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Environmental Impact of the ATOC / Pioneer Seamount Submarine Cable

Environmental Impact of the ATOC / Pioneer Seamount Submarine Cable

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Published by Sabrina Brennan
This report documents cable surveys performed by the Monterey Bay Aquarium Research Institute (MBARI) in 2002-2003. Survey objectives were to describe the state of the cable and document its effect on the seafloor and on benthic organisms.

MBARI carried out this study in partnership with NOAA-OAR (National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration - Oceanic and Atmospheric Research) and NOAA-NOS (National Ocean Service). MBARI researchers were interested in documenting the environmental impacts of submarine cables, a topic of importance to the scientific community for which little data is published and publicly available. NOAA-OAR has responsibility over this particular cable and the requirement to survey it prior to permit expiration. NOAA-NOS interest in this survey was in assessing the environmental impact of submarine cables and general seafloor characterization within the Monterey Bay National Marine Sanctuary.

The Pioneer Seamount cable was installed in October 1995 as part of the Acoustic Thermometry of Ocean Climate (ATOC) project. NOAA-OAR installed a hydrophone array on Pioneer Seamount to passively record sound in the ocean and officially took responsibility for the cable on December 7, 2001. The presence of this cable has resulted in 80 references consisting of presentations, scientific publications, articles for the general public, and student projects. The cable is currently damaged and has not been transmitting data from the seamount since September 25, 2002.
This report documents cable surveys performed by the Monterey Bay Aquarium Research Institute (MBARI) in 2002-2003. Survey objectives were to describe the state of the cable and document its effect on the seafloor and on benthic organisms.

MBARI carried out this study in partnership with NOAA-OAR (National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration - Oceanic and Atmospheric Research) and NOAA-NOS (National Ocean Service). MBARI researchers were interested in documenting the environmental impacts of submarine cables, a topic of importance to the scientific community for which little data is published and publicly available. NOAA-OAR has responsibility over this particular cable and the requirement to survey it prior to permit expiration. NOAA-NOS interest in this survey was in assessing the environmental impact of submarine cables and general seafloor characterization within the Monterey Bay National Marine Sanctuary.

The Pioneer Seamount cable was installed in October 1995 as part of the Acoustic Thermometry of Ocean Climate (ATOC) project. NOAA-OAR installed a hydrophone array on Pioneer Seamount to passively record sound in the ocean and officially took responsibility for the cable on December 7, 2001. The presence of this cable has resulted in 80 references consisting of presentations, scientific publications, articles for the general public, and student projects. The cable is currently damaged and has not been transmitting data from the seamount since September 25, 2002.

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Published by: Sabrina Brennan on Jul 18, 2011
Copyright:Attribution Non-commercial

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11/27/2014

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Environmental Impact of the ATOC/Pioneer SeamountSubmarine Cable
Irina Kogan
1,2
, Charles K. Paull
1
, Linda Kuhnz
1
,Erica J. Burton
2
, Susan Von Thun
1
, H. Gary Greene
1
, James P. Barry
11
Monterey Bay Aquarium Research Institute, 7700 Sandholdt Road, Moss Landing, CA 95039
2
Monterey Bay National Marine Sanctuary, 299 Foam Street, Monterey, CA 93940November 2003
 
 
 
 
Table of contents
Executive Summary 1Introduction 3BackgroundCable History 3Cable Description and Route Overview 5MethodsSide Scan Sonar Survey 7ROV Surveys 7 Navigation 9Cable Location and Burial 9Data Collection Procedure 9Laser Calibration 9Video Data Analysis 9Percent Cover Analysis 10Infaunal Organism Analysis 10Results and InterpretationSide Scan Sonar Survey 11ROV Surveys20 m Station 1343 m Station 1867 m Station 2075 m Station 22140 m Station 24240 m Station 26250-415 m Station 28950 m Station 301710-1890 m Station 321940 m Station 33Seamount 1700 m Station 35Seamount 1580-1040 m Station 35Seamount 900 m Station 37Summary and Conclusions 39References Cited 41Appendix A MBNMS Permit and Response to Special Permit Condition #4 43Appendix B – Reference List of Scholarly Endeavors attributed to presence of ATOC/Pioneer Seamount Cable 51

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