The United Nations Decade of Ocean Science 2021-2030 urges the acceleration of ocean knowledge production towards achieving “the science we need, for the oceans we want”, therefore a need for strengthened collaborations. As we enter the third year of the Decade, we must identify our capabilities and resolve gaps in delivering new scientific discoveries on our oceans.
With its focus on blue, green, and digital economies, Indonesia’s National Research and Innovation Agency (BRIN) organizes competitive research programs that are open nationally, encompassing research from biodiversity, bioresources utilization, natural disasters, and blue carbon to marine anthropology research. Collaboration with the state-of-the-art OceanXplorer operated by OceanX opens new possibilities to support Indonesia’s roadmap for ocean research during the Decade.
We invite research proposals from natural and social scientists aboard the OceanXplorer for about 20 weeks of cruise days and 20 berths per cruise leg. The proposed works should aim for exceptional deep-sea research with respect to national research programs, funding, and facilities in Indonesia. It is also important that research facilities in Indonesia supporting analytical works after the expedition would foster long-term collaborative activities in the region.
The OceanXplorer measures 87.1 m long and 21.4 m wide and accommodates research and media activities for a maximum of 72 crew members. OceanXplorer is powered by four Caterpillar 3516B engines delivering a total power output of 1900 kW at 1,800 rpm. It has support vessels (a Metal Shark boat, two Zodiac Milpro Mk 6 HD inflatable boats, and Maritime Partner MP-741 Springer fast rescue craft) and the H125 Airbus resident helicopter.
Sonar Array and Equipment
Its sonar array, also known as the gondola, features two multibeam systems, the Kongsberg EM712 and EM304, capable of mapping to 3,600 m and 6,000 m respectively. This cutting-edge acoustic array enables high-resolution mapping of the seabed bathymetry. Working along other sensors, including those that visualize the top layers of seafloor substrate, currents, and biomass within the water column, these technologies provide scientists with all the data they need to deeply understand an entire ocean ecosystem from surface to the seafloor.
The vessel is equipped with CTD, built-in collection systems, and scanners, as well as other equipment such as a 3D photogrammetry rig, and a hydrophone array. The vessel also features scuba diving facilities to equip up to 12 divers, dive cylinders, a recompression chamber, emergency oxygen gear, various dive scooters, and other required stuff.
Deep Sea Vehicles
The vessel features two manned Triton submersibles with the capacity to dive to more than 1000 m deep water for up to eight hours, Argus Mariner XL remotely operated vehicle (ROV) and Remus 6000 autonomous underwater vehicle (AUV) with the capability to explore up to 6,000m underwater. A 40t man-rated A-frame crane was installed to launch submersibles, towed sonar arrays, and other heavy equipment.
Descending into the twilight zone, the ship’s two Triton submersibles are equipped with an array of science and media equipment. Neptune is configured to maximize science with a retractable tray for mounting scientific devices. Nadir doubles as a movie marine studio, broadcasting its discoveries to the surface in real time for audiences around the world.
Wet and Dry Labs
Four wet and dry labs are used for various purposes, such as microscopy, aquarium tanks, genetic sequencing, biofluorescent imaging, and visualization of samples from the ship’s various sensors.
|Leg 1 - Western Sumatra
|Start/End Points: Sabang - Teluk Bayur
1.1. Northern Weh Hydrothermal Vents and Seamounts
The theme calls for studies that characterize the geochemical properties, geological resources, and biological diversity of the northern Weh hydrothermal vents and seamounts. The proposed works may focus on hydrothermal profiles and seamount geology in a particular section as well as comparative studies between different sections. Their unique environment (i.e., warmer temperatures, lower pH) is a hotbed for discovering bioresources, as well as a natural laboratory for the projected acidifying oceans under climate change.
1.2. Biological Succession and Geology at the Rupture Zone of the 2004 and 2005 Indian Ocean Earthquakes
The great tsunamigenic Aceh earthquake in December 2004 ruptured a major portion of the subduction zone of Sumatra to the Andaman Islands that covers an area of about 1250 x 150 km. There is yet conclusive evidence as to how the earthquake produced such large tsunami waves and whether submarine slides are also responsible for the tsunami. The following 7.8 magnitude earthquake off the coast of Bengkulu in March 2005 was allegedly triggered by the 2004 earthquake. In addition to studying the geology of the rupture zone, the theme also explores the succession of biodiversity at the rupture zone two decades after the major event.
1.3. Oxygen Depleted Zone & the Wyrtki Jet
The theme investigates physical and biogeochemical properties across water columns to detect the expansion of the northern Indian Ocean oxygen-depleted waters into the eastern Indian Ocean, and the roles of ocean currents including the Wyrtki Jet to the ocean properties. We welcome studies that could take advantage of the expedition to provide new insights that are corroborated by analyses of past oceanographic surveys, available buoy and ARGO float data, and modeling studies.
1.4. Marine Resources of Continental Shelf
While less explored, the open seas provide critical ecosystem services to our planet and thus require comprehensive scientific understanding as a basis for its protection and sustainable uses. We invite studies that aim to characterize seabed geology and marine resources including biodiversity located between 200-350 miles from the Indonesian western Sumatra coastlines using conventional and novel techniques.
|Leg 2 - Western Sumatera to Bitung
|Start/End Points: Teluk Bayur - Benoa - Bitung
2.1. Sunda Megathrust
The Sunda megathrust refers to the ~5,000km-long fault zone that runs from the Andaman-Nicobar to Islands, the western side of Sumatra Island, the southern side of Java, Bali and Nusa Tenggara Islands, and terminates around the north side of Australia. South of Java Island, the Indo-Australian plate subducts under the Sunda Block perpendicularly and forms the Java Trench. Historically, earthquake events on Java are relatively aseismic compared to that of Sumatra. Large earthquakes potentially occur close to the Java Trench which may generate devastating tsunamis along the south coast of Java. Studies show that large earthquakes along the Java Trench have a return repeat of ~500 years. We invite studies that push our knowledge to mitigate the hazards.
