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Geo-, bio- og kjemikartlegging

The MAREANO surveys 2013


As many as six vessels will participate in MAREANO surveys in 2013. Among other areas in the Norwegian Sea, the shelf edge is to be mapped down to depths of ca. 1.000 meters. In the Barents Sea, the Norwegian part of the previously disputed area along the Russian border will also be surveyed.

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Dancing squid


Apparently undisturbed by the light from the video rig, the little octopus "dances" in front of the camera at the Moskenes fishing ground off the Lofoten archipelago in northern Norway. It moves around in the water with small, almost transparent wings, while the rest of the animal has sharp colors. As most cephalopods, this species also has arms, ready to catch a passing prey.


The mid-Norwegian shelf: A fascinating landscape


As the focus of the MAREANO programme moves southwards to the mid-Norwegian continental shelf, there is a large area of seabed to be mapped.

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Updated biotope map published for Tromsøflaket-Eggakanten


MAREANO’s map service now includes an updated map showing the predicted distribution of biotopes across the Tromsøflaket-Eggakanten region.

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Use of alternative bathymetry data in mapping


As MAREANO extends into previously unmapped areas it is prudent to see if costs can be reduced by using alternative sources of bathymetry data, rather than full coverage multibeam data. A new report from the Geological Survey of Norway and the Institute for Marine Research tests out one possible source of alternative bathymetry data and evaluates the use of these data in future MAREANO work.


Grant of 2.6 mill Nkr to identify new bristle worms


An expert group has for several years been working to identify new bristle worm (Polychaeta) species in the MAREANO seabed samples. Recently, the Norwegian Biodiversity Information Centre, allocated 2.6 million Norwegian kroner (ca. 350.000 €), enabling further research on this material.


Ancient volcano on Mørebanken investigated


Around 55 million years ago there was volcanic activity in the northeastern part of Mørebanken, offshore mid-Norway. Today we can find remains of this volcanism in the form of a steep sided column-like mountain rising from an otherwise fairly flat seabed, which now provides a home for a variety of fish and other bottom dwelling animals.

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Guests on our expedition


On this year’s autumn expedition, in addition to the usual mix of scientists and technicians, we had the pleasure of having two guests. They were the artist Pippip Ferner and the journalism student Silje Pileberg, who hoped to expand their horizons for the benefit of their own projects, while also shedding light on our research in ways that we would be unable to do.


Coral reefs revealed by acoustic imagery


Cruise report: The Sula Reef area in mid-Norway is known to contain numerous coral reefs, but less is known about coral reefs outside the designated protection area where trawling is prohibited. During transit between the Iverryggen and the Sula reef marine protected area (MPA), we used the opportunity to look for new and undiscovered coral reefs.

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Walkabout at the seafloor


Cruise report: While using a video-rig to map the biodiversity of the sea-bottom, we often observe animal tracks crossing the seafloor. Such tracks can be holes, mounds or traces that are a result of the animals’ movement. This last week we have seen many such very decorative tracks on the seafloor in the area of Sunnmørsbankene at around 200 m depth, and the amount and density of the tracks bear witness of quite heavy “traffic” in some areas.


More coral reefs off the mid-Norwegian coast


Cruise report: During the 2012 MAREANO autumn cruise, scientists onboard RV ”G.O. Sars” discovered 15 new coral reefs off the coast of Trøndelag and Møre and Romsdal counties.

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Three vessels mapping bathymetry


Three marine survey vessels are currently acquiring bathymetry data for the MAREANO project. Mapping has got off to a slow start because of strong winds and high seas, but we are hoping to make up some of the lost time.

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MAREANO's spring-cruise was finished in deep water at Storegga


The first MAREANO cruise this year has been successfully finished after a one month survey off Vesterålen/Nordland VI and off North-Trøndelag and Møre. The last 2-3 days were used for video filming in the northern part of the Storegga where both depth and fauna communities varied. In deep water the communities were affected by sub-zero temperatures and a thousands of years old underwater slide.

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Spring cruise on the Mid-Norwegian shelf


The second leg of MAREANO’s spring cruise has now been south to the Mid-Norwegian shelf. One area 3900 square kilometre large between Kristiansund and Halten, and a second 2900 square kilometre on the northern part Storegga have been mapped by video.

