2016 Deepwater Exploration of the Marianas






Photo and Video Log

This page contains photos and videos associated with the 2016 Deepwater Exploration of the Marianas expedition. Click on any image to view a larger version and for additional information.

Unless otherwise noted, all images and videos are courtesy of the NOAA Office of Ocean Exploration and Research, 2016 Deepwater Exploration of the Marianas.

(HR) = "High Resolution" images available.

Dive Highlight Videos | Images (Daily Updates) | Images (Mission Logs) |
Images (Background Essays)

 


Highlight Videos

Leg 3

Deep-sea corals and sponges provide habitat for other organisms to live on, creating oases of life.

video Hotspots of Biodiversity
Deep-sea corals and sponges provide habitat for other organisms to live on, creating oases of life. (Video)

Information from the expedition will complement the management plans for the Marianas Trench Marine National Monument, as managers will review remotely operated vehicle and mapping data to help identify communities living in each area, so that they can fine tune their management practices to best protect Monument resources.

video Managing a National Monument
Information from the expedition will complement the management plans for the Marianas Trench Marine National Monument. (Video)

One of the goals of the expedition was to explore and document the diversity and distribution of bottomfish habitats.

video Bottom Fish
One of the goals of the expedition was to explore and document the diversity and distribution of bottomfish habitats. (Video)

During the final dive for Leg 3 of the expedition, we explored sites that had been identified with exploration targets to search for B-29 aircraft during previous mapping.

video Dive 22: WWII B-29 Bomber
During the final dive, we collected information on B-29 bomber wreckage resting in the deep water of Saipan Channel. (Video)

A brittle star clings to a glass sponge in a 'match made in the deep.'

video Dive 21: Dancing Cucumbers
During Dive 21, several different species of holothurians were documented dancing in the water column. (Video)

An exciting discovery during the exploration of a seamount in the process of being subducted under the Marianas Plate was an undescribed species of Pachycara (or “eelpout”), an abyssal fish genus of the family Zoarcidae.

video Dive 20: New Fish Species
An exciting discovery during Dive 20 was an undescribed species of Pachycara (or “eelpout”). (Video)

During the dive along a rift zone ridge extending west from Vogt Guyot, one of the presumed oldest seamounts on the Pacific Plate, scientists encountered some of the highest diversity of organisms of any dive on this leg of the expedition, from corals, crinoids, sea cucumbers, anemones, and sponges to fish, squat lobsters, and brittle stars.

video Dive 19: Deepwater Wonderland
During the dive near Vogt Guyot, scientists encountered some of the highest diversity of organisms of any dive on this leg. (Video)

This shrimp, seen swimming in the water column, had very long antennae! Long antennae like this are not uncommon in the deep sea, as they help to increase the area around which an animal can sense, which is important in the deep sea where there is little to no light for seeing.

video Dive 18: Glowing Shrimp
This shrimp, seen swimming in the water column, had very long antennae! (Video)

A brittle star clings to a glass sponge in a 'match made in the deep.'

video Dive 17: A Match Made in the Deep
A brittle star clings to a glass sponge in a 'match made in the deep.' (Video)

While exploring a guyot that is presumably a Cretaceous seamount in the process of being subducted within the Trench Unit of the Marianas Trench Marine National Monument, scientists saw very little in the way of living organisms, but there were fossils!

video Dive 16: Fossil Discovery
While exploring a guyot, scientists saw very little in the way of living organisms, but there were fossils! (Video)

This coral garden contained many Metallogorgia sp. along with their typical commensal brittle stars, Ophiocreas oedipus.

video Dive 15: Coral Garden
This "coral garden" contained many Metallogorgia sp. corals along with commensal brittle stars. (Video)

Eel-like fish in the family Aphyonidae. A fish in this family has never been seen live – until now.

video Dive 14: First Sighting
Eel-like fish in the family Aphyonidae. A fish in this family has never been seen live – until now. (Video)

This cusk eek is a great demonstration of a slow anguilliform swimming in a deep-sea fish.

video Dive 14: Cusk Eel
This cusk eel is a great demonstration of a slow anguilliform swimming in a deep-sea fish. (Video)

Some of the fauna encountered on the seafloor while exploring Twin Peaks.

video Dive 13: Mud Monsters
Some of the fauna encountered on the seafloor while exploring Twin Peaks. (Video)

Fish in shallower waters, such as these fish seen near the surface shortly after launch of the remotely operated vehicle, swim by rapidly wagging their tails.

video Dive 12: Shallow Fishes
Fish in shallower waters swim by rapidly wagging their tails. (Video)

The tentacles on this anemone stretched for an impressive six-plus feet.

video Dive 12: Anemone
The tentacles on this anemone stretched for an impressive six-plus feet. (Video)

A polychaete worm 'dances' through the water column during a dive to explore an unnamed forearc ridge.

Dive 11: Polychaete Dance
A polychaete worm 'dances' through the water column during a dive to explore an unnamed forearc ridge. (Video)

Brittle stars seen during exploration of Stegasaurus Ridge, a newly discovered feature mapped in high resolution for the first time during Leg 2 of the 2016 Deepwater Exploration of the Marianas expedition.

video Dive 10: Beautiful Brittle Stars
Brittle stars seen during exploration of Stegasaurus Ridge. (Video)

During Dive 9, we explored the crater of Daikoku Seamount, observing active venting and thick volcanic smoke, supporting the hypothesis that there had been recent volcanic activity in the area.

video Dive 9: Underwater Volcano
During Dive 9, we explored the crater of Daikoku Seamount, observing active venting and thick volcanic smoke. (Video)

This urchin with very long spines was seen while exploring the crater on the southeast side of Eifuku Seamount at a depth of ~500 meters.

video Dive 8: Very Spiny Urchin
This urchin with very long spines was seen while exploring on the southeast side of Eifuku Seamount at a depth of ~500 meters. (Video)

When scientists set out to explore Chamarro Seamount, which had no known historic eruptions, they weren't expecting to find vent communities...but they did.

Dive 7: Chamorro Vent Discovery
When scientists set out to explore Chamorro Seamount, they weren't expecting to find vent communities...but they did. (Video)

This moray eel, which measured about 80 centimeters (2.6 feet) long, was seen during Dive 6 of the third leg of the expedition, as we explored a ridge on Supply Reef, an active submarine volcano within the Marianas Trench Marine National Monument.

video Dive 6: Moray Eel
This moray eel, which measured about 80 centimeters (2.6 feet) long, was seen during Dive 6 on Supply Reef. (Video)

Detailed imagery, such as this from ROV Deep Discoverer, allows scientists to see the details of the external features of an organism.

video Dive 5: Octopus
Detailed imagery allows scientists to see the details of the external features of an organism. (Video)

This octopus observed at Ahyi scurried across the seafloor to get away from the vehicles, but it seemed to be a little too curious to completely disappear from view.

video Dive 5: Octopus
This octopus scurried across the seafloor to get away from the vehicles, but was a little too curious to completely disappear from view. (Video)

While exploring Ahyi Seamount during Dive 5 of the leg, we encountered a range of sessile organisms that made scientists exclaim, 'what is that?!'

video Dive 5: What is That?
While exploring Ahyi Seamount, we encountered a range of sessile organisms that made scientists exclaim, 'what is that?!' (Video)

Dive 4 at Hadal Ridge was a fantastic dive. Among the primary highlights were the unexpected and beautiful layered rock outcrops that gave the submarine formation the look of several famous terrestrial landmarks. As remotely operated vehicle (ROV) Deep Discoverer obtained detailed imagery, ROV Seirios provided a sense of scale and magnitude of the feature.

video Dive 4: Painted Carbonate Canyon
Dive 4 at Hadal Ridge was a fantastic dive. Among the primary highlights were the unexpected and beautiful layered rock outcrops. (Video)

Smalltooth sandtiger shark (Odontaspis ferox), believed to be pregnant, seen on Leg 3 of the 2016 Deepwater Exploration of the Marianas expedition.

video Dive 3: Shark
Smalltooth sandtiger shark (Odontaspis ferox), believed to be pregnant. (Video)

During Dive 03 at Maug, ROV Deep Discoverer documented an exciting interaction between two crabs, including a unique looking spider crab.

video Dive 3: Spider Crab
During Dive 3 at Maug, ROV Deep Discoverer documented an exciting interaction between two crabs. (Video)

During the second dive of the expedition, while exploring Pagan at a depth of ~400 meters (1,312 feet), we encountered this sandtiger shark (Odontaspis ferox), which measured ~ 1.5 meters (five feet) in length.

video Dive 2: Shark
During Dive 2, we encountered this sandtiger shark, which measured ~ 1.5 meters long. (Video)

Always an interesting find, this Chaunax, a type of Frog Fish, delighted our onboard science team during Dive 2 at Pagan.

video Dive 2: Frog Fish
Always an interesting find, this Chaunax, a type of frog fish, delighted our onboard science team. (Video)

The first dive of the expedition fell on #OctopusFriday, and we were not disappointed at our dive on Farallon de Medinilla.

