2017 American Samoa




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Photo and Video Log

This page contains photos and videos associated with the 2017 American Samoa Expedition: Suesuega o le Moana o Amerika Samoa. 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, 2017 American Samoa.

(HR) = "High Resolution" images available.

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

 


Highlight Videos

video Pacific MPAs
This expedition is part of a foundational science initiative to support science and management decisions within and around Pacific marine protected areas. (Video)

video Exploring Deep Waters
Ever wonder why so many of our dives take place on seamounts? Here's an explanation from Dr. Santiago Herrera. (Video)

Dr. Matthew Jackson, geology lead for the expedition, discusses the formation of the shape of Ta'u Island, and the effect that volcanic activity has had on the island's past and could have on the region's future.

video Ta'u and the Big Wave
Dr. Matthew Jackson, geology lead for the expedition, discusses the formation of the shape of Ta'u Island. (Video)

This amphipod, a type of crustacean, was seen while exploring off Pago Pago, American Samoa. This particular ampiphod attacks salps that live in the water using claw-like appendages. Although they are relatively small, they are rather frightening to look at, inspiring deep-sea monsters on the silver screen.

video February 28: Amphipod
This amphipod was seen while exploring off Pago Pago, American Samoa. (Video)

Seen during Dive 12 of the expedition on Malulu Seamount, this Bolosoma sponge, with its unusual osculum (holes), is most likely a new species.

video February 27: Bolosoma Sponge
Seen during Dive 12 of the expedition on Malulu Seamount, this Bolosoma sponge is most likely a new species. (Video)

Analysis of samples collected during dives can help to give us a much better perspective of the whole evolution of life in the ocean.

video February 26: Sampling on a Seamount
Analysis of samples collected can give us a much better perspective of evolution of life in the ocean. (Video)

While diving on Rose Atoll at a depth of ~700 meters, we encountered this active octopus exploring its surroundings.

video February 25: Octopus
While diving on Rose Atoll, we encountered this active octopus exploring its surroundings. (Video)

This hermit crab and its anemone associate were spotted during exploration of Rose Atoll at ~700 meters depth.

video February 25: Hermit Crab & Anemone
Hermit crab and its anemone associate seen during exploration of Rose Atoll. (Video)

Highlights from the dive on Vailulu'u Seamount, an active volcano.

video February 24: Vailulu'u Seamount
Highlights from the dive on Vailulu'u Seamount, an active volcano. (Video)

video February 24: Ctenophore
This beautiful ctenophore was seen in the water column while exploring Vailulu'u seamount. (Video)

video February 23: Holothurian
This holothurian was seen on the seafloor of "Utu" seamount displaying an unfamilar posture. (Video)

A beautiful, but perhaps sinister, Venus flytrap anemone perched on top of a sponge, closes up as the remotely operated vehicle approaches.

video February 22: Venus Flytrap Anemone
A Venus flytrap anemone perched on top of a dead coral, closes up as the remotely operated vehicle approaches. (Video)

This spectacular little jelly was imaged during our first dive on 'Utu' seamount. Within the bell of the jelly, the reproductive organs are bright yellow while the digestive system appears red.

video February 21: Cosmic Jelly
This spectacular little jelly was imaged during our first dive on 'Utu' seamount. (Video)

A solitary hydroid seen while exploring 'Leoso' seamount, which straddles the boundary between the American Samoa Exclusive Economic Zone (EEZ) and the Cook Islands EEZ at a depth of ~3,770 meters.

video February 20: Hydroid
A solitary hydroid seen while exploring 'Leoso' seamount at a depth of ~3,770 meters. (Video)

This potentially new species of dandelion siphonophore, from the family Rhodalidae, was imaged using its tentacles to attach to the iron-manganese encrusted rocks in the deep slopes of Rose Atoll.

video February 17: Siphonophore
This potentially new species of dandelion siphonophore was imaged on the deep slopes of Rose Atoll. (Video)

Video of a sea robin using modified fins to move across the seafloor during a dive within the Ta'u Unit of National Marine Sanctuary of American Samoa.

video February 17: Searobin
Video of a searobin using modified fins to move across the seafloor during a dive within the Ta'u Unit of National Marine Sanctuary of American Samoa. (Video)

Although no crinoid has a brain, the nervous system, which includes central nerve rings and branches to each arm and pinnule, is organized enough so that this featherstar can coordinate the operation of hundreds of little muscle bundles and swim surprisingly fast, and then parachute to safety.

video February 17: Crinoid
Although no crinoid has a brain, the nervous system is organized enough so that this featherstar can coordinate the operation of hundreds of little muscle to swim. (Video)

 

 

 

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Images (Daily Updates)

A greeneye fish turns its attention towards the Deep Discoverer.

