Seabed images from Southern Ocean shelf regions off the northern
Antarctic Peninsula and in the southeastern Weddell Sea
Dieter Piepenburg1, Alexander Buschmann1, Amelie Driemel1, Hannes Grobe1, Julian Gutt1, Stefanie Schumacher1, Alexandra Segelken-Voigt1,2, and Rainer Sieger11Alfred Wegener Institute, Helmholtz Centre for Polar and Marine Research Bremerhaven, Am Handelshafen 12, D-26570 Bremerhaven, Germany 2Carl von Ossietzky University of Oldenburg, Ammerländer Heerstraße 114-118, D-26129 Oldenburg, Germany
Received: 03 Mar 2017 – Accepted for review: 19 Mar 2017 – Discussion started: 24 Mar 2017
Abstract. Recent advances in underwater imaging technology allow for gathering invaluable scientific information on sea- floor ecosystems, such as direct in-situ views of seabed habitats and quantitative data on composition, diversity, abundance and distribution of epibenthic fauna. The imaging approach has been extensively used within the research project Dynamics of Antarctic Marine Shelf Ecosystems (DynAMo) of the Alfred Wegener Institute, Helmholtz Centre for Polar and Marine Research Bremerhaven (AWI), which aimed to comparatively assess the pace and quality of the dynamics of Southern Ocean benthos. Within this framework, epibenthic spatial distribution patterns have been comparatively investigated in two regions of the Atlantic sector of the Southern Ocean, the shelf areas off the northern tip of the Antarctic Peninsula, representing a region with above-average warming of surface waters and sea-ice reduction, and the shelves of the eastern Weddell Sea, as an example of a stable high-Antarctic marine environment that is not (yet) affected by climate change. The Ocean Floor Observation System (OFOS) of the AWI was used to collect seabed imagery during two cruises of the German research vessel Polarstern, ANT-XXIX/3 (PS81) to the Antarctic Peninsula in January–March 2013 and ANT-XXXI/2 (PS96) to the Weddell Sea from December 2015 to February 2016. Here, we report on the image and data collections gathered during these cruises. During PS81, OFOS was successfully deployed at a total of 31 stations at water depths between 29 and 784 m. At most stations, series of 500 to 530 pictures (> 15,000 in total, each depicting a seabed area of approx. 3.45 m2 (= 2.3 m × 1.5 m)) were taken along transects of approx. 3.7 km length. During PS96, OFOS was used at a total of 13 stations at water depths between 200 and 754 m, yielding series of 110 to 293 photos (2,670 in total) along transects of 0.9 to 2.6 km length. All seabed images taken during the two cruises, including metadata, are available from the data publisher PANGAEA via the two persistent identifiers doi:10.1594/PANGAEA.872719 (for PS81) and doi:10.1594/PANGAEA.862097 (for PS96).
Piepenburg, D., Buschmann, A., Driemel, A., Grobe, H., Gutt, J., Schumacher, S., Segelken-Voigt, A., and Sieger, R.: Seabed images from Southern Ocean shelf regions off the northern
Antarctic Peninsula and in the southeastern Weddell Sea, Earth Syst. Sci. Data Discuss., doi:10.5194/essd-2017-18, in review, 2017.
Dieter Piepenburg et al.
Dieter Piepenburg et al.
Seabed photographs taken along OFOS profiles during POLARSTERN cruise PS81 (ANT-XXIX/3)