During the weeks of April 2017, ICTINEU 3 was doing scientific immersions in collaboration with the Oceanographic Observatory of Villefranche-sur-Mer, Laboratoire Géoazur, the National Center for Scientific Research (CNRS) and ICTINEU Submarines SL.
They were 8 days of immersion and 18 dives where the ICTINEU 3 was 51 hours in the water, of which 26 in immersion; They downloaded with the submarine 9 biologists and 3 geologists, exploring the Canyon du Paillon (the Rec of Nice), the Cape of Nice and the bay of Villefranche-sur-Mer, on the French Riviera.
The deepest dives were 256m, 317m, 320m, 490m and 1,000m. The average depth of the dives has been 178 meters.
The Canyon du Paillon has exceptional characteristics since it is the point of the western Mediterranean where the bottom is the most vertical. In addition, the submarine relief is very tortured, with many small valleys and rocks with very inclined rocks, and very different morphologies. For many decades drag fishing has not been practiced and the funds have been able, in part, to regenerate their habitats.
Géoazur is a mixt research laboratory specialized in geosciences that combines research on Earth, the Ocean and Space. Their scientists were interested in studying the Messinian era in which the Mediterranean was wiped out and then quickly filled again, as well as the -120m zone where sea level was located in the last glacial period and to assess the Geological risks of the airport settlement.
The Observatory Oceanological Villefranche is a multidisciplinary center attached to the Pierre et Marie Curie University and the CNRS, recognized as an Observatory of Sciences of the Universe, dedicated to research, teaching, observation and dissemination. He is internationally known for his studies in Plankton but also works in the field of pelagic oceanography, fundamental biology as well as in the field of jellyfish.
In these dives there were diverse interests from the observation of the plankton on the water column to twilight core communities, such as the study of coral communities and the relationship with acidification.
On this occasion, an immersion was much longer than the previous ones, 4 hours and 20 minutes. It started on a 450-meter fund and went down into the submarine stream, some times moving on the bottom, and others far from the bottom in the water column.
In this immersion, with regard to underwater biology, the different layers of plankton, fish banks, very large and dense, the activity of squid or krill could be studied and filmed. Great deepwater squids were also filmed in front of the submarine. Regarding geology and submarine terrain, the profile of the submarine relief from 450m to 1,000m was studied and impressive geological formations were discovered, alpine valleys at 1,000 meters in depth.
Localization: Villefranche-sur-mer (France)
Dates: March 30th to April 28th of 2017
Number of immersions: 18
Maximum depth reached: 1000m