Traces of life

Fig 3 enteropneust

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?

A mini-house (now you understand why we call them CUBEs) at the seafloor with a red sea cucumber inside. The sediment under these mini-houses contain all the important organisms of the food web that we are studying (photo: ROV Kiel 6000; GEOMAR).

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

Since the ROV can only carry a limited amount of extra weight, deep-sea elevators were developed to carry tools up and down to use the dive time of the ROV more efficiently. (Photo: M. Schulz)

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

The Multicorer (MUC) after being retrieved from 4199 m.

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 […]

Tracking the impact on Deep Sea Life

Asteroidea within the ploughed central area of the DISCOL region. PHOTO: AWI

The SO242-1 cruise used an Autonomous Underwater Vehicle (AUV) to visually and acoustically inspect and map the ploughmark traces on the seafloor made by the DISCOL experiment in 1989. During SO242-2 we are using their survey data to plan a series of close up studies of the seafloor using the new Ocean Floor Observation System […]