Operation Deep Scope 2005
Aug 19 - Sept 4, 2005
One of the mission objectives for NOAA’s Office of Ocean Exploration is the characterization of benthic (bottom) and pelagic (water column) habitats and ecosystems.This has proven to be a great challenge in the deep-sea environment, as many of the large predators flee from noisy, brightly lit submersibles. In addition to the temporary disruption of normal behavior, animals with photoreceptors designed for the dimly lit deep-sea environment may be permanently blinded by the very lights we use to find them. Looking at the deep-sea through human eyes may also have affected description of animal interactions, since animals that may be transparent, and therefore virtually invisible to humans under bright submersible lights, may be much more visible to animals with polarization and/or UV sensitivity. Operation Deep-Scope 2004 looked into the deep ocean with new eyes and made an astonishing array of discoveries in a very short time, including the discovery of a fluorescent shark, the fluorescence of methane hydrates, and the discovery of a new species of large deep-sea squid. Operation Deep-Scope 2005 brings together the same international team of scientists, utilizing even more methods of seeing and collecting. Using advanced technology, we will continue to study these hidden depths, deploying the unobstrusive Eye in the Sea camera for 24 hours, using a variety of cameras and filters during dives with the Johnson-Sea-Link submersible to study polarization and fluorescence in the deep-sea environment, and utilizing new collection techniques to collect live deep-sea species for study in shipboard labs.
Updates & Logs
Click images or links below for detailed mission logs.