Activities

Depth measurements undertaken in 2015 are to be carried out in the Barents Sea, i.e. in the new Norwegian area up to the shelf border with Russia, as well as in the transect route from Bjørnøydjupet to Kong Karls Land east of Spitsbergen. In the Norwegian Sea, depth measurements will take place at Aktivneset and Stadhavet, respectively west and south of the Mørebank. Altogether, the depth measurements in 2015 will cover 9915 km2.

Regarding geological, biological and chemical sampling, areas in the Norwegian Sea to be surveyed comprise the slope north and south of Skjoldryggen, and a narrow "strip" on top of the slope at Storegga Nord. Altogether, field surveys will take place over an area of 7130 km2. In addition, an area of 12000 km2 is to be surveyed in the Barents Sea east towards the new shelf border between Russia and Norway.

In 2015 MAREANO will continue the preparation of data collected during the 2012–2014 fields surveys.

In 2014 the bathymtric mapping is to be carried out in two main areas: The Norwegian Sea and in the new Norwegian territory close to the Russian border in the Barents Sea. As shown in the figure below, the bathymetric mapping in the Norwegian Sea will take place at Haltenbanken, Sklinnabanken, Sklinnadjupet and Stadhavet. These bathymetric multibeam measurements are always carried out before the biological, geological and chemical sampling. This latter mentioned sampling is based on bathymetric information from which the sampling stations are located after studying terrain and backscatter data.  


Areas where from multibeam bathymetric data is collected. Planned mapping in 2014 is shown in orange and light blue colors.

Three criuses were arranged in 2014. The figure below shows the surveyed areas that include the open sea off the coast of Finnmark County in the Barents Sea, in the new Norwegian territory along the Russian border in the Barents Sea, and North-East of the Mørebankene off the cost of South-West Norway. In total, an area of 16 315 km2 was sampled in 2014.

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Areas sampled with regard to geology, biology and chemistry in 2014 (black circles).Earlier samples are shown as black and red dots. Black dots show positions sampled by all MAREANO gears (video, boxcorer, multicorer, sled, beamtrawl, grab),while red dots show positions where video-data solely has been collected.

During 2014 samples collected in 2013 and 2012 were be prepared in the laboratory, forming the background data for further preparation and modeling of batahymtric maps, geological maps showing information as e.g. bottom type/substrate, and biological and chemical results. Those maps are available at MAREANO's website.

The 2013 activities were greatly influenced by planned deliveries to the upgrading of the Management plan for the Norwegian Sea. The deliveries, including biotope maps, were based on video-data that was given priority during the field-sampling in 2012, resulting in increased priority relative to physical field sampling in 2013. The video-based deliveries were made in September 2013.

The following areas were mapped through video and physical sampling in 2013 (see figure below for the 2012-activities):

  • Iverryggen
  • Sularevet
  • Eggakant Storegga nord
  • Ytre Mørebank
  • Stadhavet (Mørebankene)
  • Kristiansund – Halten
  • Eggakanten (Skjoldryggen)
  • Aktivneset (sør for Mørebankene)
  • Barentshavet, tidligere omstridt område, sørlig del

Apart from the earlier disputed area in the Barents Sea all these areas are located in the Norwegian Sea. In the Norwegian Sea physical sampling (not including video) was carried out over an area of 10 025 km2 while both physical and video sampling took place over an area of 6 900 km2 (eggakant/slope at Skjoldryggen, Aktivneset). In the Baretns Sea 12 000 km2 was sampled in the southern part of the earlier disputed area close to the Norwegian/Russian border.

Additionally, and due to good weather conditions, sampling was also undertaken from the continental slope in the outer part of Mørebanken ("Ytre Mørebank"), off the coastal Vikna area, and off the coast of Finnmark, the northernmost Norwegian county.

The following areas were in 2013 mapped bathymetrically in the Norwegian Sea (see figure below for 2012):

  • Remaining parts of the Eggakant (slope) Ytre Mørebank and Ytre Mørebank
  • EK Storneset
  • EK Aktivneset
  • Sklinnadjupet transect
  • Vestfjorden ytre
  • Haltenbanken
  • Sklinnabanken

In addition, an area of 28 544 km2 was bathymetrically mapped in the earlier disputed area within the Barents Sea.

In total 46 stations were sampled physically, of these 34 stations in the Norwegian Sea and 12 in the Barents Sea while video-data was sampled at 142 stations of which 69 from the Norwegian Sea and 73 in the Barents Sea.

The station density in the Norwegian Sea followed the MAREANO standard, including 10 video stations and 2 physical sampling stations per 1 000 km2. One chemical sampling station was established per 2 000 km2. However, in the earlier disputed area in the Barents Sea, the station density was reduced to 50 % of the MAREANO standard due to homogenous bottom conditions and relatively even depths.

