Process Studies in the Hydro- and Geosphere of the Tropical/Subtropical North Atlantic – Cruise No. MSM04 – December 03, 2006 – April 03, 2007 – Fort de France (Martinique) – Las Palmas (Spain) (English)

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Four legs within three investigation areas (the Antilles region, mid-Atlantic Ridge, and continental margin of NW Africa) were conducted during MARIA S. MERIAN expedition MSM04 in the tropical/subtropical North Atlantic (Fig.1). During the first leg (MSM04/1) the variability of volume transport of North Atlantic Deep Water was measured at 16°N in the western subtropical Atlantic east of the Antilles. This campaign was conducted within the frame of the international Climate Variability Programme (CLIVAR). The main target of the second leg (MSM04/2) was the investigation of the role of water in the generation of earthquakes in the Antilles subduction zone. This research was conducted with international cooperation within the Thales EU FP6 project. A multidisciplinary approach within the DFG Special Priority Program SPP1144 was conducted during the third leg (MSM04/3) in order to investigate the biological, geochemical and geophysical variability in hydrothermal activity at the Logatchev hydrothermal vent field at the mid Atlantic ridge. The fourth leg (MSM04/4a+b) focused on the study of the high productivity region off NW Africa and was conducted within the frame of the EU project MERSEA and the DFG Research Center Ocean Margins. The study of environmental conditions influencing particle transport dynamics and the recovery of long sediment cores for the reconstruction of paleoenvironmental conditions were the major research targets of this leg that was separated in two sublegs for logistical reasons.