SO268: What’s up on the seabed?

Manganese nodules with a sponge in the Clarion Clipperton Zone. Photo: ROV KIEL 6000/GEOMAR

At the bottom of the Ocean, in ~4000m water depth they can be found in high abundances: Manganese nodules. Industry and states are interested in these potato-sized objects as a new metal resource. But before commercial mining will start, the potential ecological impacts need to be investigated. Therefore, the project MiningImpact (funded through JPI Oceans) […]

Traces of life

Antje Boetius, Autun Purser, Yann Marcon   During this 4-week expedition we have been very busy with studying traces of human activity at depth on scales of centimeters to kilometers. There was so much to be learned from this study site at 4150 m water depth. But it is important to remember that the ploughing […]

CUBEs – Why do we place ‘mini’-houses on the seafloor?

It may not always be easy to see, but the deep seafloor is teeming with life! Microbes and worms live inside the sediment and large sea cucumbers crawl over the sediment. This life will probably be heavily disturbed if the industry gets permission to collect manganese nodules and remove or plough through the top layer […]

Testing new technology: Underwater Hyperspectral Imager

Being able to test brand new technology is always exciting. The Ecotone Scientific UHI (Underwater Hyperspectral Imager) brought from NTNU in Norway was finished only a week before the Sonne disembarked from Guayaquil. It is the first UHI to be designed for deep sea use (6000m). Any untested equipment will present some initial challenges. During […]

Toolboxes at the seafloor

Our ROV (remotely operated vehicle) substitutes our eyes and arms at depth, but the amount of instrumentation it is able to carry (the so-called payload) is limited to the available space and weight of the payload in water since the ROV is kept buoyant by its own floatation (the yellow syntactic foam on the upper […]

How to study small organisms dwelling the seabed

Among all the amazing high-tech equipments that are being used in this SO242/2 Sonne cruise, such as the OFOS (Ocean Floor Observation System), the ROV (Remotely Operated Vehicle) and Landers measuring different environmental conditions at the seafloor, I present you a very traditional equipment used ubiquitously in deep-sea research: the Multicorer, or the MUC, as […]