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News 2021


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.

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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.

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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.

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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. 

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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.

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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. 

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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.

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Scientists discover a missing shipwreck from 1913

Researchers on a MAREANO-cruise found a wreck off Bodø that they assume must be DS Malmberget. After 108 years, we may be close to solving the mystery of this ship, which disappeared in a storm with 43 people on board.

The vessel MPV Pohjanmeri in an Arctic environment. Photo: Arctia Meritaito Ltd.

Bathymetric Mapping in 2021

Arctia Meritaito Oy is going to carry out bathymetric mapping in three smaller transects in the Barents Sea this year. The vessel MPV “Pohjanmeri” starts the expedition June 15th.

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Current events at Aktivneset

Cruise diary: After 16 hours transit from Garsholbanken, we arrived at a new sampling area, west of Aktivneset. This place is special as it is located at the outer part of the Norwegian Channel, a channel that starts south of Oslo and curves around Norway, before reaching Aktivneset.

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New Tender for Bathymetric Mapping in 2021

The MAREANO programme will continue the bathymetric mapping in the Barents Sea this year, although only three smaller transects. A new tender competition for bathymetric mapping was published 8 March 2021.