Exploring Carolina Canyons:
Background Information

Mission Plan

Mission Plan

Beginning on August 24, 2016, a team of scientists and engineers aboard NOAA Ship Pisces will spend 15 days at sea exploring three deepwater canyons off the coast of North Carolina. Specifically, the team will target Keller, Pamlico, and Hatteras canyons.

The AUV Sentry

Autonomous Underwater Vehicle, Sentry

Sentry is a 6,000-meter depth rated autonomous underwater vehicle (AUV). AUVs operate without direct human control or connection to the ship and can perform diverse missions, such as sonar surveys, image collection, water chemistry measurements, and magnetic measurements. AUVs are also increasingly used for sample collection.

Submarine Canyons

Submarine Canyons: Discovering Diversity in the Deep

Submarine canyons are major geologic features of continental margins that link the upper continental shelf to the abyssal plain. Results of the most recent surveys estimate approximately 9,000 canyons worldwide.

Exploration and Discovery of Deep-Sea Coral: A Multi-Tiered Approach

Exploration and Discovery of Deep-sea Coral: A Multi-tiered Approach

Greater than half of all coral species identified to date are found in the deep sea, at water temperatures ranging from 4-12°C. Much like their relatives in shallow-water tropical environments, deep-sea corals come in a wide variety of shapes, colors, and sizes.

Cephalopods: Photobombing Deep-Sea Corals

Cephalopods: Photobombing Deep-sea Corals

Cephalopods are encountered in all phases of the exploration. The midwater is the biggest biome on Earth and photos of fast moving cephalopods and fish are rare.

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