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Data collection in LoVe is up and running again

20220624 Capture N7 Sat Camera 20220624 233008

Starfish caught on camera by the ocean observatory.

Photo: LoVeOcean/Institute of Marine Research

Parts of the Lofoten–Vesterålen Ocean Observatory are operational and collecting new scientific data again after more than a year of downtime.

LoVeOcean is a national research infrastructure located outside Lofoten–Vesterålen, providing real-time physical, biological, and chemical observations from the ocean.

The installation provides marine scientists and others with images, sound and other information about the marine environment and ecosystem.

A number of platforms, or nodes, are deployed on the seabed, connected by a cable from land. The system consists of one inner circuit and one outer circuit.

However, the system has been down without power after the more than 4 km long cable in the outer circuit was pulled out in the spring of 2021. While the system was without power, all the nodes were brought back to shore.

Now the inner circuit has been reconnected, and fresh data is ticking in for project manager Geir Pedersen and his colleagues. “We are happy that we are up and running again,” says Geir Pedersen, a scientist at the Institute of Marine Research (IMR).

Whalesong from a species of dolphin was recorded this summer – perhaps an orca or a pilot whale, according to Geir Pedersen.

In June, lead engineer Guosong Zhang was on a cruise with the research vessel “Kronprins Haakon” to install node 7, a part of the inner circuit. During the summer the ocean researchers have received sounds of whales, passing shoals of fish and plankton dancing.

“And on camera we have caught snails, anemones and passing crabs, to name a few,” Pedersen says.

In this year’s revised national budget, IMR was also allocated funds from the government to replace the cable that was lost and repair the outer circuit.

“We are now working on how to get the outer circuit of the infrastructure back up as soon as possible,” says the HI researcher.

Trollkrabbe med ryggen til kamera
A troll crab wandered past the camera. Photo: LoVeOcean/IMR