Photo and Video Log

This page contains photos and videos associated with or taken during the DEEP SEARCH: DEEP Sea Exploration to Advance Research on Coral/Canyon/Cold seep Habitats expedition. Click on any image to view a larger version and for additional information.

(HR) = "High Resolution" images available.

Images

The DEEP SEARCH science team at the end of the 2017 expedition. September 22 Log
The DEEP SEARCH science team at the end of the 2017 expedition. (HR)

Members of the Sentry engineering team and the Pisces deck crew work together to hook the crane line to the Sentry and begin lifting the vehicle back onto the deck. September 22 Log
Members of the Sentry engineering team and the Pisces deck crew work together to hook the crane line to the Sentry and begin lifting the vehicle back onto the deck. (HR)

AUV Sentry is secured into its cradle after recovery for the last time during the DEEP SEARCH 2017 expedition. September 22 Log
AUV Sentry is secured into its cradle after recovery for the last time during the DEEP SEARCH 2017 expedition. (HR)

Though weather conditions began to deteriorate later that day, the seas were calm for Sentry’s recovery after its final DEEP SEARCH dive. September 22 Log
Though weather conditions began to deteriorate later that day, the seas were calm for Sentry’s recovery after its final DEEP SEARCH dive. (HR)

Upon return to Norfolk, VA, the Sentry team quickly got to work with the demobilization process to prepare for Sentry’s shipment to its next project. Here, Andy Billings and Mike Jakuba work to remove the AUV transponder from the Pisces centerboard. September 22 Log
Upon return to Norfolk, Virginia, the Sentry team quickly got to work with the demobilization process to prepare for Sentry’s shipment to its next project. (HR)

These are a few of the organisms that we’ve found most often in our Sentry photos: (1) lobster, (2) horseshoe crab, (3) spider crab, (4) squid. September 21 Log
These are a few of the organisms that we’ve found most often in our Sentry photos: (1) lobster, (2) horseshoe crab, (3) spider crab, (4) squid. (HR)

A photo from Dive 454 shows the most common deep-sea habitat: soft sediment. September 21 Log
A photo from Dive 454 shows the most common deep-sea habitat: soft sediment. (HR)

A screenshot of Alanna Durkin’s image notation software with an example photo from Dive 454 on Kitty Hawk. She is able to quickly record what kind of habitat she’s seeing and what sort of organisms are present. She can also add any additional comments on what she’s seeing and flag especially good snapshots for easy access. September 21 Log
A screenshot of Alanna Durkin’s image notation software with an example photo from Dive 454 on Kitty Hawk. (HR)

This map, created by Alanna Durkin in ArcGIS, shows interpolated change in oxidation reduction potential over time and the presence of bacterial mats at one of Pea Island B’s seeps. September 21 Log
This map shows interpolated change in oxidation reduction potential over time and the presence of bacterial mats at one of Pea Island B’s seeps. (HR)

A photo from Dive 454 shows large numbers of fish associated with hard, rocky habitats. September 21 Log
A photo from Dive 454 shows large numbers of fish associated with hard, rocky habitats. (HR)

Screen capture of one of the preliminary processed sub-bottom profiles collected by the AUV Sentry during Dive 455. In this profile, sub-seafloor layers (stratigraphy) are visible as are several of the data artifacts that remain to be removed. Sentry transits at approximately 6 m above the seafloor when these data were collected. September 20 Log
Screen capture of one of the preliminary processed sub-bottom profiles collected by the AUV Sentry during Dive 455. (HR)

Processed side-scan mosaic over one of the focused survey sites. Several prominent features are present in the mosaic that correspond with carbonate rocks and fish aggregations seen in the photographs taken by Sentry during the same survey. Light colors represent harder material, while darker colors represent soft materials (i.e., sediment). September 20 Log
Processed side-scan mosaic over one of the focused survey sites. (HR)

Screen capture of an intermediate stage of building the sides-can mosaic.  The blue lines and arrows show the bounds and port (red arrow) and starboard (green arrow) sides of the individual imagery files collected by Sentry.  At this stage, the outside edges of the individual images have been trimmed to remove parts of these data outside the visible range and the intensities of the acoustic returns have been compared and normalized. September 20 Log
Screen capture of an intermediate stage of building the sides-can mosaic. (HR)

