UK subsea firm Rovco has announced the completion of an exploration survey of the Amazon reef, off the northern coast of Brazil.
The ROV underwater survey was carried out for environmental group Greenpeace to locate the existence of coral reef near the mouth of the Amazon.
Rovco confirmed the area lies inside a recently licensed exploration block, approximately 28km from an exploration well in the Foz do Amazonas basin.
The Bristol-based firm carried out a full 3D seabed survey, deploying its SubAtlantic Mojave and Seaeye Cougar ROVs while using its latest 3D reconstruction technology. The project also required Rovco to mobilise a survey grade, fully redundant Ultra-Short Base Line (USBL) system for accurate subsea positioning.
Rovco confirmed that it was in discussions with Greenpeace about using similar 3D survey techniques to protect other sensitive environments around the world.
Brian Allen, chief executive and founder of Rovco, said: “We were extremely honoured to support Greenpeace on its latest scientific mission.
“After a detailed analysis we were able to confirm that the reef overlapped the new Brazilian oil territories at the mouth of the Amazon. Until now, it was thought that corals could not develop near the mouth of a large river, where fresh water carries greater amounts of sediment.
“The reef is believed to be the largest ecosystem in Brazil and one of the most extensive in the world – home to approximately 40 species of coral, and 120 varieties of sponge and fish. We were incredibly proud to play a part in such an exciting and environmentally supportive expedition.”