Scanner Pockmark

Site details

UK map showing location of Scanner Pockmark Special Area of Conservation/Site of Community Importance.
Location of Scanner Pockmark SAC/SCI/cSAC
 

Note:

When undertaking an appropriate assessment of impacts at a site, all features of European importance (both primary and non-primary) need to be considered.

Annex I habitats that are a primary reason for selection of this site

1180 Submarine structures made by leaking gases
Scanner pockmark is a large seabed depression in the northern North Sea which contains large blocks of the Annex I habitat Submarine structures made by leaking gases. The blocks lie in the base of the pockmark and support fauna more typically associated with rocky reef. These carbonate structures are notably colonised by large numbers of anemones (Urticina felina and Metridium senile) and squat lobsters (Dando et al., 2001). These features also appear to support micro-organisms known as ‘chemosynthesizers’ which utilise the discharged methane and its by-product, hydrogen sulphide (Judd, 2001). The gutless nematode Astomonema southwardorum, which may have a symbiotic relationship with chemosynthetic bacteria, is unique to this site (Austen et al, 1993). Fish (hagfish, haddock, wolf-fish and small redfish) also appear to be using the pockmark depressions and the carbonate structures for shelter (Dando, 2001).

 

Scanner Pockmark is situated approximately185km off the north east coast of Scotland near the centre of the Witch Ground Basin, in waters of approximately 150 m depth. The pockmark contains two deep areas, though overall is roughly oval in shape and measures approximately 900 m by 450 m across with a depth of around 22 m below the surrounding sea floor (Hovland and Judd, 2007). This site also contains the Scotia pockmark complex in the north, a composite feature composed of two deeper sections with active methane seeps (Dando, 2001). The volumes of these pockmarks (Scanner: approximately 1 million m3) are considerably greater than the normal pockmarks in the area.

Annex I habitats present as a qualifying feature, but not a primary reason for selection of this site

Not applicable.

Annex II species that are a primary reason for selection of this site

Not applicable.

Annex II species present as a qualifying feature, but not a primary reason for site selection

Not applicable.


Many designated sites are on private land: the listing of a site in these pages does not imply any right of public access.


 
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