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Vårtokt Hovedbilde

Completing the jigsaw puzzle at Kvitøyrenna, Barents Sea


Cruise diary: This April saw MAREANO return to Kvitøyrenna to pick up the missing pieces of our previous sampling campaigns, a first step towards delivering a completed puzzle.

Tokt2 Kvitøyrenna NGU teamet

A geologist’s life onboard R/V «Kronprins Haakon» 


Cruise diary: What’s a typical day onboard like for the geology team on a MAREANO cruise? Alongside the biologists we watch video footage of the seafloor streamed live from the Remotely Operated Vehicle (ROV) and log changes in the seabed substrate, from mud to boulders and bedrock.

Map showing areas in the North Sea and the Norwegian Trench that are planned to be bathymetric mapped in 2024, in addition to areas bathymetric mapped in 2023.

Bathymetric Mapping in 2024


This summer the MAREANO programme will conduct bathymetric mapping in the North Sea and the Norwegian Trench, including the possible offshore wind areas “Vestavind F” and “Sørvest F”.

Digital terrain model of the sea bed in the North Sea. Source: The Norwegian Mapping Authority / MAREANO

Bathymetry data from Sørlig Nordsjø 2


Terrain models from the offshore wind area Sørlig Nordsjø 2, both map services and datasets, are published in the Norwegian Mapping Authority's services.

Parts of the wreck at some distance.

Unknown submarine wreck from World War II discovered


After more than 80 years on the seabed, what is probably the wreckage of the British submarine HMS Thistle has been discovered outside Rogaland, Norway.

Gass Fig1 nett

3.3 kilometer high natural gas column


Possibly the world's tallest gas column is flowing from Norway's deepest point. From an ocean depth of 3,900 meters in the Molloydypet west of Svalbard, the gas rises a full 3.3 kilometers upwards in the water.

Boxes at the bottom

Mud, mustard and MAREANO


Cruise diary: We are now at our study area in the deepest part of the Skagerrak to investigate some unusual features on the seabed. After World War II and as late as the 1960s, it was common practice to sink munitions, which were beyond the use-by date, in deep lakes or the sea. 

Sommertokt view from GOSars nett

MAREANO summer cruise on its way


Cruise diary: The MAREANO summer cruise has started full speed with full stations already done in 2 of the 3 planned areas.

Photo of a lot of mussels and stones covering the sea floor.

The oasis of a lost land


Expedition diary: On this easter MAREANO survey, a lot of our time has been spent on sandy plains occasionally encountering sea stars and flat fish. But sometimes we come across a different landscape that makes us all sit up and say “wow”!

Gul anemon i havbunnen

The Easter Mystery of the Yellow Anemone


Expedition diary: Learn about the mysterious Yellow Anemone.

Tokt i Nordsjøen

Bathymetric mapping in 2023


The MAREANO programme will conduct bathymetric mapping in Norskerenna in the North Sea this year. The assigned contractor is Fugro Germany Marine GmbH.


New Tender for Bathymetric Mapping in 2023


The MAREANO programme plans to conduct bathymetric mapping in Norskerenna in the North Sea. An invitation to tender for bathymetric mapping in 2023 is published. 

Sponge that has ended up at the bottom of a trawl mark

High concentration of trawl marks north of Svalbard


Before surveying the area, scientists expected to find large areas of untouched seabed – and the odd trawl mark left by fishing boats. What they actually found was nothing like that.

Brasil Paneldebatt mareano

MAREANO presented in Brazil


The activities of the MAREANO mapping programme were recently presented at a conference in the Brazilian city of Salvador. As part of developing a new, modern programme for marine spatial management, experts in Brazil want to learn from international actors.

Photo of a Norway lobster on the sea floor.

Crawling with Norway lobsters


Expedition diary: After a few days of extensive exploration of the muddy, sandy plains at our sampling area outside of Utsira, we arrived at a station with exposed rock.


