Vulnerable Deep-Sea Communities Expedition Blog
One of the seabirds which have accompanied us on the trip. Photo Amelia Connell
Today has mostly been a day of multibeam mapping, which for the biological team means the beginning of packing up duties. Everything has to be cleaned, tidied and stowed back into boxes ready to be unloaded at the end of the trip.
The final deep beam trawl was successful, with the highlight... More
The black dragon fish caught in the last beam trawl of the shift. Photo Amelia Connell/NIWA
Today we finished our last two sample sites on this final slope system. We surveyed each site with the underwater video and saw a lot of muddy seafloor covered in animal burrows, animal tracks and the odd cobble or pebble, often with something, such as an anemone, living on it.
The sample area for this voyage, created using Multibeam mapping. Photo Amelia Connell/NIWA, map NIWA
Today we finished our sampling at Matatara knoll with three beam trawl tows. It interests me how the same sampling method can result in such different catches depending on the sample site. At the 1000m sample site we got a small, clean catch of animals, at the 1200m deep site... More
Photo Amelia Connell
So, a little more about White Island Canyon, where we have been sampling the walls and the floor of the canyon. Before coming on this voyage I wasn’t even aware that all these underwater features were here. White Island Canyon is named such because it runs right next to White Island. We have had a great view of the Island from the ship today.
One of the many species of sponge we have seen on the voyage. Photo Amelia Connell/NIWA
Today we finished off the last sampling site in White Island Canyon and said farewell to the Island. It has been quite nice having it near us for a couple of days. We’ve moved on to sample at Matatara Knoll, the last of our Seamount sampling sites.
The wind was predicted to pick up... More
A close up picture of a Nematode worm. Photo Daniel Leduc
I've been quizzing our on-board meiofauna expert about the smaller creatures in the deep sea. The deep-sea floor is the largest ecosystem on Earth (covering over half the planet’s surface), and most of it consists of vast expanses of relatively featureless sediments. There are often few signs of life, except... More
I woke this morning to a level of tension not seen before on this voyage. One of the bad things that can occur on a survey has happened. DTIS was stuck on something and can’t be brought back to the ship. It had been deployed in the canyon and got caught on some lost trawl gear, this happened in an... More
Sieving mud from the multicore. Photo Amelia Connell/NIWA
Sampling today has continued at Tauranga Canyon – we are working our way up the depth profile, beginning sampling at 1500m deep. When we came on shift we took over the end of sieving the multicore samples. Then next on the list was a boxcore. After that we carried out two epibenthic sleds, one on each side of the... More
The sun setting over the sea. Photo Amelia Connell
During the ‘night’ the other scientific team finished the final sampling sites on Clark Seamount and we made our way back to Whakatane Seamount for two more sampling locations.
Before leaving Clark Seamount we deployed a new (to this trip) piece of sampling equipment, the CTD. CTD stands for Conductivity, Temperature and... More
Recording all the samples that we collect - Photo Amelia Connell/NIWA
When carrying out surveys from a ship on the ocean the weather is always a consideration in deciding what location to sample when. When the weather gets too rough we have to stop sampling and either move to a more sheltered sampling site or, if there isn’t one of those, wait for the rough weather to... More