Closed DSM Projects

The DeepSea Monitoring group has been involved in the following national and international research projects: 

JPIO Mining Impact - Environmental Impacts and Risks of Deep-Sea Mining

This MiningImpact phase followed up on the results of the JPI Oceans pilot action on "Ecological Aspects of Deep-Sea Mining" which terminated in late December 2017 (see results here). While the initial MiningImpact phase investigated experimental and rather small-scale disturbances of the seafloor over decadal timescales, the second part independently studied and comprehensively monitored in real time the environmental impact of an industrial trial to mine manganese nodules on the seafloor  conducted simultaneously and independently by the Belgian contractor DEME-GSR in the Belgian and German licence area in the Clarion-Clipperton-Zone.

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In the ROBUST project a fully autonomous underwater vehicle was developed, capable of hovering and grasping objects with a robotic arm. Additionally equipped with a Multibeam Echosounder, a Stereo Camera System and a Laser Scanner, it is capable of autonomously exploring vast terrains and analyzing individual resource deposits like manganese nodules.

A device was developed to allow Laser Induced Breakdown Spectroscopy (LIBS) in situ, making it possible to analyze materials without bringing them to the surface.

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In the UDEMM project, extensive studies were made in order to analyse marine munition dumpsites regarding their content, state of deposition on the seafloor, release of explosive-type compounds and their uptake into the environment. The research inside the marine munition dumpsite ‘Kolberger Heide’ shows that it contains a very high number of marine munition objects in close contact to marine fauna and flora and environmental contamination is an issue.

A guideline was released on how monitoring of affected sites should be performed and how methods, such as hydroacoustic and optical mapping, seafloor classification, geochemical TNT measurements and biomonitoring are correctly used for such analyses.

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ENVRIplus was a cluster project supporting a development and integration of the major European Environmental and Earth System RIs. The DeepSea Monitoring group participated in the ENVRIplus Methane scientific cruise in April 2019,  undertaken in the Romanian sector of Black Sea coupling different methodologies for quantifying marine methane transfer from the sediment to the atmosphere. A joint monitoring strategy for methane quantification was developed. Both in situ measurements and onshore analyses from collected samples were carried out.

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JPIO Mining Impact

- Ecological Aspects of Deep-Sea Mining

The JPIOceans project ‘MiningImpact’ aimed to assess the long-term impacts of polymetallic nodule mining on the deep-sea environment. Core to the project have been three 2015 marine research campaigns, conducted in the CCZ and the DISCOL Areas of the Pacific Ocean. The group was strongly involved in AUV-based image and hydroacoustic mapping, lander deployments and image database issues. See results here

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The MIDAS project - Managing Impacts of Deep-seA reSource exploitation - was a multidisciplinary research programme investigating the environmental impacts of extracting mineral and energy resources from the deep-sea environment. This included the exploitation of materials such as polymetallic sulphides, manganese nodules, cobalt-rich ferromanganese crusts, methane hydrates and the potential mining of rare earth elements.

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The third phase of the BMBF/BMWI-funded “Submarine Gas Hydrate Reservoirs” aimed to commercialize techniques for monitoring and quantifying free gas release.

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CAGE and MOCA focused on methane release in the Arctic offshore Svalbard, and the group was involved as an affiliated researcher (CAGE) and external partner (MOCA). The projects were run by the University of Tromsoe and NILU in Norway, respectively. We conducted hydroacoustic analyses in CAGE and MOCA to quantify the amount of free gas released from several sites at the shelf and slope offshore PKF as well as at pockmarks at Vestnesa Ridge. Further we supported the projects with our geochemical expertise and technology to measure methane in the water column and at the sea surface.

Future Ocean Cluster

Several members of the group were also members of the Future Ocean Cluster.