Getting the lie of the land

28 April 2019

Today kicked off bright and early with our first deployment of the Gavia Autonomous Underwater Vehicle (AUV). The sea was uncharacteristically calm for the North Sea, with barely a wave in sight – hopefully a sign of how blessed this expedition will be! After a quick ballast test the Gavia dived down over 100m to begin surveying the site of our controlled release experiment. This will create a detailed 200,000 square metre map of the area using sidescan sonar and underwater photography. In fact, we will know the area better than the back of our hand as we also carried out a seismic survey using a chirp sub bottom profiler so we know what it looks like up to 10m below the sediment surface!

The AUV Gavia being launched (with the Goldeneye platform in the background), and some of the images from the seabed 100m down…. featuring sea stars!

Tomorrow the heavy lifting begins as we lower the gas tank and drill the pipeline which the rest of the team has spent the day preparing for.

Our engineering team give the CO2 tanks the final once-over before deployment tomorrow.

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