Type Oceanographic cruise
Ship L'Atalante
Ship owner Ifremer
Dates 22/05/2015 - 17/06/2015
Chief scientist(s) PATRIAT Martin ORCID, MORTIMER Nick


Centre Ifremer Bretagne

ZI Pointe du Diable

CS 10070

29280 Plouzané


DOI 10.17600/15001100

The VESPA cruise will test specific hypotheses of the age, polarity and evolution of Cretaceous-Miocene volcanic arcs between New Caledonia and New Zealand, by sampling the Norfolk and Loyalty-Three Kings Ridges. VESPA proposes to exploit the fact that the Loyalty/Three Kings Ridge has been separated in two parts by transform motion along the Cook Fracture zone, forming long escarpments along which deep crustal sections of the arc are exposed. This opportunity, unique so far as we know, will be exploited to sample the volcanic arc at different levels of the crust, and also at different distances relative to the trench. Hence the site allows us to study, without the use of drilling, and using petrological, geochemical and isotopic characteristics of the crust and mantle, the evolution in space and time of a volcanic arc.

Main results

Data acquired and analyses carried out at sea and on shore

Published data

Mortimer Nick, Patriat Martin, Gans Phil, Agranier Arnaud, Chazot Gilles, Collot Julien, Crundwell Martin, Durance Patricia, Campbell Hugh, Etienne Samuel (2020). Supplemental Data for The Norfolk Ridge seamounts: Eocene-Miocene volcanoes near Zealandia's rifted continental margin.

Data managed by SISMER



Jiskra Martin, Heimbürger-Boavida Lars-Eric, Desgranges Marie-Maëlle, Petrova Mariia V., Dufour Aurélie, Ferreira-Araujo Beatriz, Masbou Jérémy, Chmeleff Jérôme, Thyssen Melilotus, Point David, Sonke Jeroen E. (2021). Mercury stable isotopes constrain atmospheric sources to the ocean. Nature, 597(7878), 678-682.

Mortimer N., Patriat MartinORCID, Gans P. B., Agranier Arnaud, Chazot Gilles, Collot Julien, Crundwell M. P., Durance P. M. J., Campbell H. J., Etienne S. (2021). The Norfolk Ridge seamounts: Eocene–Miocene volcanoes near Zealandia’s rifted continental margin. Australian Journal Of Earth Sciences, 68(3), 368-380. Publisher's official version : , Open Access version :

Maurizot P., Collot Julien, Cluzel D., Patriat MartinORCID (2020). The Loyalty Islands and Ridge, New Caledonia. Geological Society, London, Memoirs, 51(1), Chap.6 pp.131-145.

Maurizot P., Cluzel D., Patriat MartinORCID, Collot Julien, Iseppi M., Lesimple S., Secchiari A., Bosch D., Montanini A., Macera P., Davies H. L. (2020). The Eocene Subduction–Obduction Complex of New Caledonia. Geological Society, London, Memoirs, 51(1), Chap.5, pp.93-130.

Lawrence Mark J. F., Morgans Hugh E. G., Crundwell Martin P., Patriat MartinORCID (2020). Carbonate rocks of offshore northern Zealandia. New Zealand Journal Of Geology And Geophysics, 63(1), 66-89.

Patriat MartinORCID, Collot Julien, Etienne Samuel, Poli Sara, Clerc Camille, Mortimer Nick, Pattier France, Juan Caroline, Roest WalterORCID (2018). New Caledonia obducted Peridotite Nappe: offshore extent and implications for obduction and post-obduction processes. Tectonics, 37(4), 1077-1096. Publisher's official version : , Open Access version :

References of Technical Reports

Fouquet Yves, Alix Anne-Sophie, Farcouli Maud, Lacroix Denis, Le Gall Morgane, Mengoni Julien, Menot LenaickORCID, Pelleter EwanORCID, Sarradin Pierre-MarieORCID, Ybert Sebastien (2016). Ressources Minérales Marines. Rapport de Veille. Convention n°2101589841 entre le Ministère de l’écologie, du développement durable et de l’énergie et l’Institut français de recherche pour l’exploitation de la mer – Action 5.3. REM/2016-010 - Rapport de veille scientifique n°1.

Mortimer Nick, Patriat MartinORCID (2016). VESPA cruise report. Volcanic Evolution of South Pacific Arcs. n/o L’Atalante, Nouméa – Nouméa, 22 May - 17 June 2015. SGNC Rapport N° SGNC – 2016 (02).

Crundwell M.P., Morgans H.E.G.; Hollis C.J. (2016). Micropaleontological report on dredge samples collected during the 2015 VESPA (Volcanic Evolution of South Pacific Arcs) expedition. GNS Internal Report 2016/22 July 2016. 83 p.

Guerin Charline (2015). Traitement SMF - VESPA (Volcanic Evolution of South Pacific Arcs). DIT.REM/GM/CTDI-20150701-CG01.

Pitel-Roudaut MathildeORCID (2015). Actions SIG de la campagne VESPA. DIT.REM/GM/CTDI 20150618.

References of International Seminar Communications

Mortimer Nick, Phillip B Gans, Rose E Turnbull, Martin Patriat, Arnaud Agranier, Patti MJ Durance, Samuel Etienne, Hamish Campbell, Gilles Chazot, Martin P Crundwell, Chris J Hollis, Julien Collot (2020). Volcanism between New Zealand and New Caledonia: a stretched Late Eocene to Early Miocene magmatic arc on the Loyalty and Three Kings Ridges. Geoscience 2020, Annual conference of the Society of New Zealand, wellington.

Patriat M. (2019). Obduction to post-obduction evolution of the New Caledonia ophiolite inferred from its offshore continuation. New Caledonia Peridotite Amphibious Drilling Workshop, Montpellier, France 22-24 January 2019

Mortimer, N., Patriat, M., Agranier, A., Bassoulet, C., Campbell, H., Durance, P., Amann, M., Etienne, E., Guérin, C., Jordan, N., Juan, C., Mengin, M., Pitel, M., Roussel, C. & Sotaert, F. (2015). The VESPA research cruise (Volcanic Evolution of South Pacific Arcs): A voyage of discovery to the Norfolk, Loyalty and Three Kings Ridges, Northeast Zealandia. Geoscience 2015, Annual conference of the Society of New Zealand, wellington.

DEA or MASTER 2 using campaign data

Poli S., (2016). Structure et stratigraphie du secteur entre la marge orientale de la Ride de Norfolk et la Ride des Loyauté (Nouvelle-Calédonie, Sud-Ouest Pacifique). Nouvelles observations marines d?un complexe obducté. Master2.

Thesis using campaign data

Amann Mederic (2017). Evolution du magmatisme et du métasomatisme dans une marge passive pauvre en magma durant l'initiation de l'accrétion océanique : exemple de la marge fossile de la Platta (Alpes suisses) et comparaison avec le système actuel Ibérie-Terre Neuve / Evolution of magmatism and metasomatism in magma-poor rifted margin during the initiation of the seafloor spreading : example of the fossil Platta margin (Swiss Alps) and comparison with the present-day Iberia-Newfoundland margin. PhD Thesis, Université de Strasbourg.