The coastal waters of Middle-Norway showcase a great biodiversity. The Froan archipelago and the coral reefs of the Sula rise are highly productive, with several species of fish, clams and crab. Results from SINTEF's ocean model system SINMOD shows that the region has a high primary production that is linked to different physical processes. Despite the region's ecological and economical significance, there has been no research project that has fully investigated the basic driving forces behind the structures and functions of the marine ecosystem in Froan.
ENTiCE aims to fill this gap. It is a project in which modelling, ocean space technology and biological sciences are joined. Autonomous under water vessels (AUVs) will be used to gather data. Technology originally developed for the Mars rover Opportunity will be adapted to enable the vessels to track particularly interesting oceanographic phenomena. A buoy will be deployed to provide information on temporal variability of the water column physics, primary production, and abundance and vertical structure of zooplankton over a season. In addition, water and net samples will provide information on the biodiversity of primary producers. Results from the project will be used to further develop and improve ocean models representation of complex coastal processes.
ENTiCE has a significant outreach component for local high-school students. A panel of stakeholders from regional and national authorities will take part in the project to ensure efficient implementation of the project results in knowledge based management.