video Dive 1: #OctopusFriday
The first dive of the expedition fell on #OctopusFriday, and we were not left disappointed. (Video)

Bubblegum coral with unidentified green filament. NOAA scientists wondered if the green filaments were sponges or possibly algae snagged on the coral as they drifted down; generally, plants are not found at these depths due to the lack of light.

video Dive 1: Bubblegum Coral
Bubblegum coral with unidentified green filament. (Video)

Leg 1

In the deep ocean, hydrothermal vents are often oases of life, with bacteria at the vents serving as the basis of the food web in areas completely devoid of light.

video Oases of Life
In the deep ocean, hydrothermal vents are often oases of life. (Video)

It is important to characterize the biology in areas that could be of interest for deep-sea mining so that we can gauge how to manage and potentially protect these environments in the future.

video Mn-encrusted Seafloor Habitats
It is important to characterize the biology in areas of interest for deep-sea mining to gauge how to manage and protect these environments. (Video)

AThe scientific research being conducted on the Deepwater Exploration of the Marianas expedition will help sustainable fisheries management and deep-sea education initiatives; improve our understanding of the unique biology, geology, and deepwater habitats of the region; and offer the opportunity to engage new partnerships, exchange knowledge, and develop innovative tools for humanity to live sustainably on Earth.

video Deepwater Exploration of the Marianas
The research conducted on this expedition will help to manage and protect resources, educate, inspire, and more. (Video)

NOAA Ship Okeanos Explorer is on a mission to explore the largely unknown ocean - currently focused on the Marianas Trench Marine National Monument and U.S. Exclusive Economic Zone surround Guam and the Commonwealth of the Northern Marianas Islands. This video includes highlights from the first leg of the expedition and features expedition coordinator Kelley Elliott.

video Exploration
Highlights from the first leg of the expedition and its connection to NOAA Ship Okeanos Explorer's mission to explore the largely unknown ocean. (Video)

During the last dive of the expedition on the eastern slope of Esmeralda Bank Crater, this small octopus was spotted amongst a field of stalked crinoids at ~250 meters depth. At first it appears to try to hide, but then decides to try a different defensive approach by making itself as large as possible…which wasn’t very large at all!

video Dive 19: Octopus
During the last dive of the expedition on the eastern slope of Esmeralda Bank Crater, this small octopus was seen in a field of stalked crinoids. (Video)

A sea star uses its tube feet to move across the seafloor.

video Dive 19: Sea Star Walking
A sea star uses its tube feet to move across the seafloor. (Video)

This octopus was spotted tucked under an overhang while exploring on the outer slope of the Esmeralda Seamount, a submarine volcanic complex to the west of Saipan.

video Dive 18: Octopus
This octopus was spotted tucked under an overhang during exploration of the outer slope of the Esmeralda Seamount. (Video)

This armored sea robin was seen walking across the seafloor on modified fins during a dive along the slope of Farallon de Medinilla, a small, uninhabited island north of Saipan.

video Dive 17: Armored Sea Robin
This armored sea robin was seen walking across the seafloor on modified fins during Dive 17. (Video)

A rare encounter with a swimming dandelion siphonophore on Dive 17 at Farallon de Medinilla. This dandelion is actually comprised of many individuals that all work together with some protecting the colony, some catching food, some reproducing etc. These animals are usually observed anchored to seafloor.

video Dive 17: Siphonophore
A rare encounter with a swimming dandelion siphonophore on Dive 17 at Farallon de Medinilla. (Video)

This hermit crab, likely Strobopagurus gracilipes, appears to be missing a pair of legs, but in fact, they are instead modified to hold this anemone in place. Most hermit crabs have a shell that they inhabit, however this species uses an anemone instead.

video Dive 13: Hermit Crab
This hermit crab appears to be missing a pair of legs, but in fact, they are instead modified to hold this anemone in place. (Video)

This unidentified jellyfish is seen floating through the water column, before quickly retracting its tentacles and swimming away.

video Dive 13: Jellyfish
This unidentified jellyfish is seen floating through the water column, before quickly retracting its tentacles and swimming away. (Video)

An aggregation of basket stars like this is a rare sighting. These gorgonocephalid basket stars are close relatives of brittle stars and feed by perching in an elevated position and extending their arms in a net-like fashion perpendicular to the current to catch small crustaceans, jellyfish, and other small animals that come within reach.

video Dive 12: Basket Star City
An aggregation of basket stars like this is a rare sighting. (Video)

A sand tiger shark was seen swimming amongst this rare aggregation of basket stars that scientists dubbed Basket Star City.

video Dive 12: Sand Tiger Shark
A sand tiger shark was seen swimming amongst this rare aggregation of basket stars. (Video)

This incredible active hydrothermal vent was imaged for the first time during the Marianas expedition.

video Dive 11: Hydrothermal Vent
This incredible active hydrothermal vent was imaged for the first time during the Marianas expedition. (Video)

On Dive 9, we dove on a new pillow lava flow. Comparison of bathymetry collected in 2013 and 2015 indicated an eruption over 100 meters thick. We visited three pillow mounds that were composed almost entirely of glassy pillow lavas. The glass forms when molten lava erupts on the seafloor and comes in contact with very cold seawater, immediately quenching the lava, forming long tubular or round shapes, and creating glass. The glass is important for geochemists because it allows them to determine the composition of the erupting lava.

video Dive 9: Glassy Lava
On Dive 9, we visited three pillow mounds that were composed almost entirely of glassy pillow lavas. (Video)

This deep-sea lobster, likely Acanthocaris tenuimana, was seen during Dive 8 at a site known as Northwest Guam Seamount. It was guarding a series of large burrows with claws poised for action.

video Dive 8: Blind Lobster
This deep-sea lobster was seen guarding a series of large burrows with claws poised for action. (Video)

This Chimaera was seen during Dive 8 at a site known as Northwest Guam Seamount. These ghostsharks or rabbitfish are most closely related to sharks and rays and are now known only from deep water.

video Dive 8: Chimaera
This Chimaera was seen during Dive 8 at a site known as Northwest Guam Seamount. (Video)

A 14-meter-high extinct hydrothermal vent chimney was discovered on Dive 7 at Fina Nagu Caldera A on top of a volcanic dome. This hydrothermal chimney was probably once a high-temperature black smoker, built by hot, chemical-rich fluids created by seawater percolating downward and interacting with hot subsurface rocks above the dome’s magma chamber.

video Dive 7: Extinct Chimney
An extinct hydrothermal vent chimney discovered at Fina Nagu Caldera A on top of a volcanic dome. (Video)

Scientists were surprised to see this deep-sea lizardfish (Bathysaurus cf. mollis) swimming in the water column during Dive 7 to explore the Fina Nagu A crater, as these fish typically dwell on seafloor sediments.

video Dive 7: Bathysaurus
Scientists were surprised to see this lizardfish swimming in the water column, as these fish typically dwell on seafloor sediments. (Video)

These pillow basalts, seen on Dive 6 at Fina Nagu Caldera C, form when basaltic lava erupts underwater.

video Dive 6: Pillow Basalt
These pillow basalts, seen on Dive 6 at Fina Nagu Caldera C, form when basaltic lava erupts underwater. (Video)

This deep-sea holothurian or sea cucumber, likely Paleopatides sp., was observed swimming on Dive 05 at Fina Nagu Caldera D. Deep-sea holothurians usually swim to avoid predation and physical danger.

video Dive 5: Holothurian
This deep-sea holothurian was observed swimming on Dive 05 at Fina Nagu Caldera D. (Video)

Stunningly beautiful jellyfish seen during Dive 4 on April 24, 2016, while exploring Enigma Seamount at a depth of ~3,700 meters.

video Dive 4: Jelly
Stunningly beautiful jellyfish seen while exploring "Enigma Seamount" at a depth of ~3,700 meters. (Video)

This jelly was seen resting on the seafloor while exploring Engima Seamount on April 24 at a depth of ~3,700 meters.

video Dive 4: Jelly
This jelly was seen resting on the seafloor while exploring Engima Seamount. (Video)

While Deep Discoverer is busy investigating the seafloor, Seirios keeps a close eye from above, sometimes catching glimpses of things we'd otherwise miss without our two-bodied remotely operated vehicle system...

video Dive 4: Octopod Sighting
As Deep Discoverer is investigating the seafloor, Seirios watches from above, catching glimpses of things we'd otherwise miss... (Video)

During the third dive of the expedition, scientists saw this very unusual sponge, which represents a new record for the region and may be a new species.

video Dive 3: Sponge
During the third dive of the expedition, scientists saw this very unusual sponge. (Video)

During our 5,000-meter dive in Sirena Canyon, along the Mariana Trench wall, we saw multiple pieces of marine debris.

video Dive 2: Trash
During our 5,000-meter dive in Sirena Canyon, we saw multiple pieces of marine debris. (Video)

A few of the different fish encountered during the second dive of the 2016 Deepwater Exploration of the Marianas expedition while exploring Santa Rosa Reef near Guam.

video Dive 2: Fish
A few of the different fish encountered during the second dive of the expedition. (Video)

Sixgill shark seen while exploring Santa Rosa Reef, south of Guam, during the first dive of the expedition on April 20, 2016.

video Dive 1: Sixgill Shark
Sixgill shark seen while exploring Santa Rosa Reef, south of Guam, during the first dive of the expedition. (Video)

(top)

 


Images (Daily Updates)

The shipboard mission team poses on the bow of the ship as Leg 3 comes to a close.