February 28
A greeneye fish turns its attention towards the Deep Discoverer. (HR)

This Bolosoma stalked glass sponge may represent a new species.

February 27
This Bolosoma stalked glass sponge may represent a new species. (HR)

View from Seirios as remotely operated vehicle Deep Discoverer gets a closer look at a ferromanganese-encrusted outcrop.

February 26
View from Seirios as ROV Deep Discoverer gets a closer look at a ferromanganese-encrusted outcrop. (HR)

Close-up look at a holothurian sea cucumber reveals digestive tract full of sediment.

February 26
Close-up look at a holothurian sea cucumber reveals digestive tract full of sediment. (HR)

Scorpionfish resting on the seafloor at 343 meters in the Rose Atoll Marine National Monument.

February 25
Scorpionfish resting on the seafloor in Rose Atoll Marine National Monument. (HR)

Young pillow basalts on Vailulu'u, with an age of perhaps five year or less.

February 24
Young pillow basalts on Vailulu'u, with an age of perhaps five year or less. (HR)

While we did not see many fish during the dive, we did catch a glimpse of a thresher shark as it circled near Seirios, above ROV Deep Discoverer.

February 24
While we did not see many fish during the dive, we did catch a glimpse of a thresher shark. (HR)

Close up of a monoplacophoran mollusk, which may be the animal responsible with the trails of ‘clean’ rock observed throughout the dive.

February 23
Close up of a monoplacophoran mollusk, which may be the animal responsible with the trails of 'clean' rock observed throughout the dive. (HR)

Yellow zoanthids colonizing the base of a dead golden octocoral skeleton. Several living colonies of golden octocorals in the background.

February 22
Yellow zoanthids colonizing the base of a dead golden octocoral skeleton. Several living colonies of golden octocorals in the background. (HR)

A chrysogorgiid octocoral seen with an ophiuroid brittle star associate on bare coral skeleton, which is very unusual as brittle stars are usually associated with healthy coral tissue.

February 21
A chrysogorgiid octocoral seen with a brittle star on bare coral skeleton, which is unusual as brittle stars are usually associated with healthy coral tissue. (HR)

A brisingid sea star clings to a ferromanganese cobble. The cobble, and the associated sea star, were collected shortly after being imaged by D2.

February 20
A brisingid sea star clings to a ferromanganese cobble. The cobble, and the associated sea star, were collected. (HR)

Today's dive was cancelled due to increasingly heavy winds and seas. Here, ROV Deep Discoverer is recovered and safely brought back on deck.

February 19
Today's dive was cancelled due to increasingly heavy winds and seas. Here, ROV Deep Discoverer is safely recovered. (HR)

Ferromanganese nodules fill the field of view. The center of each nodule may host a basaltic rock, sediment, or even a fossil.

February 18
Ferromanganese nodules fill the field of view. The center of each nodule may host a basaltic rock, sediment, or even a fossil. (HR)

A deepwater longtail red snapper (<em>Etelis coruscans</em>) measuring one meter (three feet) long, observed at 353 meters depth on a southeastern ridge off Ta’u island, within National Marine Sanctuary of American Samoa.

February 17
A deepwater longtail red snapper observed off Ta’u island, within National Marine Sanctuary of American Samoa. (HR)

NOAA Ship Okeanos Explorer docked at the pier at the Port of Pago Pago in American Samoa.

February 16
NOAA Ship Okeanos Explorer docked at the pier at the Port of Pago Pago in American Samoa. (HR)

NOAA Ship Okeanos Explorer docked at the pier at the Port of Pago Pago in American Samoa.

February 16
NOAA Ship Okeanos Explorer docked at the pier at the Port of Pago Pago in American Samoa. (HR)

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Images (Mission Logs)

Infographic summarizing accomplishments from part one of the 2017 American Samoa expedition.

Expedition Summary
Infographic summarizing accomplishments from part one of the 2017 American Samoa expedition. (HR)

 

 

 

Overview map showing seafloor bathymetry collected and ROV dives conducted during part one of the 2017 American Samoa expedition.

Expedition Summary
Overview map showing seafloor bathymetry collected and ROV dives conducted during part one of the 2017 American Samoa expedition. (HR)

The red line on the map represents the International Date Line, an imaginary line of longitude on the Earth's surface located at about 180 degrees east (or west) of the Greenwich Meridian.

March 1
The red line on the map represents the International Date Line. (HR)

In 2017, NOAA Ship Okeanos Explorer is operating in waters around both Samoa and American Samoa.

March 1
In 2017, NOAA Ship Okeanos Explorer is operating in waters around both Samoa and American Samoa. (HR)

The quad screen view as <em>Deep Discoverer</em> uses the scoop tool to collect a mushroom coral.

