Deepwater Canyons 2013: Highlight Images

US Navy ships prepare to watch Billy Mitchell bombing experiments.

Several basket stars rest on a bubblegum coral in Norfolk Canyon, with a colony of the stony coral Lophelia pertusa in the background. Image courtesy of Deepwater Canyons 2013 - Pathways to the Abyss, NOAA-OER/BOEM/USGS. Download high-resolution version (1.4 Mb).

Below is a collection of highlight images from the Deepwater Canyons 2013 expedition, some that have been previously featured on the website, some that have not.

 

A pair of mating deep-sea red crabs rests on a ledge of the canyon wall.

A pair of mating deep-sea red crabs rests on a ledge of the canyon wall. Click image for larger view and image credit.


Steve Ross (center) identifies species found in a trawl, while (clockwise from left) Esprit Saucier, John Tomczuk, Katharine Coykendall, and Cheryl Morrison look on.

Steve Ross (center) identifies species found in a trawl, while (clockwise from left) Esprit Saucier, John Tomczuk, Katharine Coykendall, and Cheryl Morrison look on. Click image for larger view and image credit.


 

A Gaidropsarus rests under a ledge covered in live chemosynthetic mussels during the Mid-Atlantic seep dive. An initial water column anomaly was detected at this site by NOAA Ship Okeanos Explorer in 2012. Inspired by the potential of a new methane seep, the 2013 Deepwater Canyons project scientists visited the site and discovered a new chemosynthetic community.

A Gaidropsarus rests under a ledge covered in live chemosynthetic mussels during the Mid-Atlantic seep dive. Click image for larger view, more information, and image credit.


A blackbelly rosefish perches along the canyon wall.

A blackbelly rosefish perches along the canyon wall. Click image for larger view and image credit.


 

A crab collected during an evening trawl is photographed on a black background to help with identification and scale measurements.

A crab collected during an evening trawl is photographed on a black background to help with identification and scale measurements. Click image for larger view and image credit.


On this project we encountered many species of invertebrates living together on the steep canyon walls. Here an octopus, sea star, bivalves, and dozens of cup corals all share the same overhang. The cup corals are Desmophyllum, one of the species targeted by geneticists for taxonomic study.

On this project we encountered many species of invertebrates living together on the steep canyon walls. Click image for larger view, more information, and image credit.


 

Minutes-old larval fish under the microscope.

Minutes-old larval fish under the microscope. Click image for larger view and image credit.


Deep sea corals are unique communities in their own right. Here a squat lobster rests on a bubblegum coral. Other associates on this same coral include a brisingid seastar, a sponge, and a separate coral.

Deep-sea coral communities can be very diverse. Here a squat lobster rests among a bubblegum coral, a red tree coral, and a sponge. A brisingid seastar arm is also visible. Click image for larger view and image credit.


 

A Mola mola, or ocean sunfish, stopped by for a visit during one of the dives of the Pathways to the Abyss cruise.

A Mola mola, or ocean sunfish, stopped by for a visit during one of the dives of the Pathways to the Abyss cruise. Click image for larger view and image credit.


U.S. Geological Survey scientists (L to R) Jennifer McClain-Counts, Jill Bourque, and Amanda Demopoulos prepare to extract a sediment sample from one of the push cores deployed by the Jason II remotely operated vehicle.

U.S. Geological Survey scientists prepare to extract a sediment sample from one of the push cores deployed by the Jason II remotely operated vehicle. Click image for larger view and image credit.


 

A shrimp rests on a deep-sea coral next to an egg mass.

A shrimp rests next to an egg mass that has been deposited on the coral branch. The yellow colony is a zoonthid that is overgrowing the white octocoral colony. Click image for larger view and image credit.


A squat lobster takes up residence on a deep sea coral (Primnoa species).

A squat lobster takes up residence on a deep sea coral (Primnoa species). Click image for larger view and image credit.


 

Hundreds of catsharks or chainlink dogfish, rest on one of the Billy Mitchell Fleet shipwrecks. The shipwreck has also been colonies by anemones, starfish, and hydroids.

Hundreds of catsharks, or chainlink dogfish, rest on one of the Billy Mitchell fleet shipwrecks. The shipwreck has also been occupied by colonies of anemones, starfish, and hydroids. Click image for larger view and image credit.


Covered in hydroids, anemones, seastars, and catsharks, shipwrecks are often more biologically diverse than the surrounding areas.

Covered in hydroids, anemones, seastars, and catsharks, shipwrecks are often more biologically diverse than the surrounding areas. Shown here is the World War I cruiser, Frankfurt, which was sunk as part of the Billy Mitchell fleet in 1921. Click image for larger view and image credit.


 

The capstan of one of the German destroyers is covered and damaged by derelict fishing gear.

The capstan of a German destroyer is covered and damaged by derelict fishing gear. Click image for larger view and image credit.


A lithodid crab seen on the extensive mussel bed at 1,600 meters.

A lithodid crab seen on the extensive mussel bed at 1,600 meters. Click image for larger view and image credit.


 

 

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