NODULES : The extraordinary French adventure

The Nodule project is an epic whose memory must be preserved. Even if the trade issue is still conditional, men and tools that have given body have left their imprint on the French oceanography. Nautile, SAR, Geotechnical Module, to mention but a few, all these exploration tools that we envy our partners have always found their origin in the nodule program. And let us be aware that the teams "Nodules" which are now at the base of the French breakthrough in the field of deep sea cartography, the first challenge in the fields of telecommunications, deep offshore petroleum and resources of economic exclusive zones. Few industrial projects without success have proved rich in benefits.


This program is still where the pioneering spirit of the great explorations of the universe of 60-70 years, and has aroused controversy on the scale of its ambitions, belongs to our industrial and scientific heritage. The scenarios designed operating at the time, and perhaps especially if they come from one of archeology industry-fiction, deserve to be informed, as far as possible. In addition, the challenge remains. Other countries relive this craze for wealth potential of the deep. A book "general public" is needed before oblivion does his work.

Jean-Pierre Henriet 
Marine Geosciences Department Director
Brest, November 1995