February 28
The quad screen view as Deep Discoverer uses the scoop tool to collect a mushroom coral. (HR)

<em>Deep Discoverer</em>'s manipulator arm, labeled.

February 28
Deep Discoverer's manipulator arm, labeled. (HR)

ROV pilots use this scale model to control D2's manipulator arm when collecting a sample.

February 28
ROV pilots use this scale model to control D2's manipulator arm when collecting a sample. (HR)

A more common lobate ctenophore (or comb jelly). All comb jellies have eight rows of cilia (small hair-like protrusions) along the body.

February 27
A more common lobate ctenophore (or comb jelly). All comb jellies have eight rows of cilia (small hair-like protrusions) along the body. (HR)

Although comb jellies are not closely related to schyphozoan jellyfish (the classic jellyfish), this comb jelly has evolved a medusoid shape and at first glance, resembles a schyphozoan jelly.

February 27
Although comb jellies are not closely related to schyphozoan jellyfish (the classic jellyfish), this comb jelly has evolved a medusoid shape and at first glance, resembles a schyphozoan jelly. (HR)

A group of water column scientists participating in the dive from the Exploration Command Center at the University of Hawaii Manoa.

February 27
A group of water column scientists participating in the dive from the Exploration Command Center at the University of Hawaii Manoa. (HR)

Pilot displays showing orientation, depth, and distance from bottom of D2 and Seirios; sonar from each; and their relative relation to the ship (orange chart). Large monitors above show main cameras from D2 and context view from Seirios.

February 25
Pilot displays showing orientation, depth, and distance from bottom of the ROVs; sonar from each; and their relative relation to the ship. (HR)

The videography work station to the right of the ROV engineers in the <em>Okeanos Explorer</em> Control Room.

February 25
The videography work station to the right of the ROV engineers in the Okeanos Explorer Control Room.

This graph is one way of visualizing the compartmentalization of concerns and the flow of information and requests.

February 25
This graph is one way of visualizing the compartmentalization of concerns and the flow of information and requests.

The onboard scientists (

February 25
The onboard scientists ("watch leads") sitting in the back row of the Control Room, narrating the dive. (HR)

The Operations Officer on the bridge interacts with the ROV navigator, positioning the ship as required.

February 25
The Operations Officer on the bridge interacts with the ROV navigator, positioning the ship as required. (HR)

The ROV pilot controls D2's grasping arm, while the co-pilot points the main camera.

February 25
The ROV pilot controls D2's grasping arm, while the co-pilot points the main camera. (HR)

Dr. Matthew Jackson, retrieves one of the rocks collected during the dive from the rock box on remotely operated vehicle Deep Discoverer

February 23
Dr. Matthew Jackson retrieves one of the rocks collected during the dive. (HR)

biology Science Team Lead, Dr. Santiago Herrera, transfers a coral sample from the insulated bio boxes on ROV D2 to a bucket full of chilled water for transfer to the wetlab.

February 23
Dr. Santiago Herrera transfers a coral sample to a bucket full of chilled water for transfer to the wetlab. (HR)

Once in the wetlab, the coral is photographed and given a preliminary identification.

February 23
Once in the wetlab, the coral is photographed and given a preliminary identification. (HR)

A small piece of coral is then clipped and placed in a vial with a preservative for later genomic analysis. The rest of the sample is preserved by being placed in a jar or bag and covered with 95% alcohol to prevent further degradation.

February 23
A small piece of coral is then clipped and placed in a vial with a preservative for later genomic analysis. (HR)

A small piece of coral is then clipped and placed in a vial with a preservative for later genomic analysis. The rest of the sample is preserved by being placed in a jar or bag and covered with 95% alcohol to prevent further degradation.

February 23
A small piece of coral is then clipped and placed in a vial with a preservative for later genomic analysis. (HR)

Swarms of cutthroat eels thriving in the crevices on the summit of Nafanua. Scientists dubbed this site Eel City.

February 22
Swarms of cutthroat eels thriving in the crevices on the summit of Nafanua. Scientists dubbed this site "Eel City."

A plume of bubbles is shown rising from the seafloor at Vailulu’u Seamount in the mid-water multibeam sonar data.

February 22
A plume of bubbles is shown rising from the seafloor at Vailulu’u Seamount in the mid-water multibeam sonar data. (HR)

Maps comparing three bathymetric surveys collected at Vailulu’u in 2006, 2012, and 2017 (left) and depth comparisons between them (right).

February 22
Maps comparing three bathymetric surveys collected at Vailulu’u in 2006, 2012, and 2017 and depth comparisons between them. (HR)

On the island of Ta‘u, a landslide has clearly removed a southern section of the volcano.

