Cruise inventory

MSV Nordica Nordica 2003

Cruise summary report

Cruise Info. 
Ship name (ship code)MSV Nordica (34NR)
Cruise identifierNordica 2003
Cruise period2003-07-25 — 2003-07-28
StatusCompleted
Port of departureInvergordon, United Kingdom
Port of returnInvergordon, United Kingdom
PurposeResearch
ObjectivesAs part of the SERPENT project a trip to the Schiehallion field west of Shetland was undertaken on board the Subsea 7 vessel Nordica. This is a high specification ROV support vessel with two Centurion HD ROVs and a highly experienced crew, making it ideal for science industry collaboration. The official work scope involved the collection of several large chains on the seabed, but this task only required one ROV for the majority of the time, leaving the other one free to carry out biological tasks. The main aim of the science work was to survey an area of seabed within an active oil field to gain an impression of the species richness, standing stock and distribution of the benthic megafauna. Active oil field areas such as Schiehallion cover a wide area, the drilling operations only seem to impact a small region around the drilling site, leaving large areas of virtually unspoiled seabed. The seabed outside the protected oil field exclusion zones is heavily impacted by trawling and therefore not entirely representative of the "natural" seabed of the west of Shetland area. The seabed in the Schiehallion zone ranges from around 360-400m in depth and tend to consist of a gravel, pebbles and occasional larger cobbles and boulders. It has large numbers of large invertebrates and fish with sponges, squat lobsters, urchins, ling and cod being particularly common.

While seabed survey operations were being carried out several traps were deployed designed to catch amphipods. These traps, containing a mackerel bait, attracted large numbers of these scavengers. These were preserved for future use by the BP biodiversity fellow at SOC, Tammy Horton.

In all, despite the short duration of the trip (16 hours on station), it was highly successful, with a number of ROV benthic surveys being carried out and a successful trapping experiment. This goes to highlight the value of industry science collaboration on projects such as this. Without the help of BP and Subsea7 and their ROV crews none of this work could have been achieved.
Chief scientistDaniel Jones (Southampton Oceanography Centre)
ProjectSERPENT
Coordinating bodyNational Oceanography Centre, Southampton
Cruise reportMSV Nordica Nordica 2003 cruise report nordica2003.pdf — access key 'C' (0.68 MB)  MSV Nordica Nordica 2003 cruise report serpentproject2007.pdf (5.38 MB) 
Ocean/sea areas 
GeneralNorth East Atlantic Ocean (limit 40W)
SpecificSchiehallion oil field, west of Shetland
Track chartsMSV Nordica Nordica 2003 cruise track — nordica2003trk.pdf (00 MB) 
Measurements 
Biology and fisheries 
MolluscsQuantity: number of deployments = 1
Description: amphipod traps
Geology and geophysics 
Bottom photographyQuantity: number of surveys = 6
Description: random 50m transects in 100x100m square of station 2
Bottom photographyQuantity: number of surveys = 3
Description: 50x50m ROV grid surveys, two on station 1 and one on station 2; 10 lines per grid, except 3 only 9
In-situ seafloor measurement/samplingQuantity: number of surveys = 3
Description: 50x50m ROV grid surveys, two on station 1 and one on station 2; 10 lines per grid, except 3 only 9
In-situ seafloor measurement/samplingQuantity: number of surveys = 6
Description: random 50m transects in 100x100m square of station 2
Other geological/geophysical measurementsQuantity: number of surveys = 1
Description: altitude study