Home > About JAMSTEC > Research Vessels, Facilities and Equipment > Research Vessels and Vehicles > KAIMEI

Research Vessel KAIMEI

The world’s most advanced research vessel, KAIMEI, efficiently performs wide-area seabed research into distribution of submarine resources, and has comprehensive scientific-research capabilities to elucidate the genesis of mineral and ore deposits.
The research vessel is equipped with sophisticated equipment and facilities as well as laboratories available to analyze samples soon after the collection. KAIMEI also helps contribute to climate change research and studies for prevention and reduction of disaster risks associated with earthquakes and tsunamis.

Mission

  • Perform wide-area seabed research into distribution of submarine resources, and conduct comprehensive scientific research to elucidate the genesis of mineral and ore deposits.
  • Understand the changes and variations in the atmospheric and marine environment associated with global climate change, and elucidate the paleoenvironmental changes.
  • Investigate the internal structure of oceanic crust, and conduct studies for prevention and reduction of disaster risks associated with earthquakes and tsunamis.

Characteristics

Three-mode multi-channel seismic system
R/V KAIMEI is JAMSTEC’s first research vessel which can carry out not only conventional two-dimensional seismic surveys but also three-dimensional ones to image the internal structure of oceanic crust. The following three modes are available to serve different purposes.

(1) Three-dimensional seismic surveys

[Four streamer cables of 3,000 meters in length]

-Perform three-dimensional imaging of the crustal structure in seismogenic zones.

-Perform three-dimensional imaging of the geological structure with high potential for seabed resources.

(2) High-resolution three-dimensional seismic surveys

[20 streamer cables of 300 meters in length]

-Study earthquake faults and geological structures in coastal sea areas.

-Study the morphology of landslides triggered by earthquakes and the earthquake history.

-Study the distribution of hydrothermal ore deposits and mud rich in rare-earth elements.

(3) Two-dimensional seismic surveys

[One streamer cable of 12,000 meters in length]

-Study the mechanism of earthquakes and geological structure.

-Study the geological structure down to the target depth for developing a drilling plan of the deep sea drilling vessel CHIKYU.

-Perform two-dimensional imaging of the geological deep structure with high potential for seabed resources.

Sampling equipment for submarine resources
The following sampling equipment is used to collect samples of hydrothermal ore deposits off the coast of Okinawa or Izu-Ogasawara Islands, and samples of submarine resources for elucidation of the genesis of minor metals (rare metals) in cobalt-rich ferromanganese crusts often found on seamounts in the northwestern Pacific Ocean.
(1)
Boring Machine System (BMS)
Maximum water depth: 3,000 meters
Coring depth: 30 meters (with a core diameter of 60 millimeters)
(2)
Power grab sampler
Maximum water depth: 6,000 meters
Maximum volume: 1 cubic meter
Two types, one with a clamshell bucket and the other with a six-finger basket
40 meter-long piston corer
12,000 meter-long high-strength fiber rope
The sampler is 40 meters long with a large diameter of 110 millimeters.
-
Collect samples of methane hydrate and rare earth mud.
-
Accurately reconstruct the paleoenvironment at great depths which have been inaccessible.
-
Elucidate the long-term earthquake history in seismogenic zones.
CTD/water sampler
12,000 meter-long high-strength fiber rope
CTD/water sampler (36 bottles with a volume of 12 litters)
-
Carry out the environmental impact assessment on submarine resources.
-
Monitor changes and variations in the marine environment associated with climate change.
Remotely operated vehicle
Maximum water depth: 3,000 meters
The research vessel is always equipped with a 3,000 meter-class remotely operated vehicle useful for observing the seabed through cameras and collecting biological and mineral resources samples.

Principal specifications

Length 100.5 m
Beam 20.5 m
Depth 9.0 m
Draft 6.0 m
Gross tonnage 5,747 tons
Cruising speed 12 knots
Range Approx. 9,000 nautical miles
Accommodation 65 (27 crew members, 38 researchers and others)
Main propulsion system Two 2,400-kW propulsion electric motors
Main propulsion method Two azimuth thrusters

Research equipment and facilities

-
Research and observation of the ocean and atmosphere
3,000 meter-class remotely operated vehicle, multi-beam echo-sounder (12/50 kHz), acoustic doppler current profiler (38/150 kHz), transponder system, shipboard gravimeter and magnetometer, CTD/water sampler, analytical and experimental equipment, meteorological and atmospheric observation equipment, and container laboratory.
-
Laboratories
No. 1, 2 and 3 laboratories, surface seawater analyzing room, research room, and equipment maintenance room
-
Others
Anti-rolling system and shipboard wireless LAN system

History

Mar 30, 2016 Delivered to JAMSTEC.
2016 Completed.