Tuesday, 21 August 2012

Playing with Mud

After a couple of days of multibeam to the north of the Stanton Banks site, we got to do some biological sampling. We conducted five video tows and two grab samples from areas of interest detected in the multibeam images. On one camera tow over rocky reef, we observed hundreds of small prawn cracker sponges, Axinella infundibuliformis (see image), encrusting the rocks. On other tows, we saw areas of burrowed mud, with seafans and evidence of Nephrops norvegicus. The two grab samples we collected were both of muddy sediment, which have now been sieved and preserved ready for analysis. It was my first time doing grab sampling, hence the cheesy photo with the Day grab! We use a Day grab to sample finer sediment as it tends to disturb the sediment less during collection.

We are now back to using multibeam for the next couple of days over the larger south-eastern portion of the Stanton Banks site.
There is a large area of low pressure heading towards us over the next couple of days with some murmurs of swells reaching up to 2.5m so there is some trepidation about that!

Becca Lowe