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August 14, 2013

The Emile Baudot escarpment

BY: Silvia García


© OCEANA / Carlos Minguell


This morning we arrived at the Emile Baudot escarpment, down seabed south of the Balearic Islands, which reaches more than 2,000 meters deep giving way to the Algerian-Balearic basin. It is south of the Balearic promontory in SW to NE direction from Formentera to Menorca. For a few days we will study this escarpment on their way closer to the Cabrera National Park, to provide data on the ecosystems. The National Parks Act requires that such seabed formations are represented in the network of national parks and this is something that is not yet fulfilled.

Because of the rough waters, we couldn’t use the ROV this morning, instead, we took two dredge samples to obtain data on the type of sediment in this area: sandy detritus in the first and muddy in the second. Later on, once the waves had settled down a bit, we did our first ROV immersion and have now obtained the first images of life on this little known escarpment. The ROV spent 5 hours underwater, from -500 to -200 meters, documenting various environments, including muddy bottoms populated by flatfish, and fields of brachiopods and crinoids in the shallower areas.