Deepwater Benthic Community AUV Camera Assessments

C & C's proprietary camera acquires high resolution images to create photo mosaics for identifying and localizing benthic communities.

AUV Camera Assessments provide groundtruthing of high probability deepwater benthic community zones. Deepwater benthic communities are considered a protected species and include chemosynthetic communities and deepwater coral. Chemosynthetic communities include clams, mussels, tubeworms, and associated organisms that have the ability to thrive in the absence of sunlight.

Deepwater Benthic Community AUV Camera AssessmentsBottom features that can support high-density deepwater benthic communities are estimated to comprise less than 1 percent of the deepwater Gulf of Mexico. Such features include gas or oil seeps, faults, mounds, and hydrocarbon charged sediments. Authigenic carbonates, which are produced by chemosynthetic communities, provide a potential breeding ground for deepwater coral communities.

In water depths greater than 300 meters, oil and gas activities that could disturb the seafloor including anchoring, drilling, placement of subsea infrastructure, pipeline installation, and discharge of drill cuttings or mud follow strict separation distances from high-density benthic communities. Route alignments are required to avoid potential deepwater benthic community habitats by more than 250 feet. Drilling activities must avoid potential deepwater benthic community sites by a distance of more than 2,000 feet

When geophysical survey data reveals the likelihood of high-density chemosynthetic communities within your area of activity, an AUV camera assessment will confirm (and localize) or contradict their presence. This unique capability affirms 100% visual bottom coverage to maximize your leasehold options and reduce your development costs. In addition, our scientists are available to accompany your staff to the BOEM / BSEE to discuss the survey conclusions and to present the AUV camera data and assessment report.



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