|Discovery at NOC|
Of course, there is also a need to collect samples from the seabed so we can ground-truth the image data we are collecting and make sure that what we think we are seeing is accurate. So while the Autosub is underwater on one of its 20 plus-hour missions, we will use the time to deploy the megacorer and boxcorer which will hopefully provide plenty of samples for us to assess sediment grain size, the abundance and diversity of the infauna (animals that live in the sediment), bacterial counts and much more.
En route to the PAP site we will make a stop in shallower water at a site called the Goban Spur so Charlie Main (NOC PhD student) can collect sediment and water samples to start her experiments to study the effects of crude oil on infaunal seabed community ecosystem functionality, which we will hopefully hear more about from her once everything is set up and running! After that, we head onwards to the PAP site and aim to start working there first thing on Sunday morning (weather permitting!).
Images and text by Rosanna Milligan