Scars in the Abyss: Reconstructing sequence, location and temporal change of the 78 plough tracks of the 1989 DISCOL deep sea disturbance experiment in the Peru Basin .

Gausepohl, Florian, Hennke, Anne, Schoening, Timm , Köser, Kevin and Greinert, Jens (2019) Scars in the Abyss: Reconstructing sequence, location and temporal change of the 78 plough tracks of the 1989 DISCOL deep sea disturbance experiment in the Peru Basin . Open Access Biogeosciences Discussions . DOI 10.5194/bg-2019-348.

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Abstract

High-resolution optical and hydroacoustic seafloor data acquired in 2015 enabled the reconstruction of disturbance tracks of a past Benthic Impact Experiment that was conducted in 1989 in the Peru Basin in the course of former German environmental impact studies associated with manganese nodule mining. Based on this information, the disturbance level of the experiment regarding the plough impact and distribution and re-deposition of sediment from the evolving sediment plume was assessed qualitatively. Through this, the evolution over the 26 years of a number of the total 78 disturbance tracks could be analyzed which highlights the considerable difference between natural sedimentation in the deep-sea and sedimentation of a resettled sediment plume. Such plumes are seen as one of the most concerning impact associated with potential Mn-nodule mining.

Problems in data processing became eminent while dealing with old data from the late 80s, at a time when GPS was just invented and underwater navigation was in an infant stage. However, even today the uncertainties of underwater navigation and the use of a variety of acoustical and optical sensors at different resolutions require detailed post-processing in terms of absolute geographic positioning to improve the overall accuracy of the data. In this study, a ship-based bathymetric map of the survey area was used as absolute geographic reference and a workflow was applied successfully resulting in the most accurate geo-referenced dataset of the DISCOL Experimental Area to date. The new field data were acquired with sensors attached to GEOMARs AUV Abyss and the 0.5 × 1° EM122 multibeam system of RV SONNE during cruise SO242 -1 while the old data first needed to be found and compiled before they could be digitized and properly georeferenced for the presented joined analyses.

Document Type: Article
Funder compliance: info:eu-repo/grantAgreement/EC/FP7/603418
Research affiliation: OceanRep > GEOMAR > FB2 Marine Biogeochemistry > FB2-MG Marine Geosystems
OceanRep > GEOMAR > FB2 Marine Biogeochemistry > FB2-MG Marine Geosystems > DeepSea Monitoring
Refereed: No
Open Access Journal?: Yes
DOI etc.: 10.5194/bg-2019-348
ISSN: 1810-6285
Related URLs:
Projects: MiningImpact, MIDAS
Contribution Number:
ProjectNumber
DSM34
Expeditions/Models/Experiments:
Date Deposited: 23 Oct 2019 09:36
Last Modified: 23 Oct 2019 10:57
URI: http://oceanrep.geomar.de/id/eprint/48059

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