July 10
The shipboard mission team poses on the bow of the ship as Leg 3 comes to a close. (HR)

ROV Deep Discoverer discovers a B-29 Superfortress resting upsidedown on the seafloor. This is the first B-29 crash site found of over a dozen American B-29s lost in the area while flying missions during World War II.

July 9
Deep Discoverer discovers a B-29 Superfortress resting upsidedown on the seafloor. (HR)

This fish - potentially a Malacosarcus sp. - is a bit of a mystery for our science team as these prickelfish are usually found at shallower depths.

July 8
This fish - potentially a Malacosarcus sp. - is a bit of a mystery for our science team as these prickelfish are usually found at shallower depths. (HR)

This coral, observed at just over 4,300 meters, expanded the known depth range for bamboo corals by approximately 100 meters.

July 7
This coral, observed at just over 4,300 meters, expanded the known depth range for bamboo corals by approximately 100 meters. (HR)

CVogt seamount could easily be called a coral wonderland. Biodiversity and coral abundance here was the highest observed during any other dive this cruise.

July 6
Vogt seamount could be called a coral wonderland, as biodiversity and coral abundance was the highest observed on this cruise. (HR)

This hydromedusa was documented during our midwater transects at 800 meters over a newly discovered petite spot volcano - the first ever discovered in the U.S. Exclusive Economic Zone.

July 5
This hydromedusa was documented during our midwater transects at 800 meters over a newly discovered petite-spot volcano. (HR)

Cusk eel in the family Ophidiidae. This is in the genus Eretmichthys and may be the species E. pinnatus.

July 4
Cusk eel in the family Ophidiidae. This is in the genus Eretmichthys and may be the species E. pinnatus. (HR)

ROV Deep Discoverer collects a spiral, fossilized shell of some sort. At the conclusion of this field season, this sample – along with all of the others will go out - will head to archival. Once there, scientists can request to analyse a specific sample, like this fossil, which will hopefully help to further characterize this region. We might even be lucky enough to figure out what this is a fossil of!

July 3
ROV Deep Discoverer collects a spiral, fossilized shell of some sort. (HR)

Two very small amphipods almost look like they are posing for ROV Deep Discoverer as D2 images them on top of a sponge stalk.

July 2
Two very small amphipods look like they are posing for Deep Discoverer as the ROV images them on top of a sponge stalk. (HR)

One of the unusual black corals documented making circles in the sediment during Dive 14 at Explorer Ridge Deep.

July 1
One of the unusual black corals documented making circles in the sediment during Dive 14 at Explorer Ridge Deep. (HR)

Acorn worms were just one of the many types of strange fauna observed at Twin Peaks.

June 30
Acorn worms were just one of the many types of strange fauna observed at Twin Peaks. (HR)

Cusk eel with unusual head shape: the large bulbous head features small eyes, large nostrils, and a mouth placed low on the head. This distinctive-looking animal could be a new species.

June 29
Cusk eel with unusual head shape. This distinctive-looking animal could be a new species. (HR)

The control room on NOAA Ship Okeanos Explorer as remotely operated vehicle (ROV) Deep Discoverer (D2) images a crinoid at Northern Forearc Ridge. In the bottom left of the image, you can see the newly acquired multibeam bathymetry. Those data were collected, processed, reviewed, and prepped for ROV navigation to guide D2 within 12 hours.

June 28
The control room on NOAA Ship Okeanos Explorer as Deep Discoverer images a crinoid at Northern Forearc Ridge. (HR)

This juvenile bamboo coral is too young for the characteristic segmented

June 27
This juvenile bamboo coral is too young for the characteristic segmented "stalk" to be visible. (HR)

Tube worms with red gills and anemones observed at the crater rim.

June 26
Tube worms with red gills and anemones observed at the crater rim. (HR)

 This beautiful groppo (Grammatonotus sp) was observed during Dive 8 at Eifuku Seamount. At the top of the feature survey during this dive, small, colorful fish like this were very common among the rocks.

June 25
This beautiful groppo (Grammatonotus sp.) was observed during Dive 8 at Eifuku Seamount. (HR)

ROV Deep Discoverer images a newly discovered hydrothermal vent field at Chammoro Seamount.

June 24
ROV Deep Discoverer images a newly discovered hydrothermal vent field at Chammoro Seamount. (HR)

One of the priority objectives for Dive 6 was to document and better understand fish habitat. While transiting up the ridge at Supply Reef, ROV Deep Discoverer encountered a small aggregation of groupers, a commercially important fish.

June 23
While transiting up the ridge at Supply Reef, Deep Discoverer encountered a small aggregation of groupers. (HR)

One of the unusual benthic platyctenid ctenophores documented during Dive 5 at Ahyi Seamount.

June 22
One of the unusual benthic platyctenid ctenophores documented during Dive 5 at Ahyi Seamount. (HR)

View of our ROV Deep Discoverer exploring at the depth of 6,000 meters in the Mariana Trench. Never-before-seen geological features reminiscent of the Alps and canyons in California stunned participating scientists on the ship and on shore.

June 21
View of ROV Deep Discoverer exploring at the depth of 6,000 meters in the Mariana Trench. (HR)

This high-density coral community, with several large basket stars, was documented at the start of Dive 3. At least 50 coral colonies can be seen in this single image.

June 20
This high-density coral community, with several large basket stars, was documented at the start of Dive 3. (HR)

This Long-Tail Red Snapper was spotted during Dive 2 on Pagan. In the words of one of our science team members – we were exploring for bottom fish, and this one was the primo find!

June 19
This Long-Tail Red Snapper was spotted during Dive 2 on Pagan. (HR)

This crinoid rests on a white, ribbon-like sponge which was one of the dominant species documented during Dive 01 of Leg 3. When the vehicles first arrived on the seafloor, nearly every local topographic high had this type of sponge growing on it.

June 18
This crinoid rests on a white, ribbon-like sponge which was one of the dominant species documented during Dive 1 of Leg 3. (HR)

Science team co-lead, Shirley Pomponi, discusses the upcoming mission during a ship tour of local stakeholders and resource managers.

June 17
Science team co-lead, Shirley Pomponi, discusses the upcoming mission during a ship tour of local stakeholders and resource managers. (HR)

The shipboard mission team poses for a picture on the bow of the ship before pulling into port in Saipan to bring Leg 1 of the expedition to a close.

May 11
The shipboard mission team poses for a picture on the bow of the ship before pulling into port in Saipan to bring Leg 1 of the expedition to a close. (HR)

A small octopus made an appearance on the dive. You can see how small it is compared to the crinoid stalks it is next to.

May 10
A small octopus made an appearance on the dive. You can see how small it is compared to the crinoid stalks it is next to. (HR)

A cluster of sea urchins (and a single crinoid), living on an elevated rocky feature. It is typical for suspension feeders, such as the crinoid, to live on elevated features such as this to get access to food from the currents in the water column, however it is not clear why these urchins were so densely clustered here. Until this dive, we have not encountered such a high density of urchins in any one location. It may have been a spawning aggregation.

May 9
A cluster of sea urchins (and a single crinoid), living on an elevated rocky feature. (HR)

An oblique-banded snapper (Pristipomoides zonatus) and moray eel (Gymnothorax berndti).

May 8
An oblique-banded snapper (Pristipomoides zonatus) and moray eel (Gymnothorax berndti). (HR)

An anemone, with tentacles getting blown over by the strong current, living on a manganese-encrusted rock. Note the light sediment layer on the rock.

May 7
An anemone, with tentacles getting blown over by the strong current, living on a manganese-encrusted rock. (HR)

An unknown sponge species. We don't know what the white spots are that are embedded within the tissue, but speculate that they could be embryos.

May 6
An unknown sponge species. We don't know what the white spots are that are embedded within the tissue, but speculate that they could be embryos. (HR)

A high-density field of corals, including the spiraling Iridogorgia magnispiralis, which can grow as long as five meters.

May 5
A high-density field of corals, including the spiraling Iridogorgia magnispiralis. (HR)

The anemone living on this parapagurid hermit crab (likely Strobopagurus gracilipes) actually secretes a “shell” for the crab, which it inhabits instead of a gastropod shell (e.g., snail) that most hermit crabs call home.

May 4
The anemone living on this parapagurid hermit crab. (HR)

Close up of a basket star, with commensal ophiuroids.

May 3
Close up of a basket star, with commensal ophiuroids. (HR)

Hydrothermal-vent chimney.

