Side-scan sonar

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  • This dataset consists of image mosaics of submarine canyons off Morocco collected using TOBI side-scan sonar on RV Maria S. Merian cruise MSM32, which occurred between 25 September and 30 October 2013. Imaging was conducted using a TOBI deep tow sidescan sonar, a high-resolution 2D seismic system consisting of a 150m long 88 channel digital streamer and a standard GI-gun. This cruise formed the field component of NERC Discovery Science project ‘How do submarine landslides disintegrate and form long run-out turbidity currents in the deep ocean, and how erosive are these flows?’ The study aimed to generate the first ever field dataset tracing a large-scale submarine landslide and its associated sediment-gravity flow from source-to-sink. This resulting dataset will aim to answer three important science questions: 1) How quickly do large submarine landslides disintegrate into long run-out sediment flows, and how is this process influenced by shape of the slope? 2) How efficiently do landslides remove failed material, i.e. what proportion of landslide debris is deposited on the slope and how much transforms into a flow that is transported distally? 3) How much sediment is incorporated into the flow through seafloor erosion, and where does most of this erosion take place? The Discovery Science project was composed of Standard Grant reference NE/J012955/1 and was led by Professor Russell Barry Wynn (National Oceanography Centre, Science and Technology). Funding ran from 07 June 2013 to 06 June 2014. Data have been received by BODC as raw files from the RRS James Cook and are available on request from BODC enquiries.

  • The data set comprises of geophysical observations in the source regions of the 2004 and 2005 great Sumatra earthquakes. Geophysical surveys were carried out to determine the seabed bathymetry and underlying structure and geometry and included the collection of seismic reflection, magnetic, gravity, and sidescan sonar data. In addition, Conductivity-Temperature-Depth (CTD) and Sound-Velocity Probe (SVP) data were collected, as well as continuous meteorological (air pressure, air temperature, radiance, relative humidity, wind direction and speed) and sea surface (temperature and conductivity) data. Data were collected in the Indian Ocean, west and north west of Sumatra between 8 degrees South, 6 degrees North, 94 and 108 degrees East. The data were collected during three cruises, SO198-1, SO198-2 and SO200 over two legs SO200-1 and SO200-2. The three cruises took place between May 2008 and February 2009. The data collection focussed on the areas around two earthquake segment boundaries: Segment Boundary 1 (SB1) between the 2004 and 2005 ruptures at Simeulue Island, and Segment Boundary 2 (SB2) between the 2005 and smaller 1935 ruptures between Nias and the Batu Islands. Measurements were taken using a variety of instrumentation across all three cruises including: the long-term deployment of 50 Ocean-Bottom Seismometers (OBS) deployed on cruise SO198-1 and retrieved on cruise SO200-1; 154 Expendable Bathythermograph (XBT) probes; high resolution multichannel seismic reflection (MCS) profilers; Swath bathymetric and backscatter echosounders; SVPs and CTDs which were deployed simultaneously; and a gravity meter and Parasound sub-bottom profiler were operated continuously within the survey areas. In addition, sea surface and meteorological measurements were made using the underway system throughout the three cruises, although there are no data for days at the beginning and end of the cruises of up to 10 days. During the two legs of SO200 additional instrumentation was deployed including: a 30 kHz deep-towed sidescan sonar system (TOBI); piston cores and megacores collected along the plate margin; and heatflow probes long transects. The UK Sumatra Consortium project aimed to characterise the subduction boundary between the Indian-Australian plate and the Burman and Sumatra blocks (including subduction zone structure and rock physical properties), record seismic activity, improve and link earthquake slip distribution to the structure of the subduction zone and to determine the sedimentological record of great earthquakes (both recent and historic) along this part of the plate margin. The project will allow better assessment of future earthquake magnitudes and locations, and further the general understanding of the earthquake rupture process. The UK Sumatra Consortium project was led by the National Oceanography Centre Southampton (NOCS) and involved five UK partners; NOCS, the universities of Cambridge, Oxford and Liverpool, and the British Geological Survey as well as numerous international partners including French, German, American, Indonesian and Indian Collaborators. The principal investigator was Dr Timothy Henstock from NOC. The Natural Environment Research Council (NERC) funded data will be managed by the British Oceanographic Data Centre (BODC).

