Mission 2

Images | Videos

Location: Lancaster well, Faroe-Shetland Channel, West of Shetland

60° 11’ 13.738 N 003° 51’18.497 W

Depth: 150m
Water Temperature: 9.4 °C
Dates: 24th May –  1st June 2010
Industry Partners  
Gas & Oil Company Hurricane Exploration PLC (HEX)
Rig operator: Dolphin
Rig Name: Borgsten Dolphin
ROV Operator: Subsea 7
ROV: Pioneer 027

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The SERPENT project carried out a collaborative research mission with Hurricane Exploration PLC (HEX) at the Lancaster Exploration well. This misson was a follow up mission to the Lancaster site, SERPENT were previously at Lancaster in August, 2009. This return trip was to assess whether the area had recovered 9 months after drilling. The industrial ROV, Pioneer 027, was used to take video transects and to determine megafaunal densities. In addition, video transects and photographic methods were used to observe megafauna and fish. A current meter was deployed at the site on the seabed.  CTD data was also collected for all dives, the CTD logged Conductivity (salinity), temperature, depth and oxygen. Sediment samples were also taken at Lancaster by two different methods, six push cores were used at each site. At each site 5 of the samples were preserved in Formalin for meiofaunal analysis and one frozen for chemical analysis. Sediment samples were also collected using the ROV operated Ekman sampler. The samples were preserved in Formalin and returned to Southampton for analysis of the macrofauna.

Video transects and core sample locations at Lancaster

Seven function arm deploying Ekman sediment sampler at Lancaster in 2010

Physical Data

Mean seabed temperature was 9.4°C and salinity was 35.4. Maximum water temperature was 10.3°C in the surface waters. A current meter was deployed at Lancaster in 2010.

Deployment of current meter at Lancaster in 2010, the five function manipulator arm can be seen in the image.

Temperature profile

Temperature profile for all dives at Lancaster in May 2010.

Biological Data

Ecological observations were made throughout the visit, and whenever possible, high quality digital stills images and close up video footage were collected of each species. Some specimens were collected and preserved in Formalin for identification back at NOC Southampton. The obersvations from all work at Lancaster are shown in the SERPENT archive database:

Highlights are shown here:

Hermit Crab

Hermit Crab Pagurus prideaux

A Zoanthid colonial cnidarian

The large anemone is a member of the Hormathiidae family, this is one of the two more diverse families in the deep sea and many of the taxa are distinguished based on internal anatomy, found on a serpulid encrusted boulder.

Curled Octopus

Starfish Stichastrella rosea

Red cushion star

Common crab Cancer pagurus

Red seastar

Starfish Porania pulvillus.

Please contact the SERPENT project for more details about this project.

Dr Andrew Gates

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