A few members of the DEEP SEARCH team participated in the time-honored oceanographic tradition of decorating, and then shrinking, Styrofoam cups. These cups can be sent down on any oceanographic equipment (i.e. CTD or AUV), where they will be exposed to the high pressure environment and compress. It makes for both a fun lesson on depth/pressure and an excellent desktop souvenir. September 19 Log
A few members of the DEEP SEARCH team participated in the time-honored oceanographic tradition of decorating, and then shrinking, Styrofoam cups. (HR)

While we’ve already sent previous batches of cups down on the CTD cast to depths greater than 1,200 meters, we’ll be sending this round down on AUV Sentry to a depth of approximately 600 meters. Here, mechanical engineer Andy Billings works to secure the cups in the vehicle’s center compartment. September 19 Log
Mechanical engineer Andy Billings works to secure styrofoam cups in Sentry's center compartment. (HR)

With the Port of Morehead City in the distance, the DEEP SEARCH team headed out to sea for the second time during this expedition. September 19 Log
With the Port of Morehead City in the distance, the DEEP SEARCH team headed out to sea for the second time during this expedition. (HR)

Autonomous underwater vehicle (AUV) Sentry captured this image of an extensive bacterial mat (white areas) at the Pea Island B site. The bacteria thrive off of gases that seep up through the seafloor. September 16-17 Log
AUV Sentry captured this image of an extensive bacterial mat (white areas) at the Pea Island B site. (HR)

To avoid Hurricane Jose, NOAA Ship Pisces returned to port in Morehead City, NC on September 16. The ship will remain docked until the storm passes after the weekend. September 16-17 Log
To avoid Hurricane Jose, NOAA Ship Pisces returned to port in Morehead City, North Carolina, on September 16. (HR)

USGS geologist Jason Chaytor processes sidescan data from a recent AUV Sentry dive. These data will help us to better understand the seafloor environment and plan for future DEEP SEARCH expeditions. September 16-17 Log
USGS geologist Jason Chaytor processes sidescan data from a recent AUV Sentry dive. (HR)

Though far in the distance, Jose’s storm clouds made for an impressive sunset on September 15. September 15 Log
Though far in the distance, Jose’s storm clouds made for an impressive sunset on September 15. (HR)

Though Hurricane Jose will not be making landfall anywhere near us, it is expected to generate significant swells and unfavorable conditions throughout the mid- and south Atlantic this weekend. September 15 Log
Though Hurricane Jose will not be making landfall anywhere near us, it is expected to generate significant swells and unfavorable conditions. (HR)

Amanda Demopoulos examines a sediment core while Jason Chaytor records her observations. September 15 Log
Amanda Demopoulos examines a sediment core while Jason Chaytor records her observations. (HR)

Amanda Demopoulos splits a one-centimeter thick core slice into two. September 15 Log
Amanda Demopoulos splits a one-centimeter thick core slice into two. (HR)

In addition to all of the science operations we completed on Friday, the ship’s crew also took the time to haul this large piece of plastic trash out of the ocean. Made of many plastic bottles tied together with rope, we think it was likely an improvised float for fishing. September 15 Log
In addition to all of the science operations we completed on Friday, the ship’s crew also took the time to haul this large piece of plastic trash. (HR)

On a dive at the Pea Island B site, AUV Sentry captured this amazing shot of a hammerhead shark swimming along the seafloor 295 meters below the surface. September 15 Log
On a dive at the Pea Island B site, AUV Sentry captured this amazing shot of a hammerhead shark swimming along the seafloor. (HR)

Amanda Demopoulos watches as deck crew members Knott and Cornell deploy the CTD at Pea Island B. The CTD collects conductivity (salinity), temperature, and depth (pressure) data, plus it has sensors to detect dissolved oxygen, chlorophyll, and turbidity (particles in the water), as the instrument travels down to the seafloor. The CTD is also equipped with a rosette of Niskin bottles, which are specially designed water bottles that can be triggered to collect water at set depths. September 14 Log
Amanda Demopoulos watches as deck crew members Knott and Cornell deploy the CTD at Pea Island B. (HR)

After the CTD has been recovered, Jason Chaytor attaches a tube to each Niskin bottle and transfers the water into plastic jugs, which will be brought into the lab and filtered. September 14 Log
After the CTD has been recovered, Jason Chaytor attaches a tube to each Niskin bottle and transfers the water into plastic jugs, which will be brought into the lab and filtered. (HR)

