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MAREANO's chemical data are available in one separate data file


All the analytical data from the MAREANO Chemistry Program for 2003-2013 are compiled into one database which can be downloaded. The data file will be updated in January each year.

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Leaders of the Mareano Programme Group and the Executive Group hands over the baton


During last week there was a change in leadership within the Programme Group (executive heading) of Mareano when Signe Nåmdal (Norwegian Environment Agency) replaced Aksel Eikemo (The Directorate of Fisheries). The group has the superior responsibility regarding implementation of the different activities in Mareano. Also the Executive Group (doing the daily operations in Mareano) did alter its leadership and here Sten-Richard Birkely took management in the group replacing Børge Holte (both from the Institute of Marine Research).

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MAREANO's 2016 field surveys in the Barents Sea and around Svalbard


MAREANO's 2016 campaign of hydrographic surveying began in February mapping the area between Bjørnøyrenna and Sørkapp, on Svalbard. Later this year bathymetric data acquisition will continue in the Barents Sea at the Norwegian side of the agreed Delimitation Line between Norway and Russia. Bathymetry data will also be acquired along the north coast of Svalbard, starting this year with surveys of the passage to Rijpfjorden. During 2016 there also will be two cruises for geological, biological and chemical sampling. The first cruise starts in June and will sample the new Norwegian area adjacent to the Norwegian/Russian Delimitation Line. The second cruise is bound for the area from Bjørnøyrenna to Kong Karls Land, to the southeast of Svalbard, and will be conducted in September – October.

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New book from MAREANO


In the occasion of MAREANOs 10th anniversary, a new book presenting the results of the mapping and surveys of the Norwegian sea floor has been released. The book, which is in English, is an expanded and updated version of the Norwegian book from 2010.

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Mission Accomplished — yet another successful cruise!


Cruise diary: During the course of two weeks the biology and geology was mapped at 73 locations along the shelf edge west of the town Sandnessjøen at depths ranging between 220 and 760 meters. At 14 of these sites, a total of 83 bottom samples were collected using grabs, cores, sleighs, and beam trawls. At all sites the seafloor was investigated and documented using the Chimaera video rig (Chimaera is the Latin name for the rabbit fish/rat fish).

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New coral reefs discovered off Northern Norway


Cruise diary: During the past two weeks of the MAREANO expedition, several new coral reefs have been discovered. One of them is Pearl Chain Reef (Perlekjederevet) that was found west of the town Sandnessjøen, at a depth of approximately 290 meters. This is a narrow coral reef complex extending over a kilometer in length.


Looking for pollution in the Norwegian Sea


Cruise diary: The ongoing MAREANO cruise has finished surveying the shelf edge south of Skjoldryggen at the mid-Norwegian shelf, and is now concentrating on the shelf edge between Skjoldryggen and Trænadjupet. Sediment samples have been collected from ten locations, including five with multicorer.

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The deep-sea seapen Umbellula: cheek to cheek in the deep sea


Cruise diary: One of the most spectacular creatures that we occasionally encounter down in the deep, cold ocean is the deep-sea seapen Umbellula encrinus. This spectacular organism, resembling a giant plant or exploding fireworks is in actual fact a colony of giant polyps, which are collected in a crown perched atop a stem, of sorts.

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Cracks along the upper slope directly north of the Storegga Slide


Cruise diary: Between stations, the vessel G.O. Sars collects high resolution seismic data using a hull mounted acoustic source (TOPAS). In fine-grained sediments the sound may penetrate 100-150 m. The acoustic pattern gives an indication of the seafloor sediment type, but we also get information about the stratigraphy and geological development.


Large areas of carbonate crust found at pockmarked seafloor off mid Norway


Cruise diary: On a 700 m long video line on the outer shelf close to the Storegga Slide (Figure 1) numerous blocks of carbonate crust were found at a 400 m long section (Figure 2). The carbonate crust appears to correspond with areas of high backscatter.


The seacrets of the shelf edge


Cruise diary: Thanks to the good weather with almost flat sea the mapping around the shelf edge off Trøndelag and Nordland has proceeded nicely without delay. The video documentation and bottom sampling in the southern mapping area is now finished.


MAREANO’s autumn cruise 2015


During MAREANO’s last biology/geology cruise this year, we will map two areas around the shelf edge off the counties of Trøndelag and Nordland. These areas are located north and south of the ridge called Skjoldryggen.


High production and intensive fisheries


Cruise diary: Middle reaches of the Barents Sea are characterized by large mudflats which provide habitat for many exciting benthic species, and also provide clear evidence of destructive fishing activity. We have frequently observed cod, haddock, and some dead fish specimens. In some areas the seabed has been substantially altered by trawling activity.

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MAREANO Spring Cruise — Mission Accomplished!


