Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

ROV Discovers Antarctic Seafloor Fauna

Date:
January 18, 2007
Source:
Alfred Wegener Institute for Polar and Marine Research
Summary:
Remotely Operated Vehicles (ROV) remain an efficient technology to uncover the secrets of Antarctic seafloor fauna. As a precursor to the International Polar Year 2007/2008, the current Polarstern expedition conducted by the Alfred Wegener Institute for Polar and Marine research releases short seafloor video clips taken by ROV only a few hours after the robot has been recovered.

The ROV model Cherokee was selected to discover Antarctic seafloor fauna.
Credit: Photo : Gautier Chapelle, Cousteau Society

Remotely Operated Vehicles (ROV) remain an efficient technology to uncover the secrets of Antarctic seafloor fauna. As a precursor to the International Polar Year 2007/2008, the current Polarstern expedition conducted by the Alfred Wegener Institute for Polar and Marine research releases short seafloor video clips taken by ROV only a few hours after the robot has been recovered.

ROVs have become the standard non-invasive imaging tool for biologists from the Alfred Wegener Institute. For the current expedition, devoted to the study of continental shelf seafloor communities, which were once under the recently collapsed Larsen B ice-shelf, the ROV model Cherokee was selected.

"Inspection ROVs like the Cherokee are fast to deploy and easy to recover" explains the chief scientist and marine ecologist Julian Gutt, who can draw upon 15 years of experience investigating Antarctica's seafloor fauna using ROVs. Already used on a previous expedition, the ROV carries one still and three video cameras, including one high-resolution, as well as a manipulator enabling the collection of specimens.

Werner Dimmler, one of Europe's most experienced ROV pilots states: "It can dive down to 1000 meter depth, which is enough for the Larsen B ice-shelf area."

The first ROV footage, in relatively deep water, revealed an unusual environment characterized by pebble fields and rocks that have been scoured by ice over thousands of years. Delicate pink hydrocorals and various echinoderms were particularly conspicuous. Recently ice-scoured areas of the seafloor were completely devoid of life.

This expedition follows an integrated approach to obtain data from as many components of the Antarctic ecosystem as possible. Physical parameters of the water column as well as the seafloor are measured. The range of investigated organisms spans creatures as small as microorganisms, medium-sized invertebrates and fish, to the biggest of all animals, the whales.

"During the subsequent weeks researchers will try to answer the following question: What kind of biodiversity change do we expect after the collapse of the Larsen A/B ice-shelf, will an originally impoverished fauna flourish, or will species go extinct? " said Julian Gutt.

The latest videos taken by the ROV can be found on the homepage of the Cousteau Society: (http://www.cousteau.org/caml.html).

The Alfred Wegener Institute (AWI) conducts research in the Arctic, Antarctic and in oceans of temperate and high latitudes. The AWI coordinates polar research in Germany, and provides important infrastructure, such as the research icebreaker Polarstern and research stations in the Arctic and Antarctic for international scientific enterprises. The Alfred Wegener Institute is one of 15 research centres of the 'Helmholtz-Gemeinschaft' (Helmholtz Association), the largest scientific organisation in Germany.


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by Alfred Wegener Institute for Polar and Marine Research. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Cite This Page:

Alfred Wegener Institute for Polar and Marine Research. "ROV Discovers Antarctic Seafloor Fauna." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 18 January 2007. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2007/01/070118094022.htm>.
Alfred Wegener Institute for Polar and Marine Research. (2007, January 18). ROV Discovers Antarctic Seafloor Fauna. ScienceDaily. Retrieved July 29, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2007/01/070118094022.htm
Alfred Wegener Institute for Polar and Marine Research. "ROV Discovers Antarctic Seafloor Fauna." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2007/01/070118094022.htm (accessed July 29, 2014).

Share This




More Earth & Climate News

Tuesday, July 29, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Baluchistan Mining Eyes an Uncertain Future

Baluchistan Mining Eyes an Uncertain Future

AFP (July 29, 2014) Coal mining is one of the major industries in Baluchistan but a lack of infrastructure and frequent accidents mean that the area has yet to hit its potential. Duration: 01:58 Video provided by AFP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Asteroid's Timing Was 'Colossal Bad Luck' For The Dinosaurs

Asteroid's Timing Was 'Colossal Bad Luck' For The Dinosaurs

Newsy (July 28, 2014) The asteroid that killed the dinosaurs struck at the worst time for them. A new study says that if it hit earlier or later, they might've survived. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
The Carbon Trap: US Exports Global Warming

The Carbon Trap: US Exports Global Warming

AP (July 28, 2014) AP Investigation: As the Obama administration weans the country off dirty fuels, energy companies are ramping-up overseas coal exports at a heavy price. (July 28) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Raw: Sea Turtle Hatchlings Emerge from Nest

Raw: Sea Turtle Hatchlings Emerge from Nest

AP (July 27, 2014) A live-streaming webcam catches loggerhead sea turtle hatchlings emerging from a nest in the Florida Keys. (July 27) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com

Search ScienceDaily

Number of stories in archives: 140,361

Find with keyword(s):
Enter a keyword or phrase to search ScienceDaily for related topics and research stories.

Save/Print:
Share:

Breaking News:
from the past week

In Other News

... from NewsDaily.com

Science News

Health News

Environment News

Technology News



Save/Print:
Share:

Free Subscriptions


Get the latest science news with ScienceDaily's free email newsletters, updated daily and weekly. Or view hourly updated newsfeeds in your RSS reader:

Get Social & Mobile


Keep up to date with the latest news from ScienceDaily via social networks and mobile apps:

Have Feedback?


Tell us what you think of ScienceDaily -- we welcome both positive and negative comments. Have any problems using the site? Questions?
Mobile: iPhone Android Web
Follow: Facebook Twitter Google+
Subscribe: RSS Feeds Email Newsletters
Latest Headlines Health & Medicine Mind & Brain Space & Time Matter & Energy Computers & Math Plants & Animals Earth & Climate Fossils & Ruins