2.2. Monsoon - generated Ocean Upwelling
The theme calls for works on the variability of the monsoon-generated ocean upwelling that peaks during the austral summer (June-October) and is essential to fisheries. Wind-driven ocean upwelling delivers nutrient-rich deeper waters into the surface oceans. The Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change report has highlighted that our oceans have become more stratified with weakened ocean upwelling. We welcome studies to understand upwelling dynamics in the past using paleogeographic proxies and using present observations.
2.3. Fisheries Stock Assessment
We welcome studies on fisheries stock assessment and those that characterize the environmental parameters essential for ecosystem-based fisheries management, marine protected areas, and how they are changing in the face of climate change using conventional and novel techniques. Potential coverage areas include WPP-RI 572 (southern Sumatra), 573 (southern Java), and 716 (Sulawesi Sea).
|Leg 3 - Western Pacific
|Start/End Points: Bitung to Biak
In collaboration with National Geographic Society Srikandi Bahari Expedition
3.1. Deep Sea Ecological Services & Knowledge Production
Integrative research on biodiversity in the deep-sea environments and the role of deep-sea as a carbon sink (blue carbon) using a suite of techniques, including high-resolution camera observation, fauna sampling, genomic and isotopic analyses, and marine environmental conditions. The expedition calls for social scientists’ participation in conducting studies on gender relations in knowledge production in ocean science.
3.2. Biodiversity and Geology of Hydrothermal Vents and Seamounts
We invite collaborative works to explore the biological diversity (e.g., macro biota, microorganisms) and the geochemical properties of hydrothermal vents and seamounts, as well as the mapping of deep-sea geological resources. The western Pacific area offers an interesting study location for submarine volcanism and hydrothermal mineralization.
3.3. Regional Collaborative Studies in the Western Pacific Warm Pool
Understanding of ocean dynamics (e.g., boundary currents, Mindanao-Halmahera Eddies), marine resources (e.g., biological, mineral resources), and natural disasters in the western Pacific. We welcome regional collaborations in particular through existing forums to conduct research activities that support the U.N. Decade of Ocean Sciences.
|Call for Proposals:
|27 January – 20 February, 2023
|Administrative Review :
|21 – 25 February, 2023
|Substantive Review :
|26 February – 31 March, 2023
|Align with OceanXplorer's departure schedule
The program accommodates:
- Access to conducting research aboard the vessel including its operational costs, use of the equipment, and technical supports
- Accommodation and meals onboard
- Travel costs from the researcher’s city of origin to designated embarking/disembarking ports and vice versa
The program does not facilitate:
- Per diem allowance
- Analytical costs for processing data and/or specimens
- Costs of transporting equipment and specimens from embarking/disembarking ports to the researcher’s city of origin.
- The Principal Investigator must be an Indonesian citizen holding a doctorate degree with relevant track records in academic and research, and high-impact publications.
- The proposed work can be conducted individually or preferably in a research team with clear roles and responsibilities. When proposing to work in a team, information must be provided on team members who would (e.g., involved in the sampling process) and would not be boarding the OceanXplorer (e.g., involved in subsequent data analysis).
- Applicants may apply for single or multiple legs with scientific justification.
- One team member could only participate in a maximum of 2 proposals (1 proposal as Principal Investigator and 1 proposal as a member, or as member in both proposals).
- BRIN’s employee whose status is on tugas belajar, post doctoral fellow di luar/dalam negeri and/or dalam masa cuti di luar tanggungan negara could not participate in the program.
Novelty and Feasibility
- The proposed work must highlight the urgency and novelty of using the facilities available at the OceanXplorer, as opposed to other means of vessel.
- The proposal must contain information on the sampling coordinates. These coordinates must be outside Indonesia’s territorial waters or more than 12 nautical miles from coastlines.
- The proposal must show the feasibility of conducting the research including plans for subsequent analytical steps. Information on available analytical capabilities in Indonesia may be searched via https://elsa.brin.go.id/.
Supporting Research Fund
- The proposed work must show proof of a supporting research fund for the needed analytical works (e.g., consumables, laboratory analyses), except for research in which these requirements do not apply to complete the works.
- If accepted to join the expedition, BRIN would cover travel costs to the embarking and disembarking ports.
Adherence to the Wajib Serah Wajib Simpan Policy
- Following the regulation, specimens and data generated from the expedition are subject to the wajib serah wajib simpan policy with specimens being stored at the Directorate of Scientific Collection Management and digital data stored at the Repositori Ilmiah Nasional (RIN)
- All costs associated with the preparation and preservation of specimens would be borne by the researcher.
Proposal Submission and Selection
- The proposal must be written in English and submitted via the website of the Directorate of Research and Innovation Funding (DPRI) BRIN https://pendanaan-risnov.brin.go.id/ by February 20, 2023, at 18:00 using the provided template.
- All documents must be complete and original. The proposal must be legally signed by the institution.
- Proposals will be selected competitively by reviewers certified by the DPRI-BRIN. Shortlisted participants would be invited to give presentations.