NGU maps geology and seabed conditions in the fjords, along the coast and in the offshore areas, including bottom sediments, the physical and chemical properties of the sediments, and the current depositional environment. The maps describe the current status of the marine environment, how it has changed over the last hundreds or thousands of years, and whether changes seen are due to natural variation or human impact.

The data collected are used for a wide variety of purposes. The aim of the MAREANO program is to produce and disseminate knowledge of the Norwegian coastal and ocean areas for the management, industry and researchers. Important data users include fishermen, the oil industry and various governmental institutions. From the seafloor maps, fishermen can assess where trawling is possible and which areas are under protection. For example, the coral reefs serve as spawning areas and as a habitat for juvenile fish, many which are commercially important, like redfish, tusk and ling. Large areas of coral reefs and colonies of seafloor creatures have been destroyed as a result of trawling with heavy equipment - this can be avoided with better mapping. Aquaculture in the coastal zone is increasing, and investors are on the lookout for optimal breeding localities, both in terms of seafloor conditions and currents.  In early stages of industrial planning, maps help identify past submarine landslides and other unstable areas that should be avoided when laying pipelines or constructing platforms.  Information on the distribution of geological resources, biotopes and habitats is crucial  for an ecosystem-based, comprehensive management of marine environments. Continued advancement in this research must be placed at the highest priority to ensure good public management and for sustainable exploitation of the resources still available in the oceans.

Relaterte prosjekter

MAREANO maps the bathymetry, seafloor conditions, biodiversity, geodiversity and sedimentary contamination along the Norwegian coast and sea areas.

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