The 2012 field mapping was carried out on the mid-Norwegian shelf within the Norwegian Sea, the Nordland VI area off the Lofoten archipelago, and in the earlier disputed areas within the Barent Sea. Geological, biological and chemical data was sampled from Iverryggen, Sularevet, Storegga's northern slope, the offshore coastline between Kristiansund and Halten, Mørebankene and Nordland VI (see map below). Both sampling of video data and physical sampling (using grab, beamtrawl, sled, multicorer) was performed at 45 sampling stations while solely video-data were sampled at 186 stations.

Depth mapping was undertaken by MAREANO at Iverryggen, Sularevet, Onadjupet, Breisunddjupet, the slope at the northeastern part of Mørebanken, Skjoldryggen and in the earlier disputed area within the Barent Sea. Additional depth data was made available for MAREANO by the Norwegian Defence Research Establishment (FFI), the petroleum industry (Statoil) and Olex AS.

The production og final shaded refief maps from depth data collected in 2010 was finished while prelimenary maps based on data collected in 2011 were produced from the Nordland VI area.

Landscape maps of the area between Nordland VI and Finnmark, and from Tromsøflaket/Eggakanten were published in 2012 at www.mareano.no. Further, geological seabed maps (grain size, seabed origin, sediment environment (chemicals), backscatter data) for data collected in 2010 and 2011 were as well published (Nordland VI, Eggakanten, Troms III, Finnmark). Also results from chemical analyses on the seabed sediment samples taken in 2011 were shown on the MAREANO web pages.

Physically sampled biological material collected up 2010 was identified (Tromsøflaket, Troms II-III, Nordland VII, the Cape North-transect (Nordkapp-transect), parts of Nordland VI; see map in "About MAREANO"). Data on species richness found in the analysed video-data was prepared up to the 2011-samples (parts of Nordland VI, Finnmark). Dominating animal groups from the physically sampled material, using grab, beamtrawl and sled,  collected up to 2009 was published at www.mareano.no. Biotope maps of Nordland VII and Troms II were also publisert here.

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Depth data sampling areas for 2012 in the "earlier disputed area" within the Barent Sea is shown in green color. Due to technical problems 5.800 km2 of the planned area was not visited but transferred to the 2013 sampling. The other areas shown was depth measured in 2011 and sampled with regard to geology, biology and chemistry for the first time in 2013.

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Surveyed areas in 2012. Depth measured areas are shown to the left while areas visited for geological, biological and chemical sampling are shown in the right figure.

In 2011, geological, biological and chemical data was sampled outside the coast of Finnmark County, and in the Nordland VI area off Nordland County. Multibeam-data was collected from Nordland VI and also in the former disputed area in the Barents Sea. Final relief maps are published for data collected collected in 2010, while preliminary maps were released for areas measured in 2011 in Nordland VI. Landscape maps based on 2010 data was published in 2011, thus those data covers Nordland VII, Troms II, Eggakanten, Tromsøflaket and large parts of Troms II. Bottom sediment maps for data collected in 2010 and partly 2011 published (Eggakanten, Troms, Finnmark III). The results of chemical analysis in surface sediments from samples taken in 2010 are published on www.mareno.no. Data on species diversity and density of trawl tracks from video records are made available for data collected in 2010 and 2011. Data on species diversity and biomass from traditional tools (sled, beam trawl and grab) sampled in the period 2006–2009 is published on mareano.no. As in previous years, the bio-data is delivered to OSPAR, ICES and the EU project MESMA, and has continued its cooperation with national and international institutions.

In 2010, multibeam echo-sounding and bio-geo-sampling were undertaken within a north-going corridor just off Nordkapp ("the Nordkapp-transect"), Finnmark County, and also at Troms III and parts of the Nordland VI-area. Thus the planned mapping off the coast of Troms County is fulfilled. A map including vulnerable biotopes was produced for the Eggakanten, Troms III, Troms II and Nordland VII. The results from pollution analyses (heavy metals, hydrocarbons) on samples taken in 2009 were enclosed to the MAREANO web-site. Geological sea floor maps and preliminary biotope maps based on results from the 2009-sampling was as well enclosed to the MAREANO-site together with a bottom landscape-map that includes the 2005–2009-data from Tromsøflaket, Troms II, Eggakanten and Nordland VII.

In addition to reporting to the "Faglig forum", which – among other data – delivered MAREANO-results to the Barents Sea management-plan revision committee, the MAREANO book – containing results from 2005–2009 field sampling – was officially presented to the Government during the MAREANO executive conference in May.

In 2009, multibeam mapping was completed within the prioritized areas of Eggakanten shelf break and Troms III. The bio-geo sampling was completed at Eggakanten, Troms III and Nordland VII.

