Mission 1

Images | Videos

Location: Asterix 6705/10-1, Norwegian Sea, Norway

05º17’25,8” E   67 01’02,2” N

Depth: 1340 m
Water Temperature: -1°C
Dates: 17 - 24 February 2009

Transocean Leader

Industry Partners  
Gas & Oil Company Statoil
ROV Operator: Oceaneering
Rig operator:


SERPENT Representative:

Dr Andrew Gates (+ Lars-Petter Myhre - Statoil)


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Mission Plan

To use photography, video and specimen collection to investigate the benthic megafauna in the Norwegian Sea at 1400m water depth.

To determine the effects of disturbance on the animals.

To make a short documentary film about the collaboration between SERPENT and StatoilHydro on the Transocean Leader.

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Sample Collection

Specimens of an abundant species of small ophiuroids or brittle star were collected, possibly Ophicantha bidentata (see below).
They will be identified on return to the laboratory.


Sediment samples and ROV transects were taken to investigate the disturbance cause by the drilling. See diagram below:

Video transects diagram

The video transects and chemical analysis samples taken at Asterix.

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Eco Highlights

Some of the organisms observed around the Asterix drilling site.


An amphipod Cleippides quadricuspis.


Pontaster tenuispinus.


Cerianthid in the drill spoil.


A stalked crinoid or sea lily (Bathycrinus carpenteri) with a soft coral, likely Gersemia sp. using the base as a hard substrate for attachment and an epimerid amphipod near the top of the stalk.

Dead fish head

Dead fish head and ophiuroids. The ophiruoids were attracted by the scent and were travelling in a well defined line from the downstream direction.


An Eelpout (Lycodes sp.).


Gaidropsaurus Argentatus.



Bythocaris (possibly B. leucopis).

Enteropneust image

Enteropneust (Acorn worm).

For further information please contact:
Dr Andrew Gates , SERPENT Project, National Oceanography Centre, Southampton, UK.

or Dr Daniel Jones , SERPENT Project, National Oceanography Centre, Southampton, UK.

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Asterix location map Dr Andrew Gates

About Andy
Research Interests
T: +44 (0)2380 596363