Regional Framework Plan for Marine Seismics‹ OCE Communication, Early Summer 2015

OCE is carefully considering input from the marine seismic community and

the UNOLS Marcus Langseth Science Oversight Committee (MLSOC) regarding

ways to improve experiment planning. This advice, together with internal

NSF discussions, leads us to adopt a Regional Framework Path for marine

seismic data acquisition.  As the NSF reply to the NRC/NAS Decadal Survey

³Sea Change² indicated, we are investigating options for how to support

future marine seismic research, including deep crustal seismic

capability. A regional approach is expected to be relevant for any

feasible model, and thus we intend to get underway with a regional plan

so as to understand the ramifications of operating in this mode. Moving

forward, we will continue to work with MLSOC and the community at large

to assess any need for adjustment.


The regional framework is designed to reduce overall data acquisition

costs, and:


-Provide guidance about when to submit proposals for research in a

particular area.

-Encourage investigators (both US and potential international teams) with

new ideas for work along the path to submit a proposal that could mesh

geographically (modest transit) with the framework path.

-Provide rotating access to all regions of scientific interest within a

timeframe of several years.




Equatorial-South Atlantic     2016

Southeastern Pacific          2017

Southwestern Pacific          2018

Indian Ocean      

North Pacific                 2019


The framework can flex somewhat in response to demand. NSF proposals for

projects along the path should be submitted about 18-30 months prior to

potential cruise dates. Details of the path can evolve but the main

regions are expected to be retained. The length of time in one region

will reflect demand and science timeliness considerations for the next

region(s) along the path. The vision for this framework is that it can

guide planning about 4 years into the future. Subsequent path route(s)

will be announced approximately biennially, based on NSF understanding of

projected interest areas and MLSOC and community input.


This information and subsequent updates will be posted on MLSOC website


Below is a list of 2015 seismic work, with emphasis in the North Atlantic

/ Mediterranean. The next opportunity for NSF deep seismic data

acquisition in this region would be after 2019/20.  Shallow seismic work

using existing portable systems, such as currently operated by Scripps or

using P-Cable (available via lease agreement), will continue to be

scheduled as needed for funded projects in any region.


van Avendonk , Cayman Trough, NSF, Apr-22 days, R/V Meteor*

Hutchinson,  Mid-Atlantic Shelf,  USGS, Apr-27 days,R/V Langseth

Harris/Trehu, Hikurangi , SIO system, NSF, May-31 days, R/V Revelle

Mountain, New Jersey Sea Level ­ 3D Imaging, NSF Jun-42 days, R/V Langseth

Hooft-Toomey, Santorini Volcanic System, NSF Oct/Nov-23 days, R/V Langseth


Rychert (UK), Mid-Atlantic Ridge Lithosphere, NERC Dec-17 days, R/V Langseth


* Platforms of opportunity may occasionally handle collaborative work

that deviates from the Regional Path.