Deepwater Canyons 2013: Mission Logs

 

Highlight Images

Highlight Images

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

May 27 Log: Leg II Comes to an End: Shipwrecks Studies and Historic Preservation

May 27 Log: Leg II Comes to an End: Shipwrecks Studies and Historic Preservation

The Deepwater Canyons 2013 project is as populous as it is cutting-edge. It includes multiple disciplines and science objectives addressed on two separate, but interconnected, cruise legs.

May 26 Log: Life on Board the NOAA Ship Ronald H. Brown

May 26 Log: Life on Board the NOAA Ship Ronald H. Brown

From the small boat bouncing in the waves, NOAA Ship Ronald H. Brown looked like a still platform unaffected by the troughs and crests. The captain of the small transfer boat pulled alongside the Ron Brown and the scientists and crew of both vessels formed a bucket brigade. 

May 25 Log: Team Jason

May 25 Log: Meet the Jason

Jason and Medea are a remotely operated vehicle (ROV) system designed and built by Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution’s Deep Submergence Laboratory to allow scientists access to the deep ocean, far beyond the depths a human can go.

May 24 Log: Life of a Larva

May 24 Log: Life of a Larva

Today's dive covered a vast expanse of a turtled shipwreck. Littering the ship's hull and the surrounding soft sediment were many pencil urchins, named for their thick, pencil-like spines. While excited to see the gun turrets, frames, and boilers, for me the pencil urchins held the promise of producing larvae.

May 23 Log: Discovering Shipwrecks: A Bit of Patience Makes All the Difference

May 23 Log: Discovering Shipwrecks: A Bit of Patience Makes All the Difference

The Bureau of Ocean Energy Management (BOEM), which is within the Department of the Interior, has the responsibility of overseeing the development oil, gas, and renewable energy industries along the United States’ Outer Continental Shelf.

May 22 Log: Multibeam and Mosaics

May 22 Log: Multibeam and Mosaics

One of the most intriguing things about science at sea is that you are able to travel to remote undersea locations, usually places that few people are ever able to see. With a remotely operated vehicle like Jason, we are able to explore areas and depths that humans could not physically visit.

May 21 Log: Partnerships Run Deep

May 21 Log: Partnerships Run Deep

One of the most intriguing things about science at sea is that you are able to travel to remote undersea locations, usually places that few people are ever able to see. With a remotely operated vehicle like Jason, we are able to explore areas and depths that humans could not physically visit.

May 20 Log: Unexpected Visitors

May 20 Log: Unexpected Visitors

Today, the Jason remotely operated vehicle (ROV) was taking core samples in the soft sediment of the continental shelf, about 100 meters deep, when an ocean sunfish (Mola mola ) swam past! 

May 20 Log: Teeming Life on Sunken Ships

May 20 Log: Teeming Life on Sunken Ships

For my dissertation research at the Oregon Institute of Marine Biology, I am investigating the role of intermittent hard substratum (underlying layers) in structuring benthic (bottom) invertebrate communities.

May 19 Log: Welcome to Leg 2!

May 19 Log: Welcome to Leg 2!

Early on the morning of the May 19th, NOAA Ship Ronald H. Brown welcomed a group of 12 new scientists aboard and bid farewell to the majority of the Leg 1 team. Some scientists stayed aboard to help with continuing and completing the biology and geology objectives. 

May 19 Log: Canyon Fishes -- All About the Habitat

May 19 Log: Canyon Fishes – All About the Habitat

Last year we collected over 73 species by trawling and observed and collected many more using the remotely operated vehicle (ROV). We used the data from last year to help guide our fish investigations this year where most of our sampling is in Norfolk Canyon.

May 17 Log: The Mystery of the Giant Cup Corals

May 17 Log: The Mystery of the Giant Cup Corals

We first found the coveted Cockscomb coral at about 700 meters in Baltimore Canyon. These were truly giant specimens, measuring up to 8 centimeters across with thick heavy skeletons. We didn’t find many of these prized species last year, so they were top of the target list during this cruise. 

May 16 Log: Deep-sea Corals: Diving into the Past

May 16 Log: Deep-sea Corals: Diving into the Past

While most of our colleagues are searching for brightly colored corals and mysterious microscopic bacteria, we seem to be the only ones to jump to our feet when the remotely operated vehicle stumbles upon a dead-looking skeleton peaking out from the fine silt-sediment.

May 14 Log: NOAA Corps Officers of the Ronald Brown

May 14 Log: NOAA Corps Officers of the Ronald Brown

Study of the mid-Atlantic deepwater canyons’ ecology and history requires a dedicated team of people and resources to get scientists in a position to begin their work. Perhaps the most important element is the research vessel and its crew, in this case the NOAA Ship Ron Brown and its NOAA Corps Officers.

May 13 Log: Molecular Tools for Taxonomy

May 13 Log: Molecular Tools for Taxonomy

Preserving biodiversity is a central tenet in conservation biology and often cited as a goal in recovery and management plans for threatened or fragile ecosystems. Before we can ascertain if we are doing a good job in protecting the biodiversity of a region, we need to know what’s there.

May 11 Log: Coral Gardens: Forests of the Deep

May 11 Log: Coral Gardens: Forests of the Deep

Two octocoral (sea fan) species we see often in the mid-Atlantic canyons are Paragorgia arborea and Primnoa resedaeformis. These species are some of the largest and most widely distributed of the deep-sea octocoral species. When they occur in high densities, they are often referred to as "coral gardens."

May 10 Log: Trawling for Science

May 10 Log: Trawling for Science

Underwater vehicles cannot stay on the bottom indefinitely nor can they collect every type of sample needed. We use a variety of gear specific to different needs and many types of nets are included in our arsenal of sampling gear. 

May 8 Log: Discovery of a New Deep Chemosynthetic Community

May 8 Log: Discovery of a New Deep Chemosynthetic Community

After several days of lost dives due to bad weather and making dives under difficult conditions, we are today in calm seas exploring an area that was discovered last year during a NOAA mapping cruise.

May 7 Log: Life in Transition

May 7 Log: Life in Transition

The deep sea is rich with life, from fish to invertebrates to microbes. Hidden within the mud and rocks are numerous small animals that are almost invisible to the naked eye. While small, they represent a major component of deep-sea diversity.

May 5 Log: Carrying On in Rough Seas

May 5 Log: Carrying On in Rough Seas

In lieu of daily ROV dives, the science team has busied itself with an array of observation and sampling methods originally scheduled during the night.

May 4 Log: Host or Habitat?

May 4 Log: Host or Habitat?

Like humans, corals have bacteria that live in them and on them. These bacteria are a natural part of the coral’s biology and are necessary for the health of the coral. However, we are still in the early stages of understanding which bacteria are present and what they are doing for the corals.

April 30 Log: High Operational Tempo

May 2 Log: Overview of Norfolk Canyon

In 2012, the Deepwater Canyons project focused primarily on surveying and sampling Baltimore Canyon, with a smaller amount of work done in Norfolk Canyon. The reverse is true of this year’s exploration: targets in Norfolk Canyon will comprise the majority of our days at sea.

April 30 Log: High Operational Tempo

April 30 Log: "High Operational Tempo"

From the moment the NOAA Ship Ron Brown left the pier in Charleston, South Carolina, this morning, life has been moving at a very rapid pace.

 

Check out mission logs from previous expeditions:

Visit the Deepwater Canyons BlogExternal link from the North Carolina Museum of Natural SciencesExternal link for additional logs from the ship!

 

 

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