May 2
Hydrothermal-vent chimney. (HR)

A deep-sea anglerfish living within the pillow basalts.

May 1
A deep-sea anglerfish living within the pillow basalts. (HR)

A mount of pillow lava.

April 30
A mound of pillow lava. (HR)

A beautiful stalked crinoid, likely Proisocrinus ruberrimus.

April 29
A beautiful stalked crinoid, likely Proisocrinus ruberrimus. (HR)

The remotely operated vehicle Deep Discoverer surveying the 14-meter hydrothermal chimney.

April 28
The remotely operated vehicle Deep Discoverer surveying the 14-meter hydrothermal chimney. (HR)

An isolated pillow outcrop surrounded by sediment. Scientists refer to the funny looking protrusion towards the top of the outcrop as a “mushroom pillow.”

April 27
An isolated pillow outcrop surrounded by sediment. (HR)

The predatory tunicate Megalodicopia sp.

April 26
The predatory tunicate Megalodicopia sp. (HR)

Following safe recovery of the remotely operated vehicle, Biology Science Team Lead Diva Amon prepares to retrieve the samples from Deep Discoverer while the deck team starts to assess the sheave located at the forward end of the aft deck.

April 25
Diva Amon retrieves samples from Deep Discoverer while the deck team starts to assess the ROV's sheave. (HR)

A field of small, sedimented balls that we have tentatively identified as the amoeba Gromia sphaerica or a close relative. We saw huge number of these throughout the dive.

April 24
A field of sedimented balls tentatively identified as the amoeba Gromia sphaerica or a close relative. (HR)

An enteropneust (or acorn worm) leaving a characteristic fecal coil on the seafloor in Sirena Canyon.

April 23
An enteropneust (or acorn worm) leaving a characteristic fecal coil on the seafloor in Sirena Canyon. (HR)

A Lepidisis coral imaged shortly before being collected for further analysis.

April 22
A Lepidisis coral imaged shortly before being collected for further analysis. (HR)

A six gill shark paid us a visit, and even stuck around for a minute. Note the high diversity of coral species in the foreground. Look closely, and you can see brittle starfish hiding in in the corals.

April 21
A sixgill shark paid us a visit, and even stuck around for a minute. Note the high diversity of coral species in the foreground. (HR)

Leg 1 Biology Science Team Lead, Dr. Diva Amon, enjoying the view as NOAA Ship Okeanos Explorer heads to sea to start Leg 1 of the 2016 Deepwater Exploration of the Marianas expedition. You can see the island of Guam in the background.

April 20
Leg 1 Biology Science Team Lead, Dr. Diva Amon, enjoying the view as NOAA Ship Okeanos Explorer heads to sea to start tthe expedition. (HR)

'

 

 

 

 

(top)

 


Images (Mission Logs)

Infographic summarizing accomplishments from the 2016 Deepwater Exploration of the Marianas expedition.

Expedition Summary
Infographic summarizing accomplishments from the 2016 Deepwater Exploration of the Marianas expedition. (HR)

Overview map showing seafloor bathymetry, remotely operated vehicle (ROV) dives, and conductivity temperature and depth (CTD) casts conducted during the three-cruise Deepwater Exploration of the Marianas expedition. Bathymetry data collected during the transit to Guam prior to the start of the expedition is also shown.

Expedition Summary
Overview map showing seafloor bathymetry, remotely operated vehicle dives, and CTD casts conducted during the expedition. (HR)

With 22 remotely operated vehicle (ROV) dives and mapping over 21,000 square kilometers of seafloor, Leg 3 of the 2016 Deepwater Exploration of the Marianas covered a lot of ground!

July 12
With 22 ROV dives and mapping over 21,000 square kilometers of seafloor, Leg 3 of the expedition covered a lot of ground! (HR)

 

 

The deep-sea corals on Vogt Seamount were amazing

July 12
The deep-sea corals on Vogt Seamount were amazing! (HR)

Some of the corals and sponges on Vogt Seamount were very large, indicating a healthy and stable community.

July 12
Some of the corals and sponges on Vogt Seamount were very large, indicating a healthy and stable community. (HR)

One of the unusual benthic platyctenid ctenophores documented during Dive 5 at Ahyi Seamount.

July 12
One of the unusual benthic platyctenid ctenophores documented during Dive 5 at Ahyi Seamount. (HR)

This fish, of the family Aphyonidae, had never before been seen alive.

July 12
This fish, of the family Aphyonidae, had never before been seen alive. (HR)

This unidentified jellyfish was spotted during our water column exploration on Dive 18 at a petit-spot volcano.

July 12
This unidentified jellyfish was spotted during our water column exploration on Dive 18 at a petit-spot volcano. (HR)

ROV Deep Discoverer discovers a B-29 Superfortress resting upsidedown on the seafloor.

July 12
ROV Deep Discoverer discovers a B-29 Superfortress resting upsidedown on the seafloor. (HR)

During mapping operations, our multibeam system also collects water column backscatter or data about what is in the water column between the surface and the seafloor.

July 12
During mapping operations, our multibeam system also collects water column backscatter or data about what is in the water column. (HR)

View of ROV Deep Discoverer exploring at the depth of 6,000 meters in the Mariana Trench.

July 12
View of ROV Deep Discoverer exploring at the depth of 6,000 meters in the Mariana Trench. (HR)

An exciting discovery during our dive at Pagan – this slit shell snail was a new observation for the Marianas and likely a new species!

July 12
An exciting discovery during our dive at Pagan – this slit shell snail was a new observation for the Marianas and likely a new species! (HR)

This Long-Tail Red Snapper was spotted during Dive 2 on Pagan.

July 12
This Long-Tail Red Snapper was spotted during Dive 2 on Pagan. (HR)

The control room during Dive 4 at Hadal Wall as ROV <em>Deep Discoverer</em> approached 6,000 meters for the first time since Puerto Rico.

July 12
The control room during Dive 4 at Hadal Wall as ROV Deep Discoverer approached 6,000 meters for the first time since Puerto Rico. (HR)

Maug, one of the volcanos within the Islands Unit of the Marianas Trench Marine National Monument, as seen from NOAA Ship Okeanos Explorer during Dive 3 of Leg 3.

July 11
Maug, one of the volcanos within the Islands Unit of the Marianas Trench Marine National Monument, as seen from NOAA Ship Okeanos Explorer during Dive 3 of Leg 3. (HR)

Map showing the locations of the Mariana Trench (white dashed line), Volcanic Arc (yellow dashed line), and back-arc spreading center (red line) and remnant arc (black dashed line).

July 11
Map showing the locations of the Mariana Trench, Volcanic Arc, and back-arc spreading center and remnant arc.

This brisingid sea star, seen while exploring Fryer Guyot, is in the process of regenerating four of its eleven arms.

July 11
This brisingid sea star, seen while exploring Fryer Guyot, is in the process of regenerating four of its 11 arms. (HR)

This fish was seen during a dive at Hadal Wall.

July 11
This fish was seen during a dive at Hadal Wall. (HR)

Fishes seen on a dive at Supply Reef.

July 11
Fishes seen on a dive at Supply Reef. (HR)

This octopus was seen on Dive 5 at Ahyi Seamount.

July 11
This octopus was seen on Dive 5 at Ahyi Seamount. (HR)

This coral and brittle star were seen on Dive 1 at Farallon de Medinilla (FDM).The green filamentous material hanging off of the coral is hypothesized to be algae that has drifted down from the sea surface.

July 11
This coral and brittle star were seen on Dive 1 at Farallon de Medinilla.The green filamentous material on the coral is hypothesized to be algae that has drifted from the sea surface. (HR)

This beautiful crinoid, unusual for its many arms, was observed during Dive 3 as ROV Deep Discoverer (D2) explored a ridge feature along the outer slopes of Maug. In the deep sea, absent of D2’s artificial lights, this organism would appear black or disappear completely as red is one of the first colors to disappear from the visual spectrum in the ocean.

July 11
This beautiful crinoid, unusual for its many arms, was observed while exploring a ridge feature along the outer slopes of Maug. (HR)

This holothurian was seen on Dive 12 at an unnamed forearc seamount.

July 11
This holothurian was seen on Dive 12 at an unnamed forearc seamount. (HR)

These snails were seen on Dive 7 at Chamorro Seamount. Parts of the picture look blurry due to hot water coming out of the hydrothermal vent.

July 11
These snails were seen on Dive 7 at Chamorro Seamount. Parts of the picture look blurry due to hot water coming out of the vent. (HR)

This sponge was seen at Hadal Wall. The swelling may indicate that the sponge has engulfed its prey, possibly a polychaete, and may be eating the worm

July 11
This sponge was seen at Hadal Wall. The swelling may indicate that the sponge has engulfed its prey. (HR)

Relicanthus sp., a cnidarian resembling a sea anemone, seen on Dive 12 at an unnamed forearc seamount.

