Project Status - Complete
Start Year: 2000
End Year: 2003
Funding Body: EC FP5
Geographic Area: European Coast
Local Study Area: Rockall Trough and Porcupine S
Project Co-Ordinator: Dr. Andy Wheeler, UCC
CMRC Contact: Max Kozachenko
The CMRC successfully carried out the acquisition of 100kHz and 410kHz side-scan sonar surveys in the Rockall Trough and Porcupine Seabight. The acquisition of these images was technically challenging involving the deployment of items of equipment at the limit of their operational effectiveness. CMRC also managed to survey larger areas than anticipated due to the smoothness of the operation. As a result, these images represent the best at present) views of these deep-water habitat collected using side-scan sonar. Furthermore, these images allow to observe these deep-water coral bioherms at a spatial resolution appropriate for the evaluation morphological features and environmental controls. The images are also at the appropriate spatial scale to allow the integration of regional side-scan and multibeam mapping with video and sample data, providing fundamental data in their own right as well as facilitating further scientific investigations.
The surveys were performed on the Darwin Mounds, northern Rockall Trough (100 & 410kHz coverage) and the Belgica Mounds (410kHz coverage), eastern Porcupine Seabight. Images from this survey are viewable on the AGU poster (Wheeler et al., 2000). Detailed results of this survey have been published in the "ACES Atlas of the side-scan sonar imagery of deep-water coral bioherms & related seabed features, NE Atlantic" (Wheeler et al., 2001; see the cover on the right).