Acoustic backscatter

Acoustic backscatter data give a useful indication of harder or softer areas of the seabed. MAREANO acquires multibeam backscatter data and these data  are invaluable in the production of classified sediment maps.


Bathymetric mapping

The Norwegian Mapping Authority Hydrographic Service is responsible for acquiring bathymetric data in areas which are to be mapped by the MAREANO programme.


Bathymetric mapping

The Norwegian Mapping Authority Hydrographic Service (NHS) is responsible for acquiring bathymetric data in areas which are to be mapped by the MAREANO program. If bathymetric data of adequate quality and resolution already exist, these will be used.


Bioclastic sediments

Bioclastic sediments is a term used to describe carbonate rich sediments consisting of fragments/shells of dead organisms. On the continental shelf, we find bioclastic sediments with a high content of the remains of stony corals. These sediments form mounds and ridges in many places, which may be associated with live corals.



Biodiversity is a general term used to describe the diversity of life forms, species and the communities that they form.


Bottom sediments (particle size)

What kind of material actually covers the seabed, and why do some areas offer a good foothold for corals and sponges, while others are teeming in crabs and starfish?


Environmental chemistry and contamination

The seabed is the recipient of contaminants, and the sediments are a significant pollutant store. The sediments can therefore function for a long time as a source for pollution dispersal in fjords and offshore basins, and for pollutant uptake by organisms.


Environmental chemistry and pollution

The seabed receives contaminants from the environemnt, and sediments become a significant  storage place for pollutants. Sediments can therefore be a source of pollution in the fjords and of the uptake of contaminants by biota.


Fish Communities

Fish communities in the Barents Sea.


Formation of bottom sediments

The composition of the sediments, their forms and how they lie in the landscape indicate which processes have been active in shaping the seabed as it is today. These processes have been going on for thousands of years, ever since the end of the last Ice Age.


Hard and soft bottoms

Just like the land surface, the seabed varies in character, and ranges from bare rock and boulders to soft clay.


How do we map biotopes?

The species on the sea floor are not evenly distributed: they appear in clusters associated with various environments and sea floor types. Each combination of certain species with a particular environment is known as a biotope, or “nature type”. It is important to know how species are distributed if you want to manage the sea floor as sustainably as possible.


Marine landforms

A wide variety of landforms made by geological process are found on the sea bottom. The landforms tell us how the seabed is formed, and what sedimentation processes are active today.


Marine landscape

MAREANO maps the large scale marine landscapes of the seabed. We use an automated GIS classification following the definitions of Naturtyper i Norge (NiN, Nature types in Norway).


Marine landscape

A landscape of mountains and valleys is concealed deep beneath the water surface. Thanks to modern technology, it is possible to map this with great precision and to display terrain forms only a few metres in extent.


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.


Sedimentary environment

The seabed is shaped slowly by a variety of geological processes, over thousands of years. The map of sedimentary environments shows which processes influence and shape the seabed we find today.


Sediments (genesis)

The composition of sediments, the landforms they create, and where they are located, tell us which processes shaped the seabed as it is today.


Sediments (grain size)

What types of material cover the sea floor? What makes some areas well-suited for corals and sponges to anchor to, while other areas are teeming in crabs and starfish? The bottom type is important characteristic of an area; therefore, NGU’s Sediments (grain size) map is our most requested product.