Sentry expedition leader Sean Kelley remotely drives the AUV toward the ship after surfacing. Once within range, it will be connected to the ship’s crane and lifted back on board. September 14 Log
Sentry expedition leader Sean Kelley remotely drives the AUV toward the ship after surfacing. Once within range, it will be connected to the ship’s crane and lifted back on board. (HR)

Sentry engineers (bottom, Ian Vaughn and Andy Billings) and the ship’s deck crew (GVA Fountain and CB Walker) work to secure tag lines on the vehicle. Once secured, these lines help them to steadily guide the Sentry onto the deck and into its cradle. September 14 Log
Sentry engineers and the ship’s deck crew work to secure tag lines on the vehicle. Once secured, these lines help them to steadily guide the Sentry onto the deck and into its cradle. (HR)

The ship’s crane operator slowly moves the Sentry over the side and back onto the deck. September 14 Log
The ship’s crane operator slowly moves the Sentry over the side and back onto the deck. (HR)

AUV Sentry was successfully deployed for the first time on September 13. It ran a 24-hour survey before being released to the surface and recovered on September 14. September 13 Log
AUV Sentry was successfully deployed for the first time on September 13. It ran a 24-hour survey before being recovered on September 14. (HR)

While Sentry primarily uses USBL, it  also uses a subset of a long baseline positioning system to determine the slant range to the vehicle. The ship sends a ping at 10.5khz, and Sentry replies with a 11.5khz ping that the ship decodes to display the acoustic signature of the sound in the water. During Sentry deployments, a waterfall display of the return ping is plotted, which gives the watchstander an idea of what the vehicle is doing —  i.e. moving away from the ship, moving toward the ship, descending, ascending, or making a turn in a survey. September 13 Log
While Sentry primarily uses USBL, it also uses a subset of a long baseline positioning system to determine the slant range to the vehicle. (HR)

This navigation display shows almost all of the information Sentry engineers need to know that the vehicle is completing its survey properly. The green line shows the programmed track for the survey -- here, long, continuous paths mean Sentry was collecting mapping data while the snake-like box path lines mean the Sentry was taking photos. Completed tracks are shown in red. The Sentry, represented in yellow, can be seen midway through its mapping survey, with the ship, in white, just ahead of it. September 13 Log
This navigation display shows almost all of the information Sentry engineers need to know that the vehicle is completing its survey properly. (HR)

Another navigation display used by the Sentry team, this Sonardyne Ranger2 display shows the relative positions of the ship and the Sentry. Here, the Pisces was maintaining position while Sentry continued its survey just 105 meters away. September 13 Log
Another navigation display used by the Sentry team, this Sonardyne Ranger2 display shows the relative positions of the ship and the Sentry. (HR)

AUV Sentry engineers Andy Billings and Jennifer Vaccaro remove Sentry’s cradle so that it can be safely lifted by the ship’s crane and deployed in the water. September 13 Log
AUV Sentry engineers remove Sentry’s cradle so that it can be safely lifted by the ship’s crane and deployed in the water. (HR)

The Pisces deck crew and the Sentry engineers work together to hold the taglines seen here connected to the Sentry. The taglines are used to steady the Sentry while the crane lifts it off the deck and over to the water. September 13 Log
The Pisces deck crew and the Sentry engineers work together to hold the taglines seen here connected to the Sentry. (HR)

NOAA Ship Pisces left the NOAA Marine Operations Center - Atlantic facility in Norfolk, VA at 1600 on September 14. She will be underway exploring Atlantic coral, canyon, and seep habitats until September 28, when she arrives back in port in Morehead City, NC. September 12 Log
NOAA Ship Pisces left the NOAA Marine Operations Center - Atlantic facility in Norfolk, Virginia, at 1600 on September 12. (HR)

The Chesapeake Bay Bridge-Tunnel marks the exit from the Chesapeake Bay and the entry point to the open ocean. The Pisces made her way over the tunnel about two and a half hours after leaving port on September 12. September 12 Log
The Chesapeake Bay Bridge-Tunnel marks the exit from the Chesapeake Bay and the entry point to the open ocean. (HR)

