The third GSR Nodule Exploration campaign was conducted from 19/05/2017 to 01/07/2017. With the ultimate goal of developing, building and testing the world’s first tracked nodule collector in 2019, GSR has achieved a new milestone with the successful in‐situ deployment of the Tracked Soil Testing Device (TSTD) Patania I at an astonishing 4500m‐water depth in the NE Pacific Ocean. This unique technological achievement was performed on board of the DP‐2 vessel MV Topaz Captain. The expedition also collected baseline measurements and samples of the deep sea environment. As such GSR will be able to cover environmental topics as biology, geological and geotechnical research, deep‐sea currents, sedimentary dynamics and resource definition of polymetallic nodules. The GSRNOD17 team composed of 51 scientists, surveyors, engineers and crew members coming from Belgium, Canada, Cook Islands, Poland, Philippines & India.
A 4000m‐long environmental mooring was positioned to collect information on currents and sediment concentration along the entire water column, for a long‐term period exceeding one year. Two other short environmental moorings have been deployed at specific locations to record long‐term measurement of deep‐sea currents. During GSRNOD17, successive ADCP’s and CTD’s profiles along the water column have been measured to better understand physical oceanography inside the GSR License Area.