  • Collection of geophysical and oceanographic data from several cruises dedicated to the repeated mapping and monitoring of three UK Marine Protected Areas (MPAs) - Haig Fras, Whittard Canyon and the Darwin Mounds. Data were collected during the following 2018-2020 cruises: JC166/7, DY103, DY108/9, DY120 and DY106. Data collection took place at three of the UK’s MPAs - Haig Fras Marine Conservation Zone (MCZ) in the Celtic Sea, Whittard Canyon submarine complex, which includes The Canyons MCZ, situated off the south west UK continental shelf and Darwin Mounds Special Area of Conservation (SAC), situated in the northern Rockall Trough. An Autonomous Underwater Vehicle (AUV) was used to collect photographic data, sidescan sonar and multibeam bathymetry. Other data included shipboard multibeam bathymetry data; moored ADCP, CTD and sediment trap datasets from repeat mooring deployments; ROV video, pushcores and specimen samples; settling plate experiments; box cores and mega cores; BioCam imagery. The MPAs under investigation had been previously surveyed on cruises JC035 (2009) and JC125 (2015) hence these cruises formed part of the Fixed Point Observations Underpinning Activity. Here repeated observations and surveys of MPAs and their surroundings aim to provide insight into the development and recovery of benthic ecosystems following natural and/or anthropogenic impacts. The data collection was undertaken by scientists at the UK’s National Oceanography Centre (NOC) and formed part of the Natural Environment Research Council (NERC) Climate Linked Atlantic Sector Science (CLASS) Programme (NERC grant reference NE/R015953/1).

  • This dataset was collected on the cruise JC136 in May and June 2016. This cruise is associated with a NERC joint standard research grant (NE/K011855/1 and NE/K013513/1) entitled “Influence of population connectivity on depth-dependent diversity of deep-sea marine benthic biota”. The aims of the project are to investigate connectivity among deep-sea populations at different depths and spatial scales using: 1) larval dispersal modelling using Lagrangian particle tracking, driven by hydrographic models, 2) population genetics/genomics, and 3) benthic community analysis. The aims of cruise JC136 were then to sample a range of sites and depth bands to: 1. obtain physical samples of 4 model organisms for molecular analysis, 2. gather benthic biological survey data for community level analysis, 3. collect oceanographic data to validate high-resolution oceanographic models with which we will model larval dispersal. The chief scientists of this cruise were Kerry Howell (University of Plymouth School of Marine Science and Engineering) and Michelle L Taylor (University of Oxford Department of Zoology). This dataset contains a variety of navigation data (position, heading, bathymetry), atmospheric measurements (air temperature, wind speed and direction, irradiance and humidity) and sea surface hydrographic data (transmittance, chlorophyll fluorescence, sea surface temperature and conductivity). Data were collected in the NE Atlantic (Rockall Bank, George Bligh Bank, Anton Dohrn Seamount, Wyville-Thomson Ridge, Rosemary Bank) from 27 ROV dives, 12 AUV missions, 43 CTD casts, 2 mooring deployments and equipment trials. All cruise aims were broadly met. 3630 biological samples were obtained, including sufficient depth and site coverage for molecular analysis of 3 target species. Video transect data was also obtained, with sufficient replication and depth stratification from 3 sites and near complete sampling from a 4th. This cruise provides sufficient oceanographic data to validate our models. In addition, 5811.66 km2 of seafloor multibeam was collected to contribute to ongoing efforts to map the North Atlantic, including the first multibeam from the Geike Slide and Hebridean Slope Nature Conservation Marine Protected Area (NCMPA). Poor visibility at the seabed prevented a planned resurvey of the Darwin Mounds Marine Protected Area (MPA).

  • Data from the MarineE-tech project were collected via three platforms; ship, Autonomous Underwater Vehicle (AUV) and Remotely Operated Vehicle (ROV). Shipboard data includes multibeam bathymetry, sub-bottom profiler, gravimeter and moorings data, plus CTD casts and gravity core samples. AUV data consists of high-resolution multibeam bathymetry, sub-bottom profiler, CTD, LADCP, turbidity and magnetics data, plus camera stills. ROV data consists of video and camera stills plus grab samples and drill core samples. Also available are numerical model results and input files from the TELEMAC-3D numerical model developed by HR Wallingford and used to predict currents during plume dispersion experiments. Data were collected from the Tropic Seamount in the Northeast Atlantic Ocean between October and December 2016. A second cruise, DY094, collected data from the Rio Grande Rise and Sao Paulo Ridge region in the Southwest Atlantic Ocean from late 2017 to early 2018. The project deployed robotic underwater technology including the use of the 6500m depth-rated ISIS remotely operated vehicle to sample over 100 locations of FeMn crusts and the 6000m rated AUV Autosub6000 to image the lateral extent and thickness of crusts across the seamounts. Benthic landers and moored instruments such as ADCPs (for disturbance plume monitoring) were also deployed. The JC142 oceanographic data provided verification for the TELEMAC-3D numerical model. This research will improve understanding of the processes controlling the concentration of E-tech deposits and their composition at a local scale, and for the potential impacts of mineral recovery to be identified. MarineE-tech is jointly funded by the Natural Environment Research Council (NERC), Security of Supply of Mineral Resources (SoS Minerals), Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Programme (EPSRC), and the Sao Paulo Research Foundation (FAPESP). Other parties involved include the British Geological Survey (BGS), University of Sao Paulo, University of Bath, University of Leicester, HR Wallingford, Marine Ecological Surveys Ltd (MESL), Secretariat of the Pacific Community (SPC) and Soil Machine Dynamics Ltd (SMD).

