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Meteor Blog 7. August: Detailed dive maps from geo data management

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The dives of ROV QUEST result in heavy loads of different data and samples. For further scientific analysis these have to be linked to position and point of time the robot had dived. Such kind of data management is the task of the geoinformatics student Frederick Tardeck who today writes about his work onboard.

Planetearth Blog

Does the biodiversity of deep-sea organisms play a role for the climate on Planet Earth? Questions all about marine research will be answered directly aboard of the German research vessel Meteor by cruise leader Prof. Antje Boetius and her crew. In cooperation with the geoportal from 17.08.08 to 24.08.08 they contribute a Science-Blog of METEOR expedition M76/3 GUINECO – MARUM research of fluid and gas seeps on the Westafrican continental margin. Technical highlight of the cruise is the remote-controlled under water robot QUEST4000 by MARUM that will be deployed for taking fauna and sediments samples and conduction of in situ experiments. Go on a dive down to places no other human being has ever seen before: explore the fascinating deep-sea fauna and watch the scientists’ work at gas and fluid seeps deep down on the ocean bottom.

Expedition M76/3b is a collaboration of MARUM – Center for Marine Environmental Sciences at Bremen University and its associated institutes MPI and AWI as well as the French research institute IFREMER and the University of Paris.

More Informationen of the Meteor-Blog, an overview of all contributions to the blog and expedition M76/3B:

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7. August 2008 (Author: Frederick Tardeck)

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Detailed dive maps from geo data management

7. August: Bild 1Ship Ahoy,

My name is Frederic Tardeck (Picture 1), I come from the German city Oldenburg in Lower Saxony and on this cruise I'm the Geodata-Manager. I study Geoinformatics at the University of Applied Sciences in Oldenburg. Currently, I work for the company FIELAX GmbH in combination with my diploma thesis.

Picture 1: Frederic Tardeck aboard the research vessel METEOR

7. August: shiptrackMy job here on board is to prepare and process the dive data of the dive robot QUEST. I am in charge of generating maps, tracks and prepare a GIS (Geographic Information System) to supply the scientists with the increasing amount of background information for the dives. During each dive mission, several measurements and samples are taken which have to be merged with the information about time and position. Therefore, well structured data management and documentation are important issues. Beyond these tasks I have to do some smaller but rather time consuming jobs like the work on deep sea-maps with my friend and colleage Cesar Caparachin.

7. August: Bild 2

Picture 2: Map of today’s QUEST dive 222

After we have solved some problems with positioning, the current dive is running fine and without any problems. It is amazing to realize how difficult orientation is under water, when the visibility is limited to about 8 meters around the ROV with its lights. Picture 2 shows the current dive map with important points of interest. We use a positioning system called POSIDONIA, which provides us with more or less exact geographic positions at 3000 meter water depth. However, there is a daily variation in the quality of the positioning data, which we have to cope with. As an example: today we have searched for marker 6 indicating a highly interesting gas emission site covered with mussels for almost an hour - 7. August: Bild 3until we found that the current positioning is shifted by 10 meter for unknown reasons. In such cases, I help the scientists and pilots in the container by quickly resetting target points on the dive maps. Now samples and measurements are taken smoothly and a variety of animals are checking us out (Picture 3 and 4). That’s how it should work! :-)

Picture 3 (top right): Very unusual fish swimming by when we were sampling

Picture 4 (below): The fish’s profile

7. August: Bild 4This is my first expedition so far, but in spite of the lack of sleep and missing the “normal” life I am very excited and have lots of fun with what I do on the resarch vessel Meteor. When all jobs are done and one has some freetime left, I enjoy staring at the ocean (Picture 5), playing Table-Soccer (which is very amusing when the waves are ruling the game), lying in the hammock or sweating in the sauna. However, in two weeks we’ll have to steam back to Walvisbay  -  I hope we’ll have collected even more nice and interesting experiences by then, which of couse will be reported here.

Best wishes from the METEOR,


7. August: Bild 5

Picture 5: More blue is not possible …