Recovering a McLane sediment trap that has just been deployed at 4km depth for 16 months in the equatorial Pacific Ocean.(Photo: IRIS)

IRIS deep-sea sediment trap and pelagic-benthic coupling facility

IRIS has a total of two deep-sea sediment traps that can be deployed to collect marine snow and other organic material sinking to the seafloor.  These traps allow us to quantify how much organic material sinks to the deep seafloor along the Norwegian coastline throughout the year, and therefore the impacts of changing organic matter fluxes/ anthropogenic impacts (e.g., aquaculture operations) on seafloor ecosystems.  This is very important to do seeing as climate change is predicted to reduce organic matter flux to the seafloor in future.  Because most seafloor animals live of organic matter settling from the sunlit zone, assessing how much is coming down and how these fluxes are changing with climate change and anthropogenic influences is very important.
IRIS´s two sediment trap moorings are about to be deployed for the next year at 400m depth in 2 western Norwegian fjords where they will be used to collect marine snow, fish farm waste and jellyfish material to quantify the importance of jellyfish in fjord carbon cycles and the impacts of jellification and aquaculture operations on the marine environment in a new multi-million krone research program funded by the Norwegian Research Council.