Benthic Habitats In Extreme Flow Environments Of The Pentland Firth [Astrid Harendza]

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The Pentland Firth is an area with a very strong and highly turbulent tidal current, offering excellent potential for the generation of tidal energy. However the environment is, as yet, poorly documented or understood.

The focus of this project is to better understand the relation of benthic habitats and extreme flow environments. Specifically this project seeks to develop a core understanding of densities, distributions and diversities of benthic assemblages of epifauna in relation to extreme flow environments, and determine predictions on possible ecological impacts due to the installation of tidal energy devices (TED)

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Benthic Habitats In Extreme Flow Environments Of The Pentland Firth [Astrid Harendza]

  1. 1. Benthic habitats in extreme flow environments of the Pentland Firth A presentation by Astrid Harendza UHI Research and Postgraduate Conference 2010 Communities, Coast and Mountains Morray College, Elgin
  2. 2. Introduction BUT environment is, as yet, poorly documented or understood Pentland Firth: • excellent potential for the generation of tidal energy • area with very strong and highly turbulent tidal current Project focus: Predictions on possible ecological impacts due to the installation of tidal energy devices (TED) Relation of benthic habitats and extreme flow environments core understanding of densities, distributions and diversities of benthic assemblages of epifauna in relation to extreme flow environments Astrid Harendza: Benthic habitats in extreme flow environments of the Pentland Firth
  3. 3. Key requirements Information on: ● physical environment bathymetry and topography tidal currents / boundary layer substratum ● benthic organisms Astrid Harendza: Benthic habitats in extreme flow environments of the Pentland Firth density distribution diversity Methods: monthly surveys of the Inner Sound using ERI’s survey boat “ERI Aurora”
  4. 4. Survey area Thurso Inner Sound of the Pentland Firth Stroma Swona Duncansby Head Dunnet Head Thurso Astrid Harendza: Benthic habitats in extreme flow environments of the Pentland Firth
  5. 5. Astrid Harendza: Benthic habitats in extreme flow environments of the Pentland Firth Survey area
  6. 6. Astrid Harendza: Benthic habitats in extreme flow environments of the Pentland Firth Survey area
  7. 7. Methods Astrid Harendza: Benthic habitats in extreme flow environments of the Pentland Firth Sidescan sonar ● high-resolution, CHIRP ● pole-mounted information on composition of seabed / substratum
  8. 8. Methods Astrid Harendza: Benthic habitats in extreme flow environments of the Pentland Firth Acoustic Doppler Current Profiler (ADCP) current velocities and direction over water column • pole - mounted © Nortek current velocities and direction close to the seabed • bottom - mounted different locations
  9. 9. Methods Remote Operated Vehicle (ROV) Astrid Harendza: Benthic habitats in extreme flow environments of the Pentland Firth groundtruthing habitats (SSS) identification of benthic species ● video footage ● still images
  10. 10. Astrid Harendza: Benthic habitats in extreme flow environments of the Pentland Firth Thank you for your attention! Acknowledgements: Supervisors: Dr Angus Jackson, Environmental Research Institute Dr Mark Shields, University of Aberdeen, Oceanlab Prof. Jonathan Side, ICIT Skipper: William Simpson Technicians: Soeren Hoejlund, Jason McIlvenny, Hester Jackson and Lonneke Goddijen-Murphy
  11. 11. Methods Sidescan sonar Astrid Harendza: Benthic habitats in extreme flow environments of the Pentland Firth
  12. 12. Methods Acoustic Doppler Current Profiler (ADCP) Astrid Harendza: Benthic habitats in extreme flow environments of the Pentland Firth
  13. 13. Methods Sidescan sonar Astrid Harendza: Benthic habitats in extreme flow environments of the Pentland Firth

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