Trondheimfjord, Norway

Using the JAGO submersible onboard the FS POSEIDON

Norway is home to more Lophelia pertusa reefs than anywhere else. These reefs are found between 40 and 400 m and cover around 2,000 kmĀ² - more than some countries with well known tropical reefs including Belize, Mozambique or the Seychelles. Some of these reefs have been dated at over 8,000 years old.

The reefs in Trondheimsfjord are relatively sheltered compared to those found outside the fjords so they often provide ideal conditions for submersible or ROV dives. These reefs can exist within the fjords, as incoming seawater from the Norwegian Sea is denser than freshwater runoff from the land so conditions are suitable for corals to grow even far from the open sea. In September 2011, a research expedition onboard the FS POSEIDON  sailed from Kiel, Germany, to the Trondheimsfjord Reefs in Norway. This expedition was a collaboration between researchers from Germany, the UK and the Netherlands working together to study the impacts of ocean acidification on cold-water coral ecosystems and to assess the biodiversity of life on Trondheimsfjord reefs. The JAGO two-man submersible was used to record and photograph areas on the reef  and to collect samples to return them to holding tanks onboard the POSEIDON. Following a dive, biodiversity samples are sorted out on deck before being moved to suitable holding facilities for further identification.

You can see examples of the different environments and organisms on our image page.