More than 100 kg of samples were taken from the deepwater seabed as a result of this year's expedition. The deepest completed ROV dive was 3570 m.The operations were conducted by the Centre for Deep Sea Research at the University of Bergen (UiB), and were based on similar partnerships between the NPD and UiB - for example at the Vøring Spur and the Gjallar Ridge in 2013. The Vøring Spur is a subsea ridge located in the central Norwegian Sea, and knowledge about the subsurface from this ridge will provide more information concerning the opening of the North Atlantic.
The NPD funds UiB's annual expeditions to the Mohns Ridge, and therefore had available operating time at the Vøring Spur. The goal of this year's operations at the Vøring Spur was to acquire bathymetry, collect local rock samples from exposed rock and collect manganese crusts. Despite adverse weather conditions, UiB conducted data acquisition as planned, and the expedition will now continue with exploration of the Mohns Ridge further northwest in the Norwegian Sea. The collected materials will arrive in Bergen in late July/early August, where the NPD will then initiate analyses and examinations of the unique data points from the Vøring Spur. Preliminary results indicate that the samples consist of silt and sandstone, in addition to certain substantial local deposits of manganese crusts. The materials will be included in the NPD's knowledge base concerning the subsurface and deepwater metals, which has been accumulated over time.
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Adapted from a press release by Louise Mulhall
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