Sediment sampling

On April 11, on-board the vessel SCUBA Princess, another CYCLAMEN scientific survey took place off Protaras (Cyprus). The aim of the survey was to collect sediment from the sea-floor in the same area were Dendrophyllia corals were found last year. The analysis of the samples will allow CYCLAMEN geologist to correlate backscatter signal from the multibeam echosounder with sediments’ grain size. Grain size and how it’s sorted are related to hydrodynamic processes that take place on the seabed. Bottom currents, among other factors, are responsible of sediment dynamics and habitat distribution. The analyses of these new samples will contribute to describe the characteristics of the seafloor in the study area, as well as to further explore the potential correlation between sediment characteristics and coral’s distribution.

Text and images by Carlos Jiménez (CYI, ENALIA) and Jesús Rivera (IEO)

Photo 1: Sediment sampling using a Van Veen grab sampler. Members of CYCLAMEN research team (Enalia Physis Environmental Research Centre and The Cyprus Institute) recovering the grab sampler containing the sea-bottom sediments (250m depth).

Photo 2: Sediment collection from one of the grabs for granulometric and organic matter analyses.

Photo 3: An example of the sediment samples (150m depth).

Photo 4: A dead Dendrophyllia coral branch from one of the sediment samples.