Chatham / Challenger project - Voyage 3 Sea-bed Ecology - Challenger Plateau
Survey 3 will take place over a 2 week period in May-June. The survey design approach and sampling protocols are similar to Voyage 2.
Using the multibeam data from Voyage 1, scientists at NIWA were able to identify 8 areas with distinct acoustic or environmental signals on the Challenger Plateau. These areas or ‘strata’ were used as a basis for allocating biological sampling stations in Voyage 2.
As for Voyage 2, each colour in the map represents a stratum, and the small lines mark the approximate location of a sampling station.
Weekly diary reports will be available from this Voyage once it underway May 26.
This stepped diagram demonstrates the principles of habitat mapping that have been successfully used on seamounts. As part of the project, NIWA is trying to develop them further for use on a broad scale and in areas where habitat differentiation may be less clear. If successful, ocean zoning based on biological vulnerability and functional role will become a real possibility.