We left Bodø harbour Tuesday evening (18.08.15), and have since had brilliant weather with sun and flat sea. The next three weeks twelve researchers will study the seafloor with the towed video platform Chimaera, and take bottom samples with a selection of gears. Corers are used to get results about the level of pollutants in the sediments while grab, beamtrawl and hyperbenthic sled provides material for description of the composition and abundance of animals living on or in the sediments.
The maping areas are of interest for several reasons. In general the shelf break represents a high productive area important for the food chain supporting a rich ecosystem including commersial fish. It is know that the area house many coral reefs and other vulnerable habitats. We expect to discover several new reefs during this cruise. Along the shelf edge in the southern mapping area there is a long rift or crack maybe indicating a slow movement in the seabed. More knowledge about the circumstances around this shold be of great general interest.
The work onboard G.O. Sars is well on its way with sampling and test dives with Chimaera. Within the next days we will provide more reports from the seabed with pictures and highlights.