Deep in seapen country


Expedition diary: We have been out here for a few days now and it is clear: we are deep in seapen country!

figure1 top lyst

Above and below


Expedition diary: As we arrive in the north with RV Kronprins Haakon, we are greeted by a brand new white world of icebergs and sea ice. At a first glance this polar desert appears void of life, however, when we take a closer look we find the opposite to be true. We are surrounded by living creatures – both above and below the sea.

launching AUV

Mobilising Munin+ for MAREANO


Expedition diary: And now for something completely different. Standard MAREANO sampling cruises collect biology, geology and chemistry data using video and physical sampling. This cruise is dedicated to exploring new methods, specifically, what MAREANO could gain from the use of autonomous underwater vehicles (AUVs).

Map with marked areas in the North Sea where MAREANO plans to conduct bathymetric mapping in 2022.

Bathymetric Mapping in the North Sea in 2022


In May, the Clinton Marine Survey AB began the bathymetric mapping in parts of the North Sea for the MAREANO programme. Until the beginning of August they will survey 2730 km2.

map model with markings

New Tender for Bathymetric Mapping in 2022


The MAREANO programme plans to conduct bathymetric mapping in the North Sea this year. An invitation to tender for bathymetric mapping is published. 


Mareano expedition completed


Expedition diary: It is 18:25 on Sunday evening, and where we are, the sea is almost 500 metres deep. Our video rig hovers lazily over the sea floor. It is completing the final metres of a total of 33.4 kilometres of video transects on the Spitsbergen Bank, before G.O. Sars can set sail for Tromsø.

Spits ENG 1 nett

Strong currents shaping the seafloor of Spitsbergenbanken


Cruise diary: When we arrived at Spitsbergenbanken a few days ago, we were met by strong currents. On the seafloor, the currents shape sediments into different types of bedforms, with the most common being ripples, which are centimetres to decimetres high, but also larger bedforms such as sandwaves, or sandbanks which can be more than 10 m high.


In the borderlands of the Polar Front


Expedition diary: After two weeks at sea, we have seen how benthic communities change with the seabed substrate and bottom-water temperature, from east to west on the Spitsbergen Bank. From the relatively deep mudflats in the south-east, to the rocky slopes in the north and further west towards Bear Island, we have observed large quantities of dead bivalve shells and shell fragments, as well as some high-Arctic benthic fauna. We are in the borderlands of the polar front.

Valerie sept 2021 ingress

Spitsbergenbanken from the deep south to the shallow north


Cruise diary: On the last Mareano cruise of the year to Spitsebergenbanken, we had strong winds and 4-5 m high waves south of Hopen. With the video rig parked on the seafloor at 150 m depth, we could observe how suspended sediments and animals living on the seafloor drifted back and forth in the same wave motion as the research vessel G.O. Sars. This shows that waves, in which we commonly think only occur on the sea surface, may also affect the seafloor at large depths.

R2750VL2819 Cephalopoda

Meet the churchyard residents!


Expedition diary: The Mareano expedition has reached Kirkegården (“the churchyard”), south-east of Svalbard and Spitsbergen Bank. We lower a large camera rig to the sea floor to have a look. Mud and sand are whirled up when we land, and initially we cannot see a thing. At first sight the sea bottom at Kirkegården appears to be a desert, but in spite of its sinister name, this churchyard is full of life! Here you will meet some of its many residents. 

Engsept2021 Toppfigur esker nett

Ice age remnants on Spitsbergenbanken


Cruise diary: MAREANO continues its mapping of Spitsbergenbanken and takes a closer look on some of the landforms made when the bank was covered by a thick glacier.

Cruise participants

Spitsbergen Bank is next in line


Expedition diary: After sailing for 33 hours from Tromsø, we are approaching Spitsbergen Bank, which is well-known as a highly productive sea area between Bear Island and Hopen. We will also be surveying an area called Kirkegården (“the churchyard”), although no-one on board is sure how it got that name. 

fgmg 2020 TR TF2 NS05 celle001 B

MAREANO Annual Report 2020


This report gives an overview of conducted mapping surveys and programme results/deliverables of the MAREANO programme in 2020. A summary in English is included, the rest of the report is in Norwegian.