By Martina O'Brien
I’m delighted to have been given the opportunity to participate in the MOnitoring CHange in Submarine CANyon Coral Habitats (MoCha_SCan leg 1) May ’19 survey to the Porcupine Bank Canyon. As a visual artist my practice explores connections linking people, nature, technology and time. Current projects are concerned with data connected to Earth observation and quantification in relation to both the atmosphere and ocean. Recent projects have looked at extracting and rationalising climate data, along with revealing the off-grid network of agents and dependencies behind practices of climate data collection, analysis and governance. Consequently this survey greatly appealed to multiple aspects of my work and offered me the chance to further develop my interest in ocean-climate dynamics.
Among the survey’s many highlights was the opportunity to watch the meticulous manoeuvres needed by the ROV pilots to successfully deploy Landers at the selected sites via real-time monitors on board the vessel. It was also insightful to watch the delicate operations applied to navigate the ROV manipulator arms in the collection of sediment and coral samples from these cold-water coral habitats. In addition I had the opportunity to witness and capture (via video) the precise processes taken by the science team in handling, selecting, categorising and storing these samples once they arrived on board. Moreover, in due course I hope to gain access to both data collected from the deployed Landers, scheduled for extraction from their sites in July ’19 with an aim of including it in my work.
Some research gained on this survey will go towards informing a current project commissioned by the European Commission’s Joint Research Centre, ITL, in collaboration with the Director of Forecasts Florian Pappenberger, The European Centre for Medium Range Forecasts (ECMWF), UK and the European Crisis Management Laboratory (ECML), ITL, to be exhibited in The Joint Research Centre, ITL, and the BOZAR, Centre for Fine Arts, BE, ‘19/’20.
I hope to follow the trajectory of research gathered by the MOnitoring CHange in Submarine CANyon Coral Habitats project team on their annual surveys because I have a real interest in the project’s aims to explore and monitor the Porcupine Bank Canyon Cold-Water Coral habitats in relation to ocean-climate environmental dynamics.
For more on Martina and her work visit https://www.martinaobrien.com/
For more on Dr Aaron Lim's work visit: http://marinegeology.ucc.ie/people/dr-aaron-lim/
Visit iCRAG's safeguarding the geomarine environment pages for more information on our marine work.