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Bathyarca glacialis

Bivalves in the Barents Sea are still surprising


Cruise diary: The bivalve expert, Dr. Graham Oliver from the National Museum of Wales, is on his second cruise with the MAREANO programme aboard the G.O. Sars. He is continuing to build a library of DNA samples of the bivalve “Thyasiridae”.

Ny campod

MAREANO expedition ahead of schedule


Cruise diary: Good weather means that the MAREANO expedition is now ahead of schedule, and all of the programmed sites have been surveyed. The “G.O. Sars” has therefore set sail for the coast of the county of Finnmark (the “Finnmark East” area), in order to survey some additional sites there on the last days of the expedition.

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Environmental samples from new areas of the Barents Sea


The ongoing MAREANO cruise has collected sediment samples from 12 000 km2 of the Barents Sea, along the Russian border. The sampled area stretches 400 km north of the coast of Finnmark. With fine weather and a good working effort, samples have been collected at all planned stations.

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Salt diapir and gas leakage on Tiddlybanken


MAREANO is well into its 2013 Barents Sea cruise. We have just finished our work on Tiddlybanken, where one of the video lines was planned to cross a previously described gas leakage site. The gas leakage was found as well as other exiting structures on the seabed.


The south east Barents Sea: the kingdom of the sea anemones


Cruise diary: Approximately 120 sea miles north of Vardø (coast of Finnmark), at depths between 210-350 meters, the MAREANO survey recorded a muddy seabed with cobbles and boulders that were covered by sea anemones.


A seabed full of pockmarks


The second MAREANO cruise in 2013 maps the seabed along the Russian border in the Barents Sea. Over large parts of the Barents Sea, the seabed is full of pockmarks. The processes that create pockmarks are important for both fauna and climate, and the ongoing MAREANO cruise will provide data that will contribute to resolving questions related to these.

Fangst i bomtrål

Can we find gold in mud?


Cruise diary: MAREANO often writes cruise-reports about all the beautiful and exciting things we observe with out video-rig. This is of course a very important part of the MAREANO-programme, and much of our cruise-time is allocated to filming our videolines. These data are the backbone in our descriptions of nature types, and they are the basis for our maps (e.g. maps of vulnerable nature types). But don’t believe that all we do on a cruise is to sit in the dark videoroom watching the sea-floor. We sample using quite a lot of other methods as well!

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Coral reefs at Skjoldryggen


Cruise diary: June 19, after half of the planned stations at Skjoldryggen was covered (30 video locations of which seven were also bottom sampling stations), the first leg of the cruise ended in Kristiansund. We have seen small dead coral skeletons (coral rubble) at several locations when using the video-rig Campod. Then, we have most likely passed reefs in their outskirts.

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Sampling of seabed sediments on Skjoldryggen, mid-Norway


Cruise diary: During the first leg of this summer’s first MAREANO cruise we have been sampling seabed sediments in the northern part of Skjoldryggen, on the mid-Norwegian margin. Skjoldryggen is a large terminal moraine deposited during the last glaciation, when the Scandinavian ice Sheet extended to the edge of the continental shelf. It is about 65 km long from north to south, up to 6 km wide and 100-150 m high.

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The first MAREANO survey 2013 is in progress


Cruise Diary: MAREANO's first biology / geology / chemistry survey in 2013 started on Wednesday 12 June from Kristiansund, west of Norway. This time the research ship "Johan Hjort" is used.

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.


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.


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.

Kråkebolle (Pippip Ferner)

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.

Små kråkeboller

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.

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Results from ongoing bathymetric surveys


The vessel MS Hydrograf is currently acquiring bathymetry data as part of the MAREANO project. This is a short presentation of some bathymetric features recorded across the Sularevet reef, which has been surveyed this summer.


Re-use of data improves efficiency


MAREANO has obtained access to existing bathymetric data acquired by other operators. The data are very valuable and will contribute to the progress of the programme.

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The map service "Shaded relief maps" is updated


The map service which shows seabed terrain has been updated with data from the Norwegian Sea.

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MAREANO Survey will Map Coral Reefs and Fishing Banks


In mid-September, R/V G.O. Sars embarked upon the 2012 MAREANO (Marine AREA database for Norwegian coastal and sea areas) fall survey. This year’s study area includes: coral reefs at Sula Reef outside South Trøndelag; several fishing areas along the route Kristiansund - Halten; and selected areas of the Møre Bank and Storegga North.

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International MAREANO-workshop


International workshop on methods and technology for seabed mapping – Trondheim 17th-18th October 2012.

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MAREANO finds unknown species


Dozens of new polychaete species unknown to science have been detected in seabed samples collected by MAREANO in the Norwegian Sea during the last couple of years. In addition, scientists have been able to extend the known area of occurrence of a number of species. The findings contribute to an increased understanding of species diversity in the little-known and "invisible" animal world within the deep-water bottom sediments off the North-Norwegian coast.

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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.