Statoil Kiwi SERPENT report

Gates, A.R. and Jones, D.O.B. (2011) Statoil Kiwi SERPENT report. Southampton, UK, National Oceanography Centre, 36pp. (National Oceanography Centre Research and Consultancy Report, 10).


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This report covers the work of the SERPENT Project at the deep water Kiwi well in the eastern Mediterranean off Egypt. Scientific knowledge about the deep sea is limited in general but this is especially so in the poorly studied waters of the deep Mediterranean. At Kiwi environmental observational work was carried out using the remotely operated vehicle (ROV) launched directly from the Discoverer Americas in 2720 m water depth.

The faunal abundance and diversity at the site were very low. From video observations the decapod crab Chaceon mediterraneus was the most common organism at Kiwi and the only benthic megafaunal invertebrate observed. Three species of fish Chalinura mediterranea, Cataetyx laticeps and Bathypterois mediterraneus were also observed. These records extend the known geographic distribution of these species to the N African slope in the eastern Mediterranean and confirm that these three deep-sea benthic fish are distributed to greatest depths in the eastern Mediterranean. The study also confirmed that the deep Mediterranean, in particular the eastern basin, is one of the poorest deep-sea ecosystems of the world in terms of diversity.

The extent of coverage of the seafloor with drill cuttings was determined using ROV video transects and a combination of visual analysis of the video footage and automated image analysis based on image complexity. These methods showed complete coverage of the seabed to approximately 40 m in all headings and partial coverage to at least 100 m in all headings, the maximum safe extent of the ROV tether. The low
abundance of megafaunal species at the site meant that it was not possible to determine the effects of drilling disturbance on megafaunal community.

Item Type: Monograph (Other)
Additional Information: Deposited at authors request
Keywords: SERPENT, Kiwi, Statoil, ROV, Remotely operated vehicle, deep sea, oligotrophic, Eastern Mediterranean, Megafauna, Disturbance, Exploration drilling, Chalinura mediterranea, Cataetyx laticeps and Bathypterois mediterraneus, Chaceon mediterraneus, Discoverer Americas
Subjects: G Geography. Anthropology. Recreation > GC Oceanography
Q Science > QH Natural history > QH301 Biology
Divisions : University Structure - Pre August 2011 > National Oceanography Centre (NERC)
National Oceanography Centre (NERC) > Ocean Biogeochemistry and Ecosystems
ePrint ID: 199119
Accepted Date and Publication Date:
Date Deposited: 11 Oct 2011 12:26
Last Modified: 31 Mar 2016 13:45

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