|Location:||Stena Carron drillship|
|Position:||Rosebank North, Faroe-Shetland Channel|
|Water Temperature:||-0.75° C|
|Dates:||20 February - 12 March 2009|
|Gas & Oil Company||Chevron|
|Rig operator:||Stena Drilling|
|SERPENT Representatives:||Dr Daniel Jones|
To work with a film crew to provide material for one of the BBC’s flagship marine programmes, ‘Coast’. Daniel will present one of the ‘postcard’ segments in this summer’s new series.
Additionally, the mission was an opportunity to take sediment and animal samples, undertake video transects and to test a new time-lapse camera rig and a new datalogger. We were also hoping to get much more detailed imagery of the seabed by using the newly fitted High Definition Video (HDV) camera onboard the Oceaneering ROVs.
A total of 28 megafaunal taxa were observed living on or associated with the seabed at Rosebank North, with megafaunal representatives (i.e. those animals greater than 10 mm) from at least 8 phyla. There were almost certainly many additional fauna that were not possible to resolve, there was evidence for bryozoans, small hydroids, polychaetes, small or thin sponges, small asteroids and amphipods.
A number of pelagic fauna were observed (but not possible to identify) near the seabed including ctenophores, chaetognaths, copepods, euphausids, pyrosomes and cephalopods (squid). The species complement was apparently very similar to that found at the nearby Rosebank site.
Dumbo Squid (Cirroteuthiidae) a screengrab showing the high quality of images taken with the High Definition Video camera system.
Snail-fish (Careproctus) in foreground and Arctic Rockling (Gaidropsarus). One of the many time-lapse frames shot during the mission.
A close-up of another Arctic Rockling (Gaidropsarus) observed in the area.
A Gorgon's Head seastar (Gorgonocephalus).
The Sea spider Colossendeis.
An unidentified Chamber Sponge.
Brittle Star (Ophiuroid).
A Glass Sponge (Hexactinellid sp.) attached to a rock.
An Eelpout (Lycodonus).
A Stalked Jellyfish (Stauromedusa).
An unidentified Anemeone.
The ROV was equipped with a High Definition Video (HDV) camera. The seven-function manipulator arms were used to good effect for coring, setting up the time-lapse camera rig and to take specimens of the marine life around the rig. This particularly proved very sucessful with a number of very good specimens being obtained and preserved for identification and future scientific use.
Many thanks to all on the Stena Carron and particularly to the ROV teams whose skill and enthusiasm made everything possible. Thanks especially to Chevron for making this visit possible, Stena Drilling for hosting me on board the Stena Carron and Oceaneering for providing the ROV support.
By Dr Daniel Jones , SERPENT Researcher