Research Cruises

SOLAS-related cruises listed to better supplement the SOLAS continually-evolving implementation strategy and facilitate information dissemination to the SOLAS community.

If you would like to share the information on your SOLAS-related cruises, e.g. looking for expertise, or calling for piggyback projects, please download the Information Form, and email it back as a PDF to

Information on SOLAS related cruises are available as follows.

BASS - Joint field experiment — Cruise to North Sea

Biogeochemical processes and air-sea exchange in the sea surface microlayer (BASS) – Joint field experiment

Duration: Summer 2024 (3 weeks, not yet scheduled)

Chief Scientist (Ship A): Oliver Wurl (Institute for Chemistry and Biology of the Marine Environment, University of Oldenburg, Germany)


Chief Scientist (Ship B): Hermann Bange (GEOMAR Helmholtz Centre for Ocean Research Kiel, Germany)


Objective and brief narrative of cruise: We aim to holistically investigate various environmental conditions that drive photochemical and microbial processes, bio-optical properties, and physical transport mechanisms in the SML. The North Sea region was chosen as it experiences frequent slick formation. This is one part of the multi-PI 4-year German Research Group of the same name.

Looking for expertise: No

Calling for piggyback projects: No

BELS — Cruise to Labrador Sea

Bubble (mediated) exchange in the Labrador Sea (BELS)

Duration: 23 November-27 December 2023

Chief Scientist: Christa Marandino (GEOMAR Helmholtz Centre for Ocean Research Kiel, Germany)


Objective and brief narrative of cruise: The overarching objective of BELS is to understand and quantify bubble-mediated gas exchange mechanisms. We will test currently established parameterizations and propose new ones if applicable. Special attention will be given to the forcing and parameterization of air–sea exchange for the insoluble gas O2. A secondary goal is to determine budgets of climate-relevant trace gas parameters in the Labrador Sea, such as O2, carbon cycle parameters, and APO. Observation-based experiments investigating gas exchange mechanisms in deep mixing regions of the ocean, coupled to wind and wave forcing products and validation are required to reduce uncertainties in the computation of oxygen supply to the deep sea.

We will use a variety of methods and platforms including: eddy covariance, dual tracer, seawater sampling (surface underway, profiles, moving vessel profiler), radar, moorings, AUVs, floats, buoys, and models.

Looking for expertise: No

Calling for piggyback projects: No

BIOCAN — Cruise to the Arabian Sea

Birgit Gaye Chief Scientist on board German R/V Sonne (January/February 2024)

BIOCAT-IIOE2 — Cruise to the Bay of Bengal

Biogeochemistry-Atmosphere Processes in the Bay of Bengal: A contribution to the International Indian Ocean Expedition 2 (BIOCAT-IIOE2)

Chief Scientist: Hermann Bange (GEOMAR Helmholtz Centre for Ocean Research Kiel, Germany)


Objective and brief narrative of cruise: The Bay of Bengal (BoB), which forms the northeastern basin of the Indian Ocean, is characterized by a unique environmental setting including a pronounced oxygen minimum zone (OMZ) with dissolved oxygen concentrations close to anoxic conditions and a heavily polluted atmosphere during the NE monsoon. To this end, we proposed a research cruise with R/V Sonne from Colombo (Sri Lanka) to Singapore in order to decipher the major natural and anthropogenic processes in the water column and the overlying atmosphere which affect the OMZ of the BoB. The project combines measurements of marine biogeochemistry, microbiology, physical oceanography and air chemistry with foci on (i) the efficiency of the biological pump, (ii) the nitrogen cycle processes in the OMZ, (iii) the ventilation of the OMZ as well as (iv) the air/sea exchange fluxes of trace gases across the ocean/atmosphere interface and (v) aerosol deposition. The findings will enhance our fundamental understanding of the development and maintenance of OMZs especially in view of ongoing environmental changes such as ocean deoxygenation. The project is a German contribution to the 2nd International Indian Ocean Expedition (IIOE-2) programme.

Looking for expertise: No

Calling for piggyback projects: No

Deep Madagascar Basin (DMB) Experiment

The deep and abyssal (> 4000 m) oceans both store and redistribute heat, freshwater, carbon, and other substances, and play a crucial role in regulating the Earth’s climate on multidecadal to millennial timescales. Repeated hydrographic observations from the last three decades have revealed compelling evidence of changes in these deep oceanic layers. In the Southern Hemisphere, abyssal warming is widespread, except in the Crozet, Madagascar and Mascarene basins in the southwestern Indian Ocean where anomalous cooling exists. At least half of the northward inflow of southern-origin abyssal waters in the whole Indian Ocean (IO) is through these basins (in the IO, no deep or bottom water is formed in the North). Could the cooling be an alias due to sampling bias since few observations exist? In 2018, after 23 years, the US GO-SHIP program occupied for a second time the I07N line in the western IO. The section started about 270 km north of the Atlantis II fracture zone, a main gateway for the abyssal water into the Deep Madagascar Basin (DMB). A comparison between the new and previous observations revealed an unexpected and massive (10 to 40 times) increase in chlorofluorocarbons (CFCs) below 3500m. The CFC increase implies that the DMB abyssal water has been replenished between 1995 and 2018, and may indicate changes in the strength of deep Indian Ocean Meridional Overturning Circulation (IMOC). A back-of–the-envelope calculation using the CFC and SF6 (Sulfur hexafluoride) partial pressure ratio indicates that part of the DMB abyssal waters may have been in contact with the atmosphere as recently as the mid-1990s. Where did these CFC-rich abyssal waters come from, and by which pathways have they spread in the DMB?

Chief Scientists: Viviane Menezes and Heather Furey

Cruise-based, March 2023, southwest Indian Ocean

The project welcomes piggy-back projects.

DMB website here

ISESO — Indian scientific expeditions to the Southern Ocean

The importance of the Southern Ocean (SO) for global climate change, adequate information and understanding of the processes controlling the rate of formation of water masses and its response to climate change are lacking primarily due to lack of high resolution sea truth observations. The areas east of the Crozet Plateau and west of Kerguelen-Amsterdam Passage are the key regions where the fronts confluence and split again. The data available from this region are sparse, but remain under-investigated, which hamper our knowledge regarding the influence of SO in the climate change scenario. Therefore, large-scale, detailed, multi-ship, synoptic and time-series sea truth observations of this area deserve highest priority in any program of observational studies of the SO. Further the SO circulation is linked with the Indian Ocean circulation through the Equatorial, Agulhas and Circumpolar current systems. Hence the exchange of heat and mass through these currents shall affect the physical and biogeochemical processes of the tropical Indian Ocean (TIO) ecosystem as well as the Indian climate. The upper-ocean variabilities, the mechanism of ocean-atmosphere interaction, hydrodynamics, carbon dynamics, marine productivity, food web dynamics and the multi-scale interactions between various weather and climate processes over the study region (between 40°S & 69°S, 40°E & 80°E) will be the major research topics. We plan to conduct field observations, dynamical analysis, studies on biogeochemical cycles, marine productivity and numerical experiments using both the oceanic general circulation model and the coupled general circulation model. The results of this Project is expected to improve our understanding about the impact of SO on regional climatic variabilities, mechanism of seamless climate system, and to improve the performance of local and global coupled models. Moreover, the data generated from these studies shall be a major input for improved understanding of the future predictions of Indian climate.

Lead Investigator: Dr. Anil Kumar N (National Centre for Polar and Ocean Research, Goa, India)

Period of Project: 2002- continuing

Region of study: Indian sector of the Southern Ocean [between 40°S & 69°S: 40°E & 80°E]

ISESO website here