surveying as well as geologic sampling on the southern part of the South American continental margin off Argentine and Uruguay. A drilling proposal of Wefer et al. could be supported by identifying new drill sites, which are aimed to the reconstruction of Neogene paleoceanography. The working program of the third leg M49/3 was directly related to Leg 2 and the ODP drilling proposal of Wefer et al. During this cruise the northern part of the South American continental margin in the Argentine Basin was studied with seismic, echosounder and swath sounder surveying and geologic sampling to identify undisturbed and continuous Neogene sedimentary sequences. During the fourth Leg of the METEOR cruise 49 particle sedimentation in the western equatorial Atlantic and in the Brazil Basin was investigated. A geological transect across the North Brazil Current off Surinam can be used to reconstruct the transport of warmer water masses from the equatorial Atlantic into the Caribbean and the North Atlantic during the Quaternary. The third topic were seismic, echographic, bathymetric and geological investigations at the Demerara Rise off Surinam (ODP proposal of J. Erbacher, BGR). During the entire cruise, plankton material and surface water was continuously collected by means of the ship's pumping systems to test specific proxies.