German Research Vessel “SONNE” at Anchor in Vancouver

Die Sonne auf Antarktisreise

Die Sonne auf Antarktisreise, © Bergakademie_Freiberg

24.08.2022 - Article

The German research vessel “SONNE” will be anchored in Vancouver from September 6th to 13th, to set out on an expedition from Vancouver via Vancouver Island to San Diego on September 13th.

RV “SONNE” is owned by the Federal Republic of Germany, represented by the Federal Ministry of Education and Research (BMBF), which finances 90% of the construction and the operating costs. It serves Germany's worldwide, basic marine research as well as cooperation’s with other countries in this field.

The aim of the current research trip, which is being carried out in intensive collaboration with the Geological Survey of Canada, the University of Alberta, the Japan Agency of Marine-Earth Science & Technology (JAMSTEC) and Ocean Networks Canada (ONC), is to research and evaluate the hazard, magnitudes, repetition rates and more precise localization of future earthquakes and tsunamis within the Cascadia subduction zone. The Cascadia subduction zone extends approximately 1100 km off the west coast of Canada and the United States between the north end of Vancouver Island and the northernmost part of California.

Earthquakes in subduction zones with magnitudes M>8.5 are among the most dangerous earthquakes in the world. The Cascadia subduction zone is one of the regions where such an earthquake is expected in the near future.

In addition, a possible sequestration (storage) of carbon dioxide (CO2) in the basalt formations of the oceanic crust of the Cascadia Basin is going to be researched. Carbon capture and storage is a process for reducing CO2 emissions into the atmosphere through technical separation at the power plant (end of pipe) and permanent storage in underground storage facilities. The capacity for storing CO2 in the Cascadia basin will be determined during this research trip. In contrast to CO2 storage in old (exploited) hydrocarbon reservoirs, which always involves the risk of fluid seepage, CO2 storage within basalt formations of oceanic crusts offers the possibility of a much reduced risk as the CO2 is transformed to solid calcite within the pores of the basaltic rocks (CO2PR).

From September 6th to 9th you have the opportunity to see the “SONNE” at her mooring at Canada Place. Unfortunately, due to the high safety regulations on board, there is no possibility for public tours.

More information on the fleet of German research vessels can be found on the German Research Vessels Portal and the website of the German Research Vessels Coordination Center at the University of Hamburg.


116 m
Cruising speed
12.5 kn
Endurance (max.)
52 days
Scientific staff (max.)
40 persons
Technical data
SONNE handbook
Operating Areas
Indian Ocean, Pacific Ocean
Lead time for cruise proposals
2 - 3 years
Germany, represented by the Federal Ministry of Education and Research (BMBF)

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