Fouling Organisms on OBS

The Ocean Bottom Sensors (OBS) that we deploy and recover are located in a variety of ocean depths and conditions. These seismometers were at depths ranging from 126 to 2717 meters deep. There is no light there and the pressure at this depth exceeds 3969 pounds per inch! Even in these extreme conditions, organisms exist that are able to find and attach to the OBS. In fact, the Cascadia Initiative provides a unique opportunity to study these organisms. Not only do we know the exact depths and location of each deployment, but we also know how long they have been submerged. The longer these platforms are underwater, the more opportunity fouling organisms have to settle and attach.

egg mass
Egg mass on seismometer antenna

This environment is difficult and expensive to study. Some of the seismometers are sitting on hard surfaces while others on in soft sediment. Different ocean bottoms generally support different types of life.

Sea star LR
Sea Star attached to Ocean Bottom Sensor

Cascadia Initiative also provides the opportunity for longitudinal studies.  Such comparisons over time of different deployments and recoveries at the same location could tell us something about the life history of these organisms, or even how this deep sea environment is changing.

2014-05-29 seastar
Ventral surface of sea star

Life will find a Way!

squat lobsterlow
Squat lobster




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