  • The dataset comprises concentration of gas hydrates beneath the seabed, in the water column and, atmosphere along with the topography of the sea floor. Data were collected in the Arctic Ocean off the NorthWestern coast of Svalbard across the continental margin between 78 and 80 North and 4 and 11 East. The data were collected during cruise JR211 which, over two legs, took place between 23rd August 2008 and 24th September 2008. Geophysical and geological techniques were used to detect methane hydrate beneath the seafloor and to investigate features trough which methane escapes to the seafloor. The seabed was imaged and mapped using a multibeam sonar (Simrad EM120), an echosounder (Simrad EK60), TOBI deep-towed sidescan sonar (30 kHz), widescan sidescan sonar (100 and 350 kHz). The sedimentary layers and geological structures beneath the seabed were imaged with the 7 kHz profiler in TOBI, a TOPAS sub-bottom acoustic profiler and multichannel seismic reflaction (96 channels with 6.25 m group spacing) using two air guns in true GI mode 45/105 More accurate information on seismic velocity was obtained by deploying ocean-bottom seismometers on the seabed which contained 3 Sercel L-28 4.5 Hz geophones and a High Tech HTI-90-U hydrophone. Sediment samples were obtained using a piston corer, a gravity corer and, a box corer. Water chemistry was measured from discrete samples taken from bottles attached to the conductivity-temperature-depth (CTD) sensor package and continuously from the ship's seawater supply. Methane concentration was measured on-board using a headspace technique. Air samples were collected at 12 hour intervals. Sampling occurred on the Navigation Bridge deck and the side of the ship upwind of the ships emissions was chosen each time. Additional samples were also collected close to the ship's funnel, to check for contamination, and from the gas released by the cores when in an inert atmosphere (N2). Analysis of methane mixing ratio is performed by Gas Chromatography - Flame Ionisation Detector (GC-FID) and the stable carbon isotopic composition of methane is analysed using a continuous flow Gas Chromatography - Isotope Ratio Mass Spectrometry (GC-IRMS) system. Almost half of the Earth's carbon is stored in gas hydrates and related shallow gas deposits. Numerical models predict that this reservoir is highly mobile and that escaping gas has a significant potential to accelerate climate change releasing as much as 2000 Gt of methane over a short period of time. As methane is a potent greenhouse gas it would course further global warming. Arctic gas hydrates are most vulnerable to future climate change because (1) it is predicted that temperatures will increase faster in the Arctic than in low latitudes (2) the intercept of the gas hydrate stability zone with the seabed is within the reach of fast warming surface waters and (3) the water column above the vulnerable zone of gas hydrates is smaller than in warmer oceans facilitating more efficient transport of greenhouse gases to the atmosphere. This information will allow a detailed assessment of the mobility of Arctic gas hydrates and it will significantly decrease the uncertainties involved in climate modelling. The data were collected by the National Oceanographic Centre, Southampton with Professor Tim Minshull as the principal scientist on-board.