July 11
Relicanthus sp., a cnidarian resembling a sea anemone, seen on Dive 12 at an unnamed forearc seamount. (HR)

The B-29 Superfortress, designed by Boeing, fulfilled the need for a bomber capable of flying over 5,000 miles while carrying a large payload. It represented very advanced technology for the time with a pressurized cabin and a remote, computer controlled fire control system to direct four machine-gun turrets to protect against enemy aircraft attacks. The plane was used from June 1945 through the end of the war and included missions to drop supplies to prisoners of war in Japan.

July 9
The B-29 Superfortress, designed by Boeing, fulfilled the need for a bomber capable of flying over 5,000 miles while carrying a large payload.

This site is one of many aircraft lost in the vicinity of Tinian and Saipan. The B-29 Superfortress, one of the largest aircraft flown by the United States in World War II, had a wingspan measuring just over 141 feet. The wing came to rest on the sea floor upside down with the landing gear and three of the radial engines still attached.

July 9
This site is one of many aircraft lost in the vicinity of Tinian and Saipan. The B-29 Superfortress was one of the largest aircraft flown by the United States in World War II. (HR)

This yellow tank is an oxygen cylinder used in the system to pressurize the crew’s cabin spaces. It is in remarkably good condition with the writing still legible.

July 9
This yellow tank is an oxygen cylinder used in the system to pressurize the crew’s cabin spaces. It is in remarkably good condition with the writing still legible. (HR)

The forward gun turret, located some distance from the wing, is evidence that the aircraft broke apart. A panel of dials found in the wreckage is part of the flight engineer’s station, indicating this section of wreckage is a part of the B-29s forward section.

July 9
The forward gun turret, located some distance from the wing, is evidence that the aircraft broke apart.  (HR)

This octopus didn’t stick around log, but it offered us a brief glimpse of how octopods move across the seafloor.

July 8
This octopus didn’t stick around long, but it offered us a brief glimpse of how octopods move across the seafloor. (HR)

This gorgeous squid, probably Taningia danae, was seen as Deep Discoverer was descending to the seafloor.

July 8
This gorgeous squid, probably Taningia danae, was seen as Deep Discoverer was descending to the seafloor. (HR)

Sponge with brittle star seen on July 4th, 2016, at Fryer Guyot.

July 7
Sponge with brittle star seen on July 4th, 2016, at Fryer Guyot. (HR)

Remotely operated vehicle Deep Discoverer during launch from NOAA Ship Okeanos Explorer for its daily dive to explore the deep sea.

July 7
Deep Discoverer during launch from NOAA Ship Okeanos Explorer for its daily dive to explore the deep sea. (HR)

This sea cucumber was seen at Hadal Ridge in the Mariana Trench on June 21, 2016.

July 7
This sea cucumber was seen at Hadal Ridge in the Mariana Trench on June 21, 2016. (HR)

Teachers attend a professional development workshop in New Orleans to learn how to implement our lesson plans in their classrooms.

July 7
Teachers attend a professional development workshop in New Orleans to learn how to implement lesson plans in their classrooms. (HR)

Shallower living moray eels like this one seen at a depth of 279 meters on Dive 6 at Supply Reef on June 23, 2016, are nocturnal and/or live in holes and crevices to avoid predators.

July 6
Shallower living moray eels like this one seen at a depth of 279 meters, are nocturnal and/or live in holes and crevices to. (HR)

Deeper-living eels like this cutthroat eel, Synaphobranchus sp., are abundant in the deep ocean and are active day and night in the open.

July 6
Deeper-living eels like this cutthroat eel, Synaphobranchus sp., are abundant in the deep ocean and are active day and night in the open. (HR)

Macrourids like this one are an incredibly common and diverse family of deep-sea fish with more than 200 species.

July 6
Macrourids like this one are an incredibly common and diverse family of deep-sea fish with more than 200 species. (HR)

Cusk eels, like this Leucicoris, are another incredibly diverse and common family of deep-sea fishes that have long, tapering, eel-like tails.

July 6
Cusk eels, like this Leucicoris, are another incredibly diverse and common family of deep-sea fishes that have long, tapering, eel-like tails. (HR)

A deep-sea anglerfish living within the pillow basalts.

July 6
A deep-sea anglerfish living within the pillow basalts. (HR)

Volcaniclastics on Dive 3 at Maug Volcano.

July 5
Volcaniclastics on Dive 3 at Maug Volcano. (HR)

Peridotite boulders in rippled sediment on Dive 4 at Hadal Ridge.

July 5
Peridotite boulders in rippled sediment on Dive 4 at Hadal Ridge. (HR)

Carbonate rocks forming an Alps-like landscape on Dive 4 at Hadal Ridge.

July 5
Carbonate rocks forming an Alps-like landscape on Dive 4 at Hadal Ridge. (HR)

Small hydrothermal vent chimneys on Dive 7 at Chamorro Seamount.

July 5
Small hydrothermal vent chimneys on Dive 7 at Chamorro Seamount. (HR)

Crusts of elemental sulfur on Dive 9 at Daikoku Seamount.

July 5
Crusts of elemental sulfur on Dive 9 at Daikoku Seamount. (HR)

Ferromanganese crusts draping rocks (and old sponge stalks) on Dive 17 at Fryer Guyot.

July 5
Ferromanganese crusts draping rocks (and old sponge stalks) on Dive 17 at Fryer Guyot. (HR)

Cretaceous-age fossils on Dive 16 at Subducting Guyot 1.

July 5
Cretaceous-age fossils on Dive 16 at Subducting Guyot 1. (HR)

Remotely operated vehicle Deep Discoverer exploring the seamount wall on Dive 16 at Subducting Guyot 1.

July 5
Deep Discoverer exploring the seamount wall at Subducting Guyot 1. (HR)

Many organisms have unique adaptations to live in the deep sea. This squat lobster buries itself in the sediment likely to avoid being eaten. There is so much that can be learned about the deep sea just by taking a close look.

July 4
Many organisms have unique adaptations to live in the deep sea. This squat lobster buries itself in the sediment likely to avoid being eaten. There is so much that can be learned about the deep sea just by taking a close look. (HR)

Sunrise aboard NOAA Ship Okeanos Explorer as the crew preps for another day of collecting critical baseline information in some of the most unknown areas of our ocean.

July 4
Sunrise aboard NOAA Ship Okeanos Explorer as the crew preps for another day of collecting critical baseline information in some of the most unknown areas of our ocean. (HR)

One of the many unidentified organisms seen during the 2016 Deepwater Exploration of the Marianas expedition. This organism was so unusual that the science team had difficulty placing it into any higher taxonomic group.

July 4
One of the many unidentified organisms seen during the expedition. This organism was so unusual that the science team had difficulty placing it into any higher taxonomic group. (HR)

We have only just begun to understand the deep sea and there are many more hidden treasures still out there. During this expedition, scientists explored Vogt Seamount and found an incredible diversity and high density of deep-sea corals. In this image alone, there are over seven types of corals, with some of the larger corals measuring over a meter.

July 4
During this expedition, scientists explored Vogt Seamount and found an incredible diversity and high density of deep-sea corals. In this image alone, there are over seven types of corals. (HR)

This large sponge was seen on Leg 3 Dive 19 at Vogt Seamount. One of the exciting things I learned during this expedition from Science Lead Dr. Shirley Pomponi is that sponges hold the potential for the development of new medical agents and therapeutic treatments of cancers and other diseases.

July 4
This large sponge was seen on Leg 3 Dive 19 at Vogt Seamount. (HR)

This can was observed on Dive 12 at Unnamed Forearc Seamount at a depth of 3,306 meters.

July 4
This can was observed on Dive 12 at Unnamed Forearc Seamount at a depth of 3,306 meters. (HR)

Scorpion fish were fairly common observations throughout the third leg of the Deepwater Exploration of the Marianas expedition. This one was observed on Dive 6 on Supply Reef.

July 4
Scorpion fish were fairly common observations throughout the third leg of the expedition. This one was observed on Dive 6 on Supply Reef. (HR)

Sea cucumbers were one of the more common organisms seen on Leg 3 at almost every depth surveyed. This one was observed at Explorer Ridge Deep during Dive 14.

July 4
Sea cucumbers were one of the more common organisms seen on Leg 3 at almost every depth surveyed. This one was observed at Explorer Ridge Deep. (HR)

Cross-section of the Mariana subduction zone, showing the relationship between the Trench, Forearc, Volcanic Arc, and Back-Arc.

July 3
Cross-section of the Mariana subduction zone, showing the relationship between the Trench, Forearc, Volcanic Arc, and Back-Arc. (HR)

This figure shows the Mariana Trench, the subduction zone, and guyots that have not yet reached the subduction zone.

July 3
This figure shows the Mariana Trench, the subduction zone, and guyots that have not yet reached the subduction zone. (HR)

A look inside the seamount reveals layers of chalk characteristic of formations from shallow marine seas during the Cretaceous.

July 3
A look inside the seamount reveals layers of chalk characteristic of formations from shallow marine seas during the Cretaceous. (HR)

A look at the historic record of the Cretaceous seas when this seamount was near the surface shows fossil bivalves and gastropods.