Cruise diary: Yet another successful MAREANO cruise has been completed. After 14 days at sea, and a 40-hour return voyage from key regions of the Barents Sea, R/V G.O. Sars docked in Tromsø on Thursday morning (06/18/2015).


The Barents Sea — high production and a rich species community


Cruise diary: Despite large amounts of “marine snow” and a gel-like layer covering bottom sediments, the seafloor in central parts of the Barents Sea is teeming with life.  Here MAREANO is currently taking samples, and conducting video transects. Regardless of one day with stormy weather conditions, we remain on schedule.

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The Helmet – a tale of a salt pillar


MAREANOs first video station of 2015 documented a conspicuous seabed structure, about 300 km north-northeast of mainland Norway, known as The Helmet. The circular structure which looks like the top of a helmet sticking out of the seabed is 30 m high and has a diameter of 800 m.

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Deep sea snow storm in the Barents Sea


Cruise diary: Now we are well underway with visual inspection and sampling of the seabed at this year’s first MAREANO cruise.

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The Barents Sea surveys continue


Cruise diary: MAREANO's first cruise of 2015 set sail from Tromsø last Friday bound for the new Norwegian area of the Barents Sea. Sixteen scientists and technicians will spend the next two weeks onboard the research vessel G.O. Sars, investigating one of the world's richest seas. The benthic environment and faunal communities over an area of 12 000 km2 is to be sampled while a total of 44 line kilometers across 60 sites will be filmed with high resolution video.

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Modelling of bottom currents


The bottom currents have a large impact on the sea floor and the animals that live there. It is difficult to measure the bottom currents over large areas, but improved models have now opened up the ability to estimate the bottom currents at reasonable accuracy. In MAREANO, the results are used in mapping the nature types.

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MAREANO cruises in 2015


MAREANO’s 2015 geological, biological and chemical field sampling will take place at the shelf slope off mid-Norway in the Norwegian Sea, and in the Barents Sea along the Russian-Norwegian shelf border. Bathymetric data are being acquired in the Barents Sea along the Russian-Norwegian shelf border and patch-wise along a ca. 500 km long transect from Bjørnøyrenna to Kong Karls Land as well as at the shelf slope off mid-Norway and Stadhavet in the Norwegian Sea.

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Surrounded by corals


A number of different coral reefs have been discovered in waters off the Norwegian coast. The Røst Reef off Norway’s Lofoten Islands is the world's largest known Lophelia reef. That these corals almost encircle the entire North Atlantic is more unknown.

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New Invitation to Tender for Bathymetric Survey


MAREANO continues with bathymetric mapping in the Barents Sea in 2015. An open procedure of the tender competition for the procurement of Bathymetry data acquisition and processing for the MAREANO programme was published 8 December 2014.

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New biotope map for areas offshore Troms and Finnmark


A new biotope map for the area including Troms III and the shelf edge to west Finnmark is now available on MAREANO's map service.


Another successful MAREANO cruise finished


Cruise diary: MAREANO's last biology-geology-pollution mapping cruise this season is finished, and once more we have had good weather in the Barents Sea. Thus, we have finished all cruise activities that were planned for this year, in addition to making a small start on next year's tasks.

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Biological postcards letter from Finnmark and the Barents Sea


Cruise diary: This newsletter has been written by all the biologists onboard the G.O.Sars at the last biogy and geology cruise in 2014. Each biologist has picked her favourite photo from the work on this cruise, and they have written a story for that picture.  There are many different voices here, this reflects both the diversity we see in the benthic communities – and the diversity among the biologists.


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New glider in the Barents Sea


Cruise diary: The Mareano 3 cruise also includes deployment of a new type of underwater glider - a 'SeaExplorer' - to complete a north-south transect of the Barents Sea. Two guests from the LOCEAN laboratory in Paris are on board the G.O. Sars for the deployment: glider engineer Michael Field and PhD student Laurent Oziel. The SeaExplorer was successfully deployed from the rescue boat on 2 September.


A mosaic of habitats on the Finnmark coast


Cruise diary: 700 meters is almost as long as twice around a sport-field. It is also the length of one MAREANO video-transect. In some areas all 700 meters will look much the same, but other times we observe large variations along the line. This is the story about a transect with lots of changes.


Peculiar holes in the seabed offshore Finnmark


MAREANO video footage crossing a long, elongated cliff north of Varangerhalvøya has shown the presence of irregular holes in the seabed. Strange white features occur at the bottom of the holes and in two larger depressions.

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Shell sand found at several hundred metres water depth


One unexpected finding as MAREANO completed data collection along the Finnmark coast has been the presence of shell sand at more than three hundred metres water depth, off Nordkapp.

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The last MAREANO cruise this year has just started


Cruise diary: This week marks the start of the third and last MAREANO cruise in 2014. Onboard R/V G.O. Sars, we find 16 enthusiastic researchers and technicians who are all ready to examine the seafloor of the Finnmark coast and the SE Norwegian part of the Barents Sea.