S/V Ocean Surveyor Reporting From the Bothnian Bay

S/V Ocean Surveyor with crew arrived at the old industry port at Seskarö, an island not far from Haparanda, in the beginning of August. New for this year’s field work is that the launch vessel Ugglan have been equipped with a multibeam echosounder, the EM2040C. After some initial testing and calibration the echosounder proved to produce excellent data that will greatly contribute in the creation of accurate models for the project, to great delight for all the crew members.

Ocean Surveyor will stay for another week in the survey area returning south at the end of August. When the survey vessel turns its stern southward for the journey back for new adventures, Ocean Surveyor and its launch vessel Ugglan will this year have produced a total of 35 square kilometres of full coverage multibeam data and collected around 100 sediment samples along with numerous subbottom sediment profiles, seafloor images and video photage from the seafloor. This year’s data combined with data collected the previous field season will provide excellent preconditions for the habitat modelling in the next phase of the SEAmBoth project.

A common sight of the sea floor: residual material from washed out till. (Photo by Geological Survey of Sweden)

Weather conditions are always a delimiting factor in offshore surveying, and so was also the case this year. We are happy to say that although we have had some weather standbys due to heavy winds we were still able to fulfill what we set out to achieve when we arrived at the far north of the Bothnian Bay in the beginning of August.

It is a delight to work in this beautiful setting. On a sunny day the archipelago is stunning with its desolate wilderness. Not seldom seals are observed on isolated rocks and fish will often swim by our submerged camera. An environment well worth preserving for coming generations. Knowledge of the environment and habitats in these hard-to-reach areas are very important in order to understand the full complexity and values of the Bothnian Bay.

The crew posing on the bridge of S/V Ocean Surveyor. (Photo by Geological Survey of Sweden)

Written by: Ola Hallberg, Geological Survey of Sweden

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