Lead Fisherman Cornell secures the anchor after the ship passes through the Chesapeake Bay Bridge-Tunnel. September 12 Log
Lead Fisherman Cornell secures the anchor after the ship passes through the Chesapeake Bay Bridge-Tunnel. (HR)

USGS scientists Jason Chaytor and Brian Andrews in the process of fully securing their immersion suits. September 12 Log
U.S. Geological Survey scientists Jason Chaytor and Brian Andrews in the process of fully securing their immersion suits. (HR)

Andy Billings oversees the AUV Sentry launch for its first dive of the cruise on the morning of September 13. Sentry will remain in the water for 24 hours before being recovered to recharge batteries and download data. September 12 Log
Andy Billings oversees the AUV Sentry launch for its first dive of the cruise on the morning of September 13. (HR)

The NOAA Ship Pisces waits out Hurricane Irma at the NOAA Marine Operations Center - Atlantic (MOC-A) in Norfolk, VA. September 11 Log
NOAA Ship Pisces waits out Hurricane Irma at the NOAA Marine Operations Center - Atlantic (MOC-A) in Norfolk, Virginia. (HR)

The AUV Sentry has been on the Pisces since August 26th, when it was brought on board for the second year of the NOAA National Marine Fisheries Service’s Carolina Canyons project. September 11 Log
The AUV Sentry has been on the Pisces since August 26, when it was brought on board for another project. (HR)

AUV Sentry being recovered during a recent cruise near Costa Rica. Mission Plan
AUV Sentry being recovered during a recent cruise near Costa Rica.

DEEP SEARCH will target coral, canyon, and seep habitats between 30-130 miles offshore the coasts of North Carolina, South Carolina and Georgia. Mission Plan
DEEP SEARCH will target coral, canyon, and seep habitats offshore the coasts of North Carolina, South Carolina, and Georgia. (HR)

AUV Sentry took this image of chemosynthetic mussel beds at Mound 12 on the Costa Rica margin on an R/V Atlantis research cruise in May 2017. Using Sentry
AUV Sentry took this image of chemosynthetic mussel beds at Mound 12 on the Costa Rica margin in May 2017.

These sponges and coral were seen on the same R/V Atlantis cruise to the Costa Rica margin on a seamount. Using Sentry
These sponges and coral were seen during an R/V Atlantis cruise to the Costa Rica margin on a seamount.

AUV Sentry first collects multibeam data to map the bathymetry of the seafloor, which helps scientists find features of interest such as the large mound seen here. Using Sentry
AUV Sentry first collects multibeam data to map the bathymetry of the seafloor, which helps scientists find features of interest.

This high resolution bathymetric map of a mussel bed was created using AUV Sentry data. The red dots designate dense clusters of mussels found at a seep. Using Sentry
This high-resolution bathymetric map of a mussel bed was created using AUV Sentry data.

Data collected from the oxidation-reduction probe (ORP sensor) illustrates reducing environments (red) located around the mussel bed. These areas often correspond to low oxygen conditions around active seepage. Data collected from these sensors, combined with the high resolution maps (Figure x) and imagery, help us understand the spatial extent of seep communities and their associated environmental conditions. Using Sentry
Data collected from the oxidation-reduction probe ) illustrates reducing environments located around the mussel bed.

During the previous BOEM-USGS-NOAA Atlantic study, researchers explored coral habitats like this one, where a red bubblegum coral (Paragorgia) and several colonies of Primnoa occupy a boulder in close proximity to an anemone and sea star, at ~440 meters in Norfolk Canyon. Partnerships
During the previous BOEM-USGS-NOAA Atlantic study, researchers explored coral habitats like this one. (HR)

Methane gas bubbles rise from the seafloor – this type of activity, originally noticed by NOAA Ship Okeanos Explorer in 2012 on a multibeam sonar survey, is what led scientists to the area. Partnerships
Methane gas bubbles rise from the seafloor—this type of activity, found in 2012, is what led scientists to the area. (HR)

A composite of images of deep-pelagic organisms. Water Column Research
A composite of images of deep-pelagic organisms.

Echogram illustrating the ascending and descending phases of the diel migrations through the water column. The downward and upward migration activity occurs during crepuscular periods. The color scale maps to acoustic scattering intensity. Water Column Research
Echogram illustrating the ascending and descending phases of the diel migrations through the water column.

Sign up for the Ocean Explorer E-mail Update List.