July 3
A look at the historic record of the Cretaceous seas when this seamount was near the surface shows fossil bivalves and gastropods. (HR)

An octocoral in the family Primnoidae at 252 meters depth on a ridge off the island of Pagan.

July 2
An octocoral in the family Primnoidae at 252 meters depth on a ridge off the island of Pagan. (HR)

A plexaurid sea fan at 304 meters depth on Supply Reef.

July 2
A plexaurid sea fan at 304 meters depth on Supply Reef. (HR)

A view of the tip of a branch of a bamboo coral showing a dozen or so polyps.

July 2
A view of the tip of a branch of a bamboo coral showing a dozen or so polyps. (HR)

A delicate octocoral (Chrysogorgia sp.) attached to a rock at 2,370 meteres depth on Twin Peaks.

July 2
A delicate octocoral (Chrysogorgia sp.) attached to a rock at 2,370 meters depth on Twin Peaks. (HR)

This shrimp is a species in the family Stylodactylidae. The strange setose appendages and the long-toothed rostrum are characteristic of the species.

June 30
This shrimp is a species in the family Stylodactylidae. The strange setose appendages and the long-toothed rostrum are characteristic. (HR)

NOAA Ship Okeanos Explorer.

June 28
NOAA Ship Okeanos Explorer. (HR)

Image showing input received to inform priority operating areas for the 2013 Northeast U.S. Canyons expedition.

June 28
Image showing input received to inform priority operating areas for the 2013 Northeast U.S. Canyons expedition. (HR)

Scientist Scott France participates in the dives from his home office via telepresence.

June 28
Scientist Scott France participates in the dives from his home office via telepresence. (HR)

Video and telepresence engineer, Roland Brian, adjusts the camera focus of the main ROV HD camera during a dive to help the science team get the best view of features and animals of interest.

June 28
Roland Brian adjusts the camera focus of the main ROV HD camera during a dive. (HR)

Shore-based scientists participating from the University of Hawaii Exploration Command Center.

June 28
Shore-based scientists participating from the University of Hawaii Exploration Command Center. (HR)

OER’s Kasey Cantwell addresses a group of students at an Exploration Command Center.

June 28
OER's Kasey Cantwell addresses a group of students at an Exploration Command Center. (HR)

A curious octopus greets the remotely operated vehicle at the beginning of Dive 5 at Ahyi Seamount.

June 26
A curious octopus greets the remotely operated vehicle at the beginning of Dive 5 at Ahyi Seamount. (HR)

One of the well-camouflaged flatfish that live in the high-sulfur environment on Daikoku seamount in extraordinary numbers.

June 26
One of the well-camouflaged flatfish that live in the high-sulfur environment on Daikoku seamount in extraordinary numbers. (HR)

This dense sulfur plume was probably coming from a pool of molten sulfur on the seafloor.

June 26
This dense sulfur plume was probably coming from a pool of molten sulfur on the seafloor. (HR)

Tubeworms and anemones are covered with ash from the 2014 eruption, but appear to be still thriving at Daikoku Seamount.

June 26
Tubeworms and anemones are covered with ash from the 2014 eruption, but appear to be still thriving at Daikoku Seamount. (HR)

Bathymetric map of the Mariana arc system and location of arc volcanoes explored during Leg 3 of the expedition.

June 25
Bathymetric map of the Mariana arc system and location of arc volcanoes explored during Leg 3 of the expedition. (HR)

Pre-dive planning for dive, showing crater on top of volcano and two possible dive tracks.

June 25
Pre-dive planning for dive, showing crater on top of volcano and two possible dive tracks. (HR)

Small (approximately one meter tall) hydrothermal chimney with “hairy snails.”

June 25
Small (approximately one meter tall) hydrothermal chimney with "hairy snails." (HR)

Close-up of “hairy snails;” these snails are known to live on hydrothermal vents in the Marianas.

June 25
Close-up of "hairy snails;" these snails are known to live on hydrothermal vents in the Marianas. (HR)

Hydrothermal chimney (white; approximately one meter tall) on top of hydrothermal mound (dark; ~10 meters tall); volcanic rocks in foreground.

June 25
Hydrothermal chimney on top of hydrothermal mound; volcanic rocks in foreground. (HR)

ROV Deep Discoverer preparing to insert a thermometer into a Chamorro chimney.

June 25
ROV Deep Discoverer preparing to insert a thermometer into a Chamorro chimney. (HR)

The difference between observing LIVE sea stars and trawled specimens can be seen in brisingid sea stars.

June 24
The difference between observing LIVE sea stars and trawled specimens can be seen in brisingid sea stars. (HR)

A multi-armed starfish with a flexible body that was folded back onto itself into a crack on the deep-sea floor.

June 24
A multi-armed starfish with a flexible body that was folded back onto itself into a crack on the deep-sea floor. (HR)

A multi-armed sea star we saw later that showed how they “normally” look, with the arms extended away from the oral disk.

June 24
A multi-armed sea star showing how sea stars “normally” look, with the arms extended away from the oral disk. (HR)

A deep-sea asteroid that has been infected by what is most likely a parasitic barnacle.

June 24
A deep-sea asteroid that has been infected by what is most likely a parasitic barnacle. (HR)

The strange spheres on Enigma Seamount.

June 22
The strange spheres on Enigma Seamount. (HR)

A field of the small, sedimented balls that stumped scientists during the Leg 1 dive on Enigma Seamount.

June 22
A field of the small, sedimented balls that stumped scientists during the Leg 1 dive on Enigma Seamount. (HR)

Strange feathery, wispy things.

June 22
Strange feathery, wispy things. (HR)

Spinach spaghetti? Spiralized zucchini? Maybe green algae from up slope, here, attached to coral.

June 22
Spinach spaghetti? Spiralized zucchini? Maybe green algae from up slope, here, attached to coral. (HR)

The stringy green things clinging to a barnacle.

June 22
The stringy green things clinging to a barnacle. (HR)

Smalltooth sandtiger shark (Odontaspis ferox), believed to be pregnant, seen on Leg 3 of the 2016 Deepwater Exploration of the Marianas expedition.

June 20
Smalltooth sandtiger shark, believed to be pregnant, seen on Leg 3 of the expedition. (HR)

A deepwater catshark (family Scyliorhinidae) in the genus Apristurus encountered in the Papahanaumokuakea Marine National Monument earlier this year.

June 20
A deepwater catshark (family Scyliorhinidae) in the genus Apristurus. (HR)

One of the things I most look forward to during a cruise is the tiny life. Our videographers are very talented and make collecting imagery of very small organism look easy. It always amazes me how every time we zoom in on something, like these barnacles, there is almost always additional life, like this small squat lobster, if you look closely enough.

June 18
Every time we zoom in on something, like these barnacles, there is almost always additional life, like this small squat lobster, if you look closely enough. (HR)

The first dive of the expedition fell on #OctopusFriday, and we were not disappointed at our dive on Farallon de Medinilla.

June 18
The first dive fell on #OctopusFriday, and we were not disappointed at our dive on Farallon de Medinilla. (HR)

This beautiful slit shell- a type of snail- is a rare find and likely a new species!

June 18
This beautiful slit shell – a type of snail – is a rare find and likely a new species! (HR)

This unusual and unknown filamentous material or organism was in high abundance on almost every coral and sponge documented during our dive at Farallon de Medinilla.

June 18
This filamentous material or organism was in high abundance on almost every coral and sponge documented during Dive 1. (HR)

While abundant during our dive at Farallon de Medinilla, we believe the documentation of these Green Eyes to be a novel observation for the Mariana region.

June 18
While abundant during Dive 1, we believe the documentation of these Green Eyes to be a novel observation for the Mariana region. (HR)

With so many changing variables on any given cruise, keeping all of the information updated and organized becomes a serious version-control problem.

June 18
With many changing variables, keeping information updated and organized is a version-control problem. (HR)

Map showing target mapping exploration areas for Leg 2 of the expedition.

May 25
Map showing target mapping exploration areas for Leg 2 of the expedition. (HR)

NOAA Ship Okeanos Explorer collects several different types of observations to explore and characterize the seafloor, sub-seafloor, and the water column. These observations are made using hull-based and over-the-side sensors.

May 25
Okeanos Explorer collects several types of observations to characterize the seafloor, sub-seafloor, and the water column. (HR)

The shipboard mission team poses for a picture on the bow of the ship before pulling into port in Saipan to bring Leg 1 of the expedition to a close.

May 12
The shipboard mission team poses on the bow of the ship before pulling into port to bring Leg 1 of the expedition to a close. (HR)

Summary map of Leg 1 of the 2016 Deepwater Exploration of the Marianas expedition showing seafloor bathymetry data that was collected and the locations of ROV dives and CTD casts conducted during the cruise.

May 12
Summary map of Leg 1 of the expedition showing collected bathymetry data and the locations of ROV dives and CTD casts. (HR)

One chrysogorgiid coral we saw on Dive 18 provided a home for dozens of other animals, including benthic ctenophores, a shrimp, a squat lobster, and many zoanthids.