The following maps were published at www.mareano.no:

  • Geology of Tromsøflaket, Troms II, Nordland VII and the Egga shelf break.
  • Habitat/biotopes covering the eastern part of Tromsøflaket.
  • Topography maps for all areas covered by multibeam echo-sounder, and map of pollutants in the bottom sediments collected in 2006-2008.

Results were reported to the Monitoring group and ”Faglig Forum” for further delivery to the Barents Sea management-plan committee.

In 2008, multibeam mapping and bio-geo-sampling continued at Troms II and Nordland VII. Habitat/biotope maps of the sampled areas at Tromsøflaket were produced, and new data was made available in WMS-format (e.g. maps of coral distribution, bottom fauna biomass, pollutants, biodiversity and dominating bottom fauna/biotops). Results were reported to the Monitoring group and ”Faglig Forum” for further delivery to the Management plan of the Barents Sea revision committee.

In 2007, mapping with multibeam echo-sounder and bio-geo-sampling of bottom fauna, sediment and video-observations were continued in the Tromsøflaket area. Such sampling was as well started in the Troms II- and Nordland VII-fields in accordance with the MAREANO program's priorities.

2006 was the first year when MAREANO was fully operational. Based on the multibeam mapping carried out in 2006 biological and geological (bio-geo-including pollution) mapping/sampling was conducted in the Tromsøflaket area.

The MAREANO-programme was launched in 2005 by multibeam echo-sounder mapping of a 984 km2 area at Tromsøflaket.

Mapped areas

Multibeam-mapped areas:

Sum depth measurements, all years: about 131 000 km2.

  • 2013: 26 805 km2 was mapped by MAREANO. 7 008 km2 in the Norwegian Sea and 19 797 km2 in the Barents Sea. In addition depth data was made available by Norwegian Defence Research Establishment (FFI) in Vestfjorden.
  • 2012: 16 600 km2 was mapped by MAREANO at Iverryggen, Sularevet, Skjoldryggen and Mørebankene, and additionally 18 168 km2 in the "earlier disputed area" within the Barent Sea. In addition depth data was made available by Statoil (slope Storegga north), Olex AS (single beam data; parts of Mørebanken) and by the Norwegian Defence Research Establishment (FFI; Kristiansund – Halten).
  • 2011: 23 641 km2 –Nordland VI (15 590 km2) and the earlier disputed areas in the Barents Sea (8 051 km2).
  • 2010: 6.800 km2 – The Nordkapp-transect, Troms III, Nordland VI; In addition 8.060 km2 was received from Statoil.
  • 2009: 13.737 km2 – Eggakanten, Troms III
  • 2008: 24.316 km2 – Nordland VII, Troms II
  • 2007: 5.000 km2 – Nordland VII, Troms II
  • 2006: 4.600 km2 – Tromsøflaket, Troms III
  • 2005: 984 km2 – Tromsøflaket

Bio-geo-chemistry-mapped areas:

In total, all years inclusive of 2014, an area of 157 585 km2 has been sampled by MAREANO:

  • 2014: 21 305 km2, of which 6 030 km2 in the Norwegian Sea, 9 275 km2 off the coast of Finnmark County in the Barents Sea, and 6 000 km2 in the central parts of the Barents Sea.
  • 2013: 28 925 km2, where 10 025 km2 was sampled in the Norwegian Sea without video data (re. 2012 below), and 6 900 km2 inclusive of video data. 12 000 km2 was sampled in the central parts of the Barents Sea.
  • 2012: 21 055 km2 was mapped,of which 3 600 km2 mapped at Nordland VI (see also 2010 and 2011) and 17 455 km2 video-mapped in the Norwegian Sea, mid-Norwegian shelf (Iverryggen, Sularevet, slope Storegga north, Kristiansund – Halten and Mørebanken). Out of these 17 455 km2 mapped in the Norwegian Sea, 7500 km2 was additionally mapped by using physical sampling (grab, beamtrawl, sled, multicorer). The remaining areas for physical sampling, 9 955 km2, is to be sampled in 2013.
  • 2011: 22 400 km2 – Nordland VI (19 400 km2) and an area outside the coast of Finnmark County (3 000 km2).
  • 2010: 16.000 km2 – The Nordkapp-transect, Troms III, Nordland VI
  • 2009: 16.000 km2 – Troms II, Nordland VII, Eggakanten.
  • 2008: 16.000 km2 – Troms II, Nordland VII; In addition Hadsel- Gavl- and Andfjord inside the coastline
    (2.000 km2).
  • 2007: 14.000 km2 – Tromsøflaket, Troms II, Nordland VII
  • 2006: 2.100 km2 – Tromsøflaket; In addition 1.000 km2 was mapped in Lopphavet and Stjernsund
    inside the coastline.