China completes first maritime research mission in southeast Pacific Ocean

Updated 2018-03-30 20:42:02 Xinhua

Xiangyanghong 01, China's elite scientific research ship, docked at the Papeete port in French Polynesia on Friday after completing its first maritime research mission in the southeast Pacific Ocean.

During the 41-day mission, the ship helped collect samples of deep-sea sediment, seawater and microplastics and data in seabed topography, geophysics, hydrology, meteorology and biochemistry.

"This was the first time a Chinese research vessel has acquired an all-depth oceanographic observation profile in this region, paving the way for future regional and global oceanic studies," said Shi Xuefa, chief scientist of the research mission.

The vessel successfully conducted a 25-hour nonstop observation and assessment of oceanic turbulence, which will shed light on ocean and climate change research.

"Studies on seabed sediments will help us understand the evolution of ancient oceanic environment and climate and acquire information about seabed resources," Shi said.

The research team also used video plankton recorders for the first time to observe underwater organisms and found the research region was rich in plankton 30-100 meters below.

The southeast Pacific Ocean mission was the fifth stage of Xiangyanghong's journey around the world, China's first maritime research expedition that integrates oceanic and polar research.

Departing from east China's Qingdao last August, Xiangyanghong 01 will cover around 35,000 nautical miles on its 260-day expedition, and is scheduled to return to Qingdao on May 15.

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