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Team maintains deep sea instruments on cabled observatory

Jun 21, 2019
The sonar developed at MARUM is transported to the ocean floor with ROV Jason. Photo: MARUM - Center for Marine Environmental Sciences, University of Bremen; Y. Marcon
The sonar developed at MARUM is transported to the ocean floor with ROV Jason. Photo: MARUM - Center for Marine Environmental Sciences, University of Bremen; Y. Marcon

Following the successful installation of two sonar systems at the Ocean Observatories Initiative (OOI) underwater observatory in June 2018, Dr. Yann Marcon and Eberhard Kopiske are currently part of the VISIONS'19 expedition on the research vessel RV ATLANTIS. Their goal is to maintain the sonars off the Cascadia margin, northeast Pacific, and also to install a new high-resolution camera on the ocean floor that can be controlled from land. As last year, they will use the underwater vehicle JASON from the Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution to do this.

So far, Yann Marcon concludes, the sonars have produced crucial time series of data that provide new information on the dynamics of seabed methane release at the southern hydrate ridge. The new camera will provide high-resolution images of the most dynamic area to help confirm sonar observations. At the same time, Christian dos Santos Ferreira will follow the operations from the OOI Operation Center in Seattle and ensure that all instruments can be controlled remotely and that they work as expected.

Newsfeeds and videos will be broadcast live on the website of Interactive Oceans (University of Washington). 

The work is part of the M³ project for the acoustic monitoring of natural release of methane gas from the seafloor and is entirely funded by the German Federal Ministry of Education and Research (BMBF).

More information on the previous expedition

The ATLANTIS enters the port of Newport/Oregon. Photo: MARUM - Center for Marine Environmental Sciences, University of Bremen; Y. Marcon
The ATLANTIS enters the port of Newport/Oregon. Photo: MARUM - Center for Marine Environmental Sciences, University of Bremen; Y. Marcon