Dr Glenn Johnstone and Dr Jonny Stark drill a 40cm diameter hole through sea ice on a frozen fjord (Photo: Mark Horstman)

Australia - Biodiversity hotspots revealed by remote-controlled mini-sub

Marine biologists are flying a bespoke mini-submarine under the sea ice to explore environments around Davis research station that have never been seen before.

In the frozen fjords of Vestfold Hills, Dr Jonny Stark and Dr Glenn Johnstone are surveying benthic (bottom-dwelling) life as part of the environmental assessments for the proposed Davis aerodrome.

The Australian Antarctic Division scientists are visiting up to 30 sites to deploy the 35 centimetre wide Remotely Operated Vehicle (ROV) that carries three cameras.

“One of the most exciting aspects that we’re drilling holes through more than a metre of sea ice, popping this thing through, and we just don't know what we're going to find,” said Dr Johnstone just before deploying the ROV into Long Fjord, north of Davis research station.

Read the full story here.