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.
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.
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.
MAREANO maps depth and topography, sediment composition, contaminants, biotopes and habitats in Norwegian waters. The results of the surveys are available on this website, visualised through maps. A number of our partners also supply data and maps from their own studies.