Over the course of geological time, several giant landslides have occurred in this area. With each landslide, material at the shelf edge has slipped away, down the slope to the deep sea. The Storegga Slide is one of the world's largest known underwater landslides. It led to a tsunami which inundated the surrounding coastlines, including Scotland and the Faroe Islands.
Evidence of the Storegga slide remains prominent today with a landward slide escarpment around 300 km long. A huge volume of material avalanched down the slope during this event. The slide material and slide blocks that fell have created a rugged landscape on the slope and extending hundreds of kilometres out onto the deep sea plain below. This varied topography has recently been revealed in detail by multibeam data collected for and assimilated by MAREANO
During this cruise, MAREANO scientists are investigating what type of seabed we find today in the landslide area, and what animals are living in this deep and often rugged environment. So far we have found a rich variety of habitats including cold-water coral reefs, coral forests, basket stars and cauliflower coral meadows, brittlestar communities, and seapen and burrowing megafauna communities.