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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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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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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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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.

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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.

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Geological seabed mapping along the Finnmark coast, northern Norway


Over the past five years MAREANO has conducted several mapping cruises along the coast of Finnmark. Starting in August 2014, the third and final MAREANO cruise of the year will map the remaining areas in the coastal belt, focusing on areas north of Sørøya, Magerøya and Nordkinnhalvøya.

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How to use the uw-camera


The MAREANO cruise was undertaken to survey the sea floor at Storegga, Norwegian Sea. In order to achieve this we took a multitude of video stations coupled with a few beam trawls, RP nets, grabs and cores.

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The incredible world of Storegga


Last autumn MAREANO scientists documented the geology and biology of the southern part of Storegga, which lies at the edge of the continental shelf in mid-Norway. Now we are back to complete the journey through this fascinating underwater landscape, armed with new multibeam data that complete the picture of the terrain on the shelf.

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Map service in new look


A more updated look and easier navigation is the most visible changes in the new map service on With a few keystrokes, you can create your own maps based on interest.

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On their way to the depths


VIDEO: During the MAREANO-survey April 13–26 a large number of king crabs were observed at about 40 m depth just off the village Berlevåg in the northernmost Norwegian county Finnmark. It is well-known that the king crab thrive in this area and was on its way towards deeper waters after a short trip to quite shallow depths where hatching, spawning and mating take place at this time of the year.

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MAREANO mapping off the coast of Finnmark


Cruise diary: Sunday April 13 at 13.30 we left Tromsø and have since conducted 26 video transects and six
sampling stations, where a suite of gears is used.


Kartlegger på Finnmarkskysten


Toktdagbok: Søndag 13. april kl. 13.30 la ”G.O. Sars” fra kai i Tromsø i et utrolig vakkert vær. Vår første stasjon var rett nord for Sørøya. Vi startet med videoopptak på 200 meters dyp ved midnatt, og observerte sandbunn med mye grus og stein hvor bunnforhold og bunndyr var lite variert.

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MAREANO-surveys in 2014


In its tenth year, MAREANO is to survey both the Norwegian and the Barents Sea. Bathymetric measurements in the Barents Sea have been undergoing since January along the Russian-Norwegian border while the 2014 start-up in the Norwegian Sea took place in March. The biological, geological and chemical sampling will start on April 13 off the coast of Finnmark and in the south-eastern part of the Barents Sea, and on June 16 in the Norwegian Sea, northeast of Mørebankene.


Carbonate crust revealed in pockmarks on the mid-Norwegian shelf


Video footage acquired during MAREANOs latest cruise at Skoldryggen has revealed why the inside of pockmarks at 440 m depth on the seabed appear harder than the surrounding seabed, when seen on multibeam backscatter images. Carbonate crusts have been found at the bottom of the pockmarks (Figure 1).