May 12
One chrysogorgiid coral we saw on Dive 18 provided a home for dozens of other animals. (HR)

On Dive 9, we dove on a new pillow lava flow. Comparison of bathymetry collected in 2013 and 2015 indicated an eruption over 100 meters thick. We visited three pillow mounds that were composed almost entirely of glassy pillow lavas.

May 12
On Dive 9, we dove on a new pillow lava flow. (HR)

Ship tours were conducted in Guam before the start of Leg 1, and in Saipan after Leg 1 was completed, to share the expedition with educators, students, media, VIPs and the general public.

May 12
Ship tours were conducted in Guam before the start of Leg 1, and in Saipan after Leg 1 was completed. (HR)

Partners brought a new Internet-1 based Exploration Command Center online at UnderwaterWorld Guam.

May 12
Partners brought a new Internet-1 based Exploration Command Center online at UnderwaterWorld Guam. (HR)

This stunningly beautiful jellyfish was seen during Dive 4 in the Marianas Trench Marine National Monument on April 24, 2016, while exploring the informally named “Enigma Seamount” at a depth of ~3,700 meters. Scientists identified this hydromedusa as belonging to the genus Crossota. Note the two sets of tentacles — short and long. At the beginning of the video, you'll see that the long tentacles are even and extended outward and the bell is motionless. This suggests an ambush predation mode. Within the bell, the radial canals in red are connecting points for what looks like the gonads in bright yellow.

May 11
This stunningly beautiful jellyfish was seen during Dive 4 in the Marianas Trench Marine National Monument on April 24, 2016. (HR)

A huge blind lobster (possibly Thaumastocheles sp.) popping its head out of a hole on Dive 8.

May 11
A huge blind lobster popping its head out of a hole on Dive 8. (HR)

A “black smoker” on Dive 11. Where the super-hot vent fluid meets very cold ambient sea water (2°C) of the deep sea, minerals that are carried in the fluid precipitate out of solution, forming spectacular vent chimneys. We measured the temperature of the vent fluid at 339°C.

May 11
A “black smoker” on Dive 11. (HR)

The low wide coral toward the bottom of the photo is precious red coral (Corallium sp.). These corals are valuable as jewelry.

May 10
The low wide coral toward the bottom of the photo is precious red coral (Corallium sp.). These corals are valuable as jewelry. (HR)

Map of the dominant currents around the Ogasawara and Mariana Islands regions.

May 10
Map of the dominant currents around the Ogasawara and Mariana Islands regions. (HR)

A high density coral garden that we surveyed at Zealandia.

May 10
A high-density coral garden that we surveyed at Zealandia. (HR)

A synaphobranchid eel observed during this expedition. This is in a different family than the Japanese eel, Anguilla japonica.

May 10
A synaphobranchid eel observed during this expedition. This is in a different family than the Japanese eel, Anguilla japonica. (HR)

This pale, ghost-like spiny eel (Halosaurus species) was photographed at Fina Nagu Caldera C south of Guam (12.8°N, 143.785°E) between 1.6 and 1.7 miles (2,537 and 2,689 meters) down in the ocean.

May 9
This pale, ghost-like spiny eel was photographed at Fina Nagu Caldera C between 2,537 and 2,689 meters down in the ocean. (HR)

Many fishes living at sunlit coral reefs have distinctive patterns of bright colors, like this orange-fin anemonefish (Amphiprion chrysopterus) in shallow water at Saipan in the Mariana Islands.

May 9
Many fishes living at sunlit coral reefs have distinctive patterns of bright colors, like this orange-fin anemonefish. (HR)

The oblique-banded snapper or gindai (Pristipomoides zonatus) lives in the twilight, or mesophotic, zone where only dim blue light penetrates.

May 9
The oblique-banded snapper or gindai lives in the twilight zone where only dim blue light penetrates. (HR)

This unpatterned, brown cusk eel has color typical of many fishes living near the ocean bottom.

May 9
This unpatterned, brown cusk eel has color typical of many fishes living near the ocean bottom. (HR)

This pale white cusk eel (Leucicorus atlanticus) was photographed at about 3.1 miles (5,000 meters) depth at Sirena Canyon, on the edge of the Mariana Trench.

May 9
This pale white cusk eel was photographed at about 5,000 meters depth at Sirena Canyon. (HR)

Cusk eels (family Ophidiidae) are common in the deep sea, like this one of the genus Leucicorus.

May 7
Cusk eels (family Ophidiidae) are common in the deep sea. (HR)

The Mariana Trench, satellite view from Google Maps.

May 7
The Mariana Trench, satellite view from Google Maps. (HR)

Translucent seapig with long antennae-like projections. We are unsure if this is in the genus Amperima or Peniagone.

May 7
Translucent seapig with long antennae-like projections. (HR)

Bruce Mundy (far right), Fish Biologist at NOAA Pacific Island Fisheries Science Center, discussing fish with a group of NOAA scientists and visitors with the live-video feed in the background at the NOAA Inouye Regional Center.

May 5
Bruce Mundy discussing fish with a group of NOAA scientists and visitors at the NOAA Inouye Regional Center. (HR)

Scientists at the University of Hawaii at Manoa ECC watching a jellyfish swim by the ROV.

May 5
Scientists at the University of Hawaii at Manoa ECC watching a jellyfish swim by the ROV. (HR)

The ECC at University of Hawaii at Manoa had a packed house for the Sirena Canyon dive.

May 5
The ECC at University of Hawaii at Manoa had a packed house for the Sirena Canyon dive. (HR)

The science lead for this expedition, Chris Kelley, displays coral and crinoid specimens at the Waikiki Aquarium with the live stream in the background.

May 5
Chris Kelley displays specimens at the Waikiki Aquarium with the live stream in the background. (HR)

Tara Harmer Luke, Associate Professor of Biology at Stockton University, watching a swarm of hydrothermal vent shrimps on her home computer.

May 5
Tara Harmer Luke watching a swarm of hydrothermal vent shrimps on her home computer. (HR)

Actively venting hydrothermal vent chimney shrouded in black smoke and covered with vent animals including shrimp, crabs, snails, and scaleworms.

May 2
Actively venting hydrothermal vent chimney shrouded in black smoke and covered with vent animals. (HR)

Map showing locations of ROV dives in the Mariana back-arc.

May 2
Map showing locations of ROV dives in the Mariana back-arc. (HR)

Shiny black pillow lava with many finger-like “buds,” from the recent eruption site that is less than three years old.

May 2
Shiny black pillow lava from the recent eruption site that is less than three years old. (HR)

ROV Deep Discoverer explores an eruptive vent at the top of a large mound of pillow lavas.

May 2
ROV Deep Discoverer explores an eruptive vent at the top of a large mound of pillow lavas. (HR)

Remotely operated vehicle Deep Discoverer being prepared for deployment on the Okeanos aft deck.

May 1
Remotely operated vehicle Deep Discoverer being prepared for deployment. (HR)

Jim Newman supervising an Okeanos Explorer remotely operated vehicle dive.

May 1
Jim Newman supervising an Okeanos Explorer remotely operated vehicle dive. (HR)

Remotely operated vehicle Deep Discoverer being recovered.

May 1
Remotely operated vehicle Deep Discoverer being recovered. (HR)

Bathymetry of the southern Mariana region.

April 28
Bathymetry of the southern Mariana region. (HR)

The Fina Nagu Volcanic Complex.

April 28
The Fina Nagu Volcanic Complex. (HR)

Screenshots of the seafloor observed during remotely operated vehicle dives on Fina Nagu Dive 5(3A, B), dive 6 (3C, D), and Dive 7 (3E, F).

April 28
Screenshots of the seafloor observed during dives on Fina Nagu. (HR)

Students enjoyed seeing images of new species scientists have discovered on Okeanos expeditions.

April 26
Students enjoyed seeing images of new species  discovered on Okeanos expeditions. (HR)

Students loved to play the role of engineers and scientists by using a toy robotic arm to pick up rock samples and put them into boxes, simulating the actual ROV on the ship that collects geological specimens.

April 26
Students loved using a toy robotic arm to pick up samples and put them into boxes. (HR)

Due to the limited time per group, students who didn’t use the robotic arm worked in pairs to collect their own samples, with the “chief scientists” giving directions to the ROV operators, who had their eyes covered and moved the “claw” only when directed to do so.

April 26
Students who didn’t use the robotic arm worked in pairs to collect their own samples. (HR)

A pair of commensal amphipods living on a sponge stalk. There is also a commensal ophiuroid at the top of the photo.

April 25
A pair of commensal amphipods living on a sponge stalk. (HR)

A comb jelly (ctenophore) perched on top of a sponge stalk.

April 25
A comb jelly (ctenophore) perched on top of a sponge stalk. (HR)

The Crinoid Christmas tree. A deceased primnoid coral is colonized here by crinoids, a large basket star, and an anemone.

