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Ocean Coring Fleet

Ocean coring fleet

Coring operations require very specific equipments : A-frames, high capacity winches, adapted cables, long space available on deck for sampling, laboratories, and high storage capacity. They also require lots of people to operate and sample these voluminous tools and cores. Small Kullenberg corers of around 20 metres are operated on several French ships, but Big Calypso corers can only be deployed from 3 French vessels, and only one of them can operate the Giant Calypso II (see here) : the R/V Marion Dufresne.

The R/V Marion Dufresne is not only one of the largest oceanographic vessels of the world (120 metres long), but she is also the main oceanographic coring platform. She is chartered by the French Polar Institute (IPEV) for its oceanographic campaigns.

Equipped with 30 tons capacity winch, two 8000 metres aramid cables, a side A-frame, telescopic davits and a very long starboard corridor, she can take core samples up to more than 60 metres long, with a current record of 64 metres.

The Calypso II Giant Corer, and the so-called Siamois coring facilities onboard the ship have been developed in the mid-nineties by a partnership between IPEV and private campanies.

The R/V Marion Dufresne can also operate all kind of corer, from the interface multicorers to the gravity corers (CASQ or others) and she also welcomed prototypes for research institute willing to use her facilities.

Since its creation in 2009, the C2FN has been in charge of the R&D on these corers and facilties, taking over on previous work. It also deals with the logistic and operational aspects of the coring activity onboard the R/V Marion Dufresne.

Specifications :

  • Length : 120 metres
  • Crew : 50 sailors
  • Displacement : 10000 tons
  • Siamois winch : 33 tons
  • 8000 metres aramid cable
  • Telescopic cranes and davits

Other smaller oceanographic units or supply vessels chartered by the CNRS (French Governmental Research Centre) get the support of C2FN for their coring activities.

R/V Astrolabe and R/V Côtes de la Manche