After steaming ahead of schedule thanks to a brisk tail-wind, RV Sonne and the team of IceAGE3 scientists have arrived in the Norwegian Basin, and successfully completed their first dive with ROV Kiel 6000.
The ROV explored abyssal plain habitats in a water depth of 2900 m. The biologists onboard were happy to see their ‘prey’ consisting of three rat tails (a deep-sea fish species), amphipods (small crustaceans), Holothuriae (sea cucumbers) and sea feathers. In total, eight video transects – each 250 m long – were completed, which took something in order of 10 hours to complete. The mass of data collected gives the team the opportunity to plan more detailed sampling at precisely selected stations.
The dive was streamed live from the ROV cameras to other IceAGE project scientists and collaborators back on land so that they could contribute to the identification of species and help direct the sampling. The video was also streamed to a wider audience via YouTube. In total, the expedition plans to undertake 15 ROV dives to explore a range of different ecosystems and habitats in the Atlantic Ocean around Iceland. The next dive is planned for the morning of Monday 29 June – details for the livestream will be announced on Twitter (@IceAGE_RR) closer to the time.
To follow the progress of IceAGE3, please check out our cruise blog – the team on board are sending back daily updates from RV Sonne for the duration of the expedition.