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Basket stars and feather stars
Basket stars and feather stars have colonised compacted sediments transported as blocks during the Storegga slide. These organisms which are mobile, can actively seek out exposed parts of the seabed to get into the best positions for filtering food particles from the currents passing by. In this picture we are crossing a ridge at a depth of 688 m.
Photo: MAREANO/Havforskningsinstituttet
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Living in a landslide

Cruise diary: MAREANO is currently mapping the southern part of Storegga, along the shelf edge and slope areas where a series of underwater landslides have occurred, most recently the famous Storegga slide, which dramatically altered the underwater landscape here some 8200 years ago.

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. 

Kart Storeggaraset eng

Map showing the location and extent of the Storegga slide. MAREANO multibeam data, which so far covers just part of the slide area, are shown in rainbow shading.

Photo: MAREANO/Havforskningsinstituttet

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

3D undersjoisk ras eng

Three dimensional view of the multibeam data revealing the dramatic and rugged landscape shaped by landslide activity.

Photo: MAREANO/Havforskningsinstituttet

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.

Want to learn more?

If you want to learn more about the results from the base survey made ​​in MAREANO project, you can now attend the conference which will be held 1 November.  See program and sign up here (In norwegian)