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MAREANO finds unknown cold-water coral reefs off mid-Norway

Cruise report: The second part of MAREANO's "spring cruise" is underway and is due to end in Tromsø 22 May after a 10-day cruise off the coast of Trøndelag, mid-Norway. After two days of investigations three unknown coral reefs have been found, of which one is probably a couple of hundred meters long.
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Museums, MAREANO, Maps and Taxonomy

Cruise report: MAREANO continues to accumulate many samples and a multitude of marine organisms. Many of these will be held in the Bergen University Museum and made available for researchers all over the world. The description and classification of organisms is a prime function of museum staff and such taxonomic research has brought us from the National Museum of Wales to the Norwegian Sea.
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MAREANO's spring-cruise

Cruise report: MAREANO's spring-cruise with R/V G.O. Sars has now been going on for about one week. The purpose of this first part of the cruise is to complete the mapping of habitats, benthic fauna and pollutants in the Nordland VI area off Lofoten, while in the second part video-filming will take place in the Storegga area and an area between Kristiansund and Halten.
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M.Sc. in environmental chemistry

Ida Bendixen Leinebø recently finished a master’s programme in environmental chemistry at the Department of Chemistry, University of Bergen. During the past two years, she has done her experimental master work at the Chemistry Laboratory at the Institute of Marine Research: analyses of radionuclides in sediment cores collected as part of the MAREANO programme.
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MAREANO heads south

So far, the MAREANO project has focused on areas off the counties of Nordland, Troms and Finnmark. This year, areas off Møre og Romsdal will also be surveyed. The aim is to produce biotope maps to assist with the revision of the management plan for the Norwegian Sea by September 2013.
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MAREANO presented in Portugal

Bio-prospecting and benthic mapping were highlighted during the conference “On the exploration and utilizing the resources of the sea” that was arranged in historical environments in Lisbon on Wednesday Dec 14. MAREANO was among the invited speakers.
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Tracking the environmental state of the

Modern environmental state and its recent changes can be assessed by studying successions of fine-grained sediments accumulating in shelf basins experiencing very weak or no current. Low current in such basins facilitates continuous deposition, a few millimeters per year, of mud and organic remains that are the main carriers of contamination in the marine environment.
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New sea spider found in Norwegian waters

The sea spider Cilunculus battenae was recently recorded in the Norwegian Economic Zone (NEZ) for the first time, when bottom samples from the MAREANO cruises from 2007-2009 were analysed. So far 21 different species have been found in the samples. Two species have previously been observed in the NEZ a few times.
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Strong Currents and Seabed Habitat Offshore of the Finnmark Coast

The strong currents off the coast of Finnmark are renowned by local seafarers, and our latest observations North of Nordkynnhalvøya are shedding light on what affect these currents are having on the seabed.
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"G.O. Sars" discovers geological secrets

During a 500 km long transit from Troms III to Nordland VI the MAREANO project has acquired new data from the upper sediment units. We applied Topas, a kind of strong echosounder sending signals at regular intervals into the seafloor.
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Investigating the shallow areas of Lopphavet in Troms

MAREANO has completed the mapping at Troms III outside of Arnøya, located in Lopphavet in Troms, and is now steaming southwards to Nordland VI, at the southern tip of Lofoten.
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Mapping the seabed of the continental slope west of Sørøya, Northern part o

In the afternoon, the 17. September, the scientific vessel G.O. Sars headed north from Tromsø. The ocean was calm, the wind was warm and the sunset colored the sky. The MAREANO autumn survey had started. We reached our destination north west of the island “Sørøya”, about 71° north, by midnight.
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Successful MAREANO summer cruise comes to an end

This summer’s MAREANO cruise with research vessel “G.O. Sars” ends today in Tromsø, with no time lost due to bad weather or equipment problems we have been very lucky, and have completed all the planned work, and a few extras. The Troms III area offshore north Troms (north Norway) has been the focus of the second leg of the cruise, continuing the good work begun in the first leg. Following video surveys over several previously undocumented coral reefs during the first leg, right at the end of the second leg we were lucky enough to encounter yet another reef, around 20 km north of Vannøya.
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News and pictures from the MAREANO summer cruise 2010

A quick note from all on board the Norwegian research vessel ‘G.O. Sars’. We are making good progress with the first of two MAREANO cruises to be undertaken this year, and are now mid-way through the second and final leg of this research cruise.
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A general nature-type map for Eggakanten

Mapping the distribution of seabed nature types is an important component of MAREANO. Nature types follow, and contribute to the development of the Norwegian Nature Types classification scheme at the nature-system level.