  • This data set comprises hydrographic measurements including temperature, salinity, fluorescence, attenuance, dissolved oxygen concentrations and current velocities. Water samples were also collected for salinity and geochemical analysis, and the data set also includes bathymetric, sediment and upper ocean turbulence measurements. The data were collected over six Science Missions at the Strait of Sicily, West Coast of Scotland (Loch Etive and Loch Fyne), North-East Scotland and Shetland Islands, North Weddell Sea, Isles of Scilly, Southern North Sea (Norfolk Bank) over the period 19 April 1999 – 25 May 2001. The data were collected by both shipboard sensors and those attached to the Autosub (Autonomous Underwater Vehicle) package. Shipboard data collection included deployment of a conductivity-temperature-depth (CTD) package with attached auxiliary sensors. Lowered acoustic Dopper current profilers (LADCPs) were also attached to the CTD frame, while discrete water samples were collected from the CTD stations. Oceanographic, bathymetric and sediment data were collected along the ship’s track. Autosub measurements included standard environmental parameters and acoustic instruments were used to measure ocean bottom relief at high resolution. A camera was also attached to the vehicle, permitting the collection of detailed photographs of the seabed. The broad aims of the Autosub Programme are the collection of interdisciplinary data sets that cannot be obtained by research ships, and demonstration to the scientific and wider user community of the usefulness of an AUV. Investigators: David A Smeed, Kate Stansfield, Julian Overnell, Kenny D Black, Peter Statham, Chris German, Andrew S. Brierley, Paul G. Fernandes, Mark A. Brandon, Alex Cunningham, Peter Burkill, Glen Tarran, Prof. Mike Collins, Dr George Voulgaris, Dr John Trowbridge, Dr Eugene Terray, Steve A Thorpe and Thomas Osborn. The British Oceanographic Data Centre holds the Autosub navigation files, CTD and ADCP data for each of the missions listed above. The data are contained as high resolution time series. The data are presently being processed and have not been fully quality controlled. The Autosub science missions brought together researchers and engineers from a number of UK institutions, with the project being coordinated by the National Oceanography Centre, Southampton.

  • This dataset comprises of suspended sediment, sediment transport and water column structure data collected at two sites in the mouth of the Dee Estuary, Liverpool Bay during February and March of every year from 2005 to 2009. Throughout each data collection cruise the RV Prince Madog underway monitoring system recorded latitude, longitude, ship speed and heading, depth, air temperature, air pressure, humidity, wind speed and direction, photosynthetically active radiation (PAR), sea temperature and salinity, beam transmission, fluorescence and, for 2009, dissolved oxygen concentration. At each site visit profiles of the water column were made over a 25 hour tidal cycle using a conductivity-temperature-depth (CTD) sensor package. Measurements include temperature, salinity, PAR, beam attenuation, particle scattering and transmission, fluorescence, and oxygen concentration. Additionally samples of salinity, suspended particulate matter and in-situ temperature at discrete depths within the water column were obtained and grab samples were taken from the sea-bed after each CTD cast. The RV Prince Madog also performed side-scan sonar tows. During the February cruises mooring frames were deployed on the sea-bed. These frames provided current profiles, particle size information, particle scattering information, bed ripple profiles, sediment settling velocity and temperature, salinity and pressure at each site. The mooring frames were recovered during the March cruises. The main aim of this research was to assess and advance the latest marine sediment transport models. These data allow this assessment to be made by providing information on the complex inter-dependence of sediment processes in the bottom boundary layer. The data were collected by the Proudman Oceanographic Laboratory (now the National Oceanography Centre). Data management was provided by the British Oceanographic Data Centre.

  • The data set comprises measurement of physical and biogeochemical oceanographic parameters and complementary meteorology collected during the Liverpool Bay/Irish Sea Coastal Observatory initiative. It includes measurements from across the Liverpool Bay and Irish Sea area with data collection spanning a decade from 2001 to 2011. It incorporates regular hydrographic survey cruises (typically 8 - 10 per year) undertaken by the RV Prince Madog, data collected via instrumented ferries, time series data from oceanographic moorings and at two meteorological stations, namely: Bidston Observatory (up to 2004) and Hilbre Island (2004 - 2011), and a shore-based high-frequency (HF) radar measuring waves and surface currents out to a range of 50km. The hydrographic surveys include conductivity-temperature-depth (CTD) casts with attached auxiliary sensors and data collected via the ships' underway monitoring system. Oceanographic parameters include temperature, salinity, dissolved oxygen, attenuance, turbidity, fluorescence, chlorophyll, nutrients, irradiance, waves and currents and meteorological parameters include air temperature, air pressure, wind velocities, humidity, precipitation and atmospheric irradiance. The instrumented ferries also incorporated an underway monitoring system for sea surface properties. The Observatory integrated (near) real-time measurements with the POLCOMS (Proudman Oceanographic Laboratory Coastal Ocean Modelling System) models. The objective was to understand a coastal sea's response both to natural forcing and to the consequences of human activity. The foci were the impact of storms, variations in river discharge (especially the Mersey), seasonality, and blooms in Liverpool Bay. The Observatory was coordinated at the National Oceanography Centre (previously the Proudman Oceanographic Laboratory, POL) in Liverpool and data are managed by British Oceanographic Data Centre (BODC). The data set is supplemented by infra-red (for sea surface temperature) and visible (for chlorophyll and suspended sediment) satellite data. These data are held at the NERC Earth Observation Data Centre /Remote Sensing Data Analysis Service (NEODC/RSDAS).