April 25
A deceased primnoid coral is colonized here by crinoids, a basket star, and an anemone. (HR)

This pricklefish (Stephanoberycidae) was seen at nearly 5,000 meters at the edge of the Sirena Deep. The white spots are a parasitic isopod.

April 25
This pricklefish was seen at nearly 5,000 meters at the edge of the Sirena Deep. The white spots are a parasitic isopod. (HR)

Scientists were unable to identify the parasite living on the back of this shrimp. Parasites remain one of the most poorly described groups of animals in the world.

April 25
Scientists were unable to identify the parasite living on the back of this shrimp. (HR)

A food container, seen resting at 4,947 meters on the slopes of a canyon leading to the Sirena Deep.

April 22
A food container, seen resting at 4,947 meters on the slopes of a canyon leading to the Sirena Deep. (HR)

A plastic ice bag, likely blown overboard from a fishing vessel, was also found at Enigma Seamount.

April 22
A plastic ice bag, likely blown overboard from a fishing vessel, found at Enigma Seamount. (HR)

A beer can seen at 3,780 meters depth at Enigma Seamount.

April 22
A beer can seen at 3,780 meters depth at Enigma Seamount. (HR)

A group of teachers in Guam took part in NOAA Office of Ocean Exploration and Research’s “Why Do We Explore” professional development workshop. Here, the participants are photographed in front of the ship following a tour.

April 20
A group of teachers in Guam are photographed in front of the ship following a tour. (HR)

A teacher participant in the “Why Do We Explore” workshop pulls the foghorn of NOAA Ship Okeanos Explorer while visiting the bridge during a tour of the ship.

April 20
A teacher participant in the “Why Do We Explore” workshop pulls the foghorn of NOAA Ship Okeanos Explorer. (HR)

UnderwaterWorld Guam hosted a sneak preview opening event before the expedition to debut their newly established Exploration Command Center (ECC).

April 20
UnderwaterWorld Guam hosted a sneak preview opening event before the expedition to debut their Exploration Command Center. (HR)

Mike McCue, the head curator for UnderwaterWorld Guam, gives remarks during an opening event to debut their newly establish Exploration Command Center.

April 20
Mike McCue, the head curator for UnderwaterWorld Guam, gives remarks during an event to debut their ECC. (HR)

A group tunes into the live feeds from the IRC ECC and participates in the expedition from shore.

April 20
A group tunes into the live feeds from the IRC ECC and participates in the expedition from shore. (HR)

 

 

 

 

(top)

 


Images (Background Essays)

This Google Earth map shows the operating area of the 2016 Deepwater Exploration of the Marianas expedition.

Mission Plan
This Google Earth map shows the operating area of the 2016 Deepwater Exploration of the Marianas expedition. (HR)

ROV Deep Discoverer (D2) will be used to conduct daily dives from 250 to 6,000 meters on Legs 1 and 3 of the 2016 Deepwater Exploration of the Marianas expedition.

Mission Plan
Deep Discoverer will be used to conduct daily dives on Legs 1 and 3 of the expedition. (HR)

NOAA Ship Okeanos Explorer uses telepresence technology to transmit data in real time to a shore-based hub where the video is then transmitted to a number of Exploration Command Centers located around the country as well as to any Internet-enabled device.

Mission Plan
NOAA Ship Okeanos Explorer uses telepresence technology to transmit data in real time to shore. (HR)

Cross-section of the Mariana subduction zone, showing the relationship between the Trench, Forearc, Volcanic Arc, and Back-Arc.

Geology
Cross-section of the Mariana subduction zone, showing the relationship between the Trench, Forearc, Volcanic Arc, and Back-Arc. (HR)

Figure 2: Map showing the locations of the Mariana Trench (white dashed line), Volcanic Arc (yellow dashed line), and back-arc spreading center (red line) and remnant arc (black dashed line).

Geology
Map showing the locations of the Mariana Trench, Volcanic Arc, and back-arc spreading center and remnant arc. (HR)

Oblique 3D-view of the Mariana region with the seafloor colored according to depth (purple = deepest; red = shallowest; green = islands).  Labels show locations of Trench, Forearc, Volcanic Arc, and Back-arc.

Geology
Oblique 3D-view of the Mariana region with the seafloor colored according to depth. (HR)

Oblique view of survey of two serpentine mud volcanoes on the southern Mariana forearc.

Geology
Oblique view of survey of two serpentine mud volcanoes on the southern Mariana forearc.

 Seafloor photo of the summit area of South Chamorro Seamount showing the Shilling manipulator arm of the JAMSTEC Shinkai 6500 submersible reaching to sample mussels at a seep site.

Geology
Seafloor photo of the summit area of South Chamorro Seamount showing a submersible arm sampling mussels at a seep site. (HR)

Management designations within the Marianas Trench Marine National Monument.

The Monument
Management designations within the Marianas Trench Marine National Monument.

NOAA divers collecting gas bubble samples using evacuated stainless steel sample cylinders
with plastic funnels attached as part of ocean acidification research at Maug.

The Monument
NOAA divers collecting gas bubble samples using evacuated stainless steel sample cylinders with plastic funnels.

Liquid carbon dioxide bubbles being released from fractures adjacent to white-smoker sulfur chimneys at the Champagne vent, NW Eifuku volcano.

The Monument
Liquid carbon dioxide bubbles being released from fractures adjacent to sulfur chimneys at the Champagne vent, NW Eifuku volcano.

New “ghost fish” species, yet to be officially classified and named. Image collected from the Falkor in the Marianas Trench.

The Monument
New “ghost fish” species, yet to be officially classified and named. Image collected from the Falkor in the Marianas Trench.

Champagne vent, NW Eifuku seamount in the Marianas region.

Hydrothermal Vents
Champagne vent, NW Eifuku seamount in the Marianas region. (HR)

Hydrothermal vent plume visualization at 17°N. The cross-section shows particle and oxidation-reduction potential anomalies, indicators of vent activity.

Hydrothermal Vents
Hydrothermal vent plume visualization at 17°N.

A biological community of mussels, shrimp, and limpets living at NW Eifuku seamount in the Marianas region.

Hydrothermal Vents
A biological community of mussels, shrimp, and limpets living at NW Eifuku seamount in the Marianas region. (HR)

A molten sulfur pond (five meters wide) churns in the bottom of a small crater at Daikoku.

OER-sponsored Exploration
A molten sulfur pond churns in the bottom of a small crater at Daikoku. (Video)

Map of the all the volcanoes around the Pacific (red triangles) making up the Ring of Fire.

OER-sponsored Exploration
Map of the all the volcanoes around the Pacific (red triangles) making up the Ring of Fire.

Champagne vent, NW Eifuku seamount in the Marianas region.

OER-sponsored Exploration
Champagne vent, NW Eifuku seamount in the Marianas region. (HR)

Flatfish scurry over a sedimented slope near the sulfur pond at Daikoku.

OER-sponsored Exploration
Flatfish scurry over a sedimented slope near the sulfur pond at Daikoku. (HR)

A dense community of chemosynthetic mussels lives in the harsh acidic environment around the Champagne vent field on NW Eifuku seamount.

OER-sponsored Exploration
Chemosynthetic mussels live in the harsh environment around the Champagne vent field. (Video)

Pacific Prime Crust Zone (PCZ) boundary (green) shown in comparison to the U.S. Pacific monuments (pink) and U.S. EEZ boundaries (black).

Deep-sea Mining
Pacific Prime Crust Zone boundary shown in comparison to the U.S. Pacific monuments and U.S. EEZ boundaries. (HR)

Deep-sea Mining
Cobalt-rich ferromanganese crust with batraoidal (bubbly) appearance characteristic of older, thicker deposits. (HR)

Deep-sea Mining
Map showing the ISA’s current area of most interest for Fe-Mn crust mining in the western part of the PCZ in the Pacific. (HR)

Map of the Western Pacific showing the locations of Mn crust exploratory sites granted by the ISA.

Deep-sea Mining
Map of the Western Pacific showing the locations of Mn crust exploratory sites granted by the ISA. (HR)

Mixed catch of Onaga, Etelis coruscans (solid color) and Gindai, Pristipomoides auricilla (barred).

Bottom Fishery
Mixed catch of Onaga, Etelis coruscans (solid color) and Gindai, Pristipomoides auricilla (barred). (HR)

The Eight-banded Grouper, Epinephelus octofasciatus.

Bottom Fishery
The Eight-banded Grouper, Epinephelus octofasciatus. (HR)

Bottom Camera Bait Station (BotCam) bottom image from Sariguan Island, showing heterogeneous bottom structure on a deep-slope habitat.

Bottom Fishery
Bottom Camera Bait Station bottom image from Sariguan Island.

Gridded geomorphological map of Sariguan Island.

Bottom Fishery
Gridded geomorphological map of Sariguan Island. (HR)

Processed multibeam bathymetric map of Sariguan Island.

Bottom Fishery
Processed multibeam bathymetric map of Sariguan Island. (HR)

 


 

 


 

 


 

Sign up for the Ocean Explorer Email Update List.

Back to Top