Rosebank North

Mission 1

Location: Stena Carron drillship
Position: Rosebank North, Faroe-Shetland Channel
Depth: 1186m
Water Temperature: -0.75° C
Dates: 20 February - 12 March 2009
Industry Partners  
Gas & Oil Company Chevron
ROV Operator: Oceaneering
Rig operator: Stena Drilling
SERPENT Representatives: Dr Daniel Jones

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Mission Plan

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.

Ecological Highlights

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 image

Dumbo Squid (Cirroteuthiidae) a screengrab showing the high quality of images taken with the High Definition Video camera system.

Careproctus and Gaidropsarus image

Snail-fish (Careproctus) in foreground and Arctic Rockling (Gaidropsarus). One of the many time-lapse frames shot during the mission.

Arctic Rockling image

A close-up of another Arctic Rockling (Gaidropsarus) observed in the area.

Gorgon's head seastar image

A Gorgon's Head seastar (Gorgonocephalus).

Seaspider image

The Sea spider Colossendeis.

Chamber Sponge image

An unidentified Chamber Sponge.

Brittle Sar image

Brittle Star (Ophiuroid).

Glass Sponge image

A Glass Sponge (Hexactinellid sp.) attached to a rock.

Eelpout image

An Eelpout (Lycodonus).

Stalked Jellyfish image

A Stalked Jellyfish (Stauromedusa).

Anemone image

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

Laggan location map Dr Daniel Jones

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