The MoLAB lander emerging from the water. Photo: Fred Buyle

Image of the Month: September 2018

The MoLAB Lander, Cape Verde Islands

Landers are autonomous deep-sea laboratories that GEOMAR has been using successfully in all oceans for years. Depending on the scientific payload, there are different sizes: some only carry individual measuring devices; others can also place complex test arrangements on the seafloor. Landers are used in the MoLAB system ("Modular Multidisciplinary Seafloor Observatory). MoLAB consists of a network of different systems that are used flexibly depending on the scientific question. The special feature: a lander is used as a so-called "master lander". It is connected to all other components via acoustic signals, so that the data can be measured uniformly. This enables the system to synchronously measure biological, physical, chemical and geological parameters on the seafloor and in the water column above it over several square kilometers of seabed for months.

The MoLAB lander in the picture was deployed in February 2017 from board of the RV Merian during the expedition MSM61 on top of the Cape Verdean Senghor Seamount at a water depth of 119 meters. During its time in the water, the lander carried out long-term measurements for currents, oxygen, salinity, temperature, pressure and chlorophyll a. In addition, it was equipped with a time-lapse camera, which for the first time was able to record an animal species not previously documented in the Cape Verde Islands.

In September 2017, he was taken back on board the RV YERSIN, a ship from Monaco, as part of the Monaco Explorations. An acoustic signal on the surface triggered the lander's ascent. The picture shows the moment when it reappears on the surface.

 

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Der MoLAB Lander on board the RV YERSIN. Photo: Björn Fiedler/GEOMAR

Der MoLAB Lander on board the RV YERSIN. Photo: Björn Fiedler/GEOMAR

YERSIN, the research vessel of Monaco Explorations. Photo: Björn Fiedler/GEOMAR

YERSIN, the research vessel of Monaco Explorations. Photo: Björn Fiedler/GEOMAR

An underwater shot of the lander. Photo: Henk-Jan Hoving/GEOMAR

An underwater shot of the lander. Photo: Henk-Jan Hoving/GEOMAR