Every summer, scientists from the Centre for Deep Sea Research travel to the Norwegian-Greenland Sea to map the volcanic seafloor of the mid-ocean ridge, search for new hydrothermal vent fields and sample hydrothermal fluids, chimneys, volcanic rocks, microbial mats and larger organisms. Our work on board forms the basis of new scientific discoveries that gradually let us get to know the unknown world on the seafloor.
Deep sea research is demanding. To reach our scientific goals, we are dependent on overcoming the practical and technological challenges of diving to depths of more than 2000 meter below the sea surface. Only at these depths, we get a glimpse of the secret, natural treasures of Earth's last frontier.
A range of advanced and customized equipment is available on board the research vessels G.O. Sars and Kronprins Haakon. The autonomous underwater vehicle system Hugin provides high resolution maps of the seafloor. The system has sensors that detect chemical compounds, such as methane and CO2, in the water column. These sensors are essential in the search for new hydrothermal vent fields. The unmanned, remotely operated underwater vehicle Ægir 6000 is one of few vessels in the world that can dive to depths of 6000 meter. In the darkness of the deep sea, Ægir collects samples, deploys and picks up experiments and video tapes whatever it encounters, giving the scientists at the surface new insights into this unique, deep marine environment.
Back at the university, the results from the effort at sea start to emerge. Maybe our sediment samples contain undescribed organisms that change the configuration of the tree of life itself? The data collected during our research cruises form the foundation of most of the activities at the centre. It is therefore safe to say that the cruises make up the backbone of our research.
The Centre is in possession of hours of exciting video footage from the deep sea. Please contact us if you wish to use any of the footage. The following links show a selection of our videos and media contributions:
- Videos from live streaming of the underwater vehicle Ægir 6000s exploration of the deep sea are available on our facebook page.
- Learn more about the sampling of manganese crusts and volcanic rocks through videos from our 2019 cruise (in Norwegian).
- TV2 Nyhetskanalen (Norwegian news channel) broadcast live from the 2017 cruise. Interviews with Centre director Rolf Birger Pedersen and Professor Ida Helene Steen are available here (in Norwegian).