February 20
On the island of Ta‘u, a landslide has clearly removed a southern section of the volcano. (HR)

The landslide scar on Ta‘u can only be partially traced.

February 20
The landslide scar on Ta‘u can only be partially traced.

This large stalked crinoid, or sea lily (either Metacrinus or Saracrinus), flexes its feathery arms back into the current.

February 18
This large stalked crinoid flexes its feathery arms back into the current. (HR)

Porphyrocrinus sea lilies attach to hard substrates via a holdfast and have arms that terminate in slender filaments.

February 18
Porphyrocrinus sea lilies attach to hard substrates via a holdfast and have arms that terminate in slender filaments. (HR)

This unusual featherstar, probably Paratelecrinus, also has terminal arm filaments, which may betray a close relationship, discovered via DNA sequencing, with stalked Porphyrocrinus.

February 18
This unusual featherstar also has terminal arm filaments, which may betray a close relationship with stalked Porphyrocrinus. (HR)

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Images (Background Essays)

Map showing the general expedition operating area.

Mission Plan
Map showing the general expedition operating area. (HR)

National Marine Sanctuary of American Samoa is comprised of six protected areas, covering 13,581 square miles of nearshore coral reef and offshore open ocean waters across the Samoan archipelago.

Mission Plan
National Marine Sanctuary of American Samoa is comprised of six protected areas, covering 13,581 square miles. (HR)

Rose Atoll is the easternmost Samoan island and the southernmost point of the United States.

Mission Plan
Rose Atoll is the easternmost Samoan island and the southernmost point of the United States. (HR)

The ROVs are prepared for deployment on the aft deck of NOAA Ship Okeanos Explorer.

Mission Plan
The ROVs are prepared for deployment on the aft deck of NOAA Ship Okeanos Explorer. (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 a shore-based hub. (HR)

Some of the fauna observed in American Samoa during dives with the Pisces V deep-diving manned submersible in 2005.

American Samoa Biogeography
Some of the fauna observed in American Samoa during dives with the Pisces V in 2005. (HR)

American Samoa (encircled in blue) is located at the boundary of four lower bathyal biogeographical provinces (BY5, BY6, BY12 and BY14), as defined by Watling and collaborators in 2013.

American Samoa Biogeography
American Samoa is located at the boundary of four lower bathyal biogeographical provinces. (HR)

Figure 3. Flow of the Circumpolar Deep Water (CDW) below 4,000 meters through the Samoan Passage.

American Samoa Biogeography
Flow of the Circumpolar Deep Water below 4,000 meters through the Samoan Passage. (HR)

The global distribution of volcanic hotspots that are fed by upwelling mantle plumes, shown in red. The Hawaiian and Samoan hotspots are identified for reference.

Volcanic Islands and Seamounts
The global distribution of volcanic hotspots that are fed by upwelling mantle plumes, shown in red.

The Samoan and Hawaiian hotspots and their associated hotspot tracks. The Cook-Austral volcanic lineament is shown for reference.

Volcanic Islands and Seamounts
The Samoan and Hawaiian hotspots and their associated hotspot tracks. The Cook-Austral volcanic lineament is shown for reference.

The islands and seamounts of the Samoan region. Island and seamount targets for geological sampling by remotely operated vehicle are identified: Vailulu’u, Ta’u, Malulu, Rose, Papatua, Tutuila, and three unnamed/unexplored seamounts located in the eastern Samoan region. The Tonga Trench is shown for reference.

Volcanic Islands and Seamounts
The islands and seamounts of the Samoan region. Island and seamount targets for geological sampling are identified.

Underwater scene at National Marine Sanctuary of American Samoa.

Sanctuary/Monument
Underwater scene at National Marine Sanctuary of American Samoa. (HR)

Map of National Marine Sanctuary of American Samoa.

Sanctuary/Monument
Underwater scene at National Marine Sanctuary of American Samoa.

Map of Rose Atoll Marine National Monument.

Sanctuary/Monument
Map of Rose Atoll Marine National Monument.

The striking pink hue of the fringing reef at Rose Atoll Marine National Monument. Credit: Wendy Cover/NOAA

Sanctuary/Monument
The striking pink hue of the fringing reef at Rose Atoll Marine National Monument. Credit: Wendy Cover/NOAA (HR)

Two Samoas

Two Samaos
Bathymetric image showing the underwater chain of islands and seamounts in the Samoan archipelago. (HR)

Multibeam map from 2005 showing the Vailulu’u seamount crater.

Seamount Role in Species Life Cycles
Multibeam map from 2005 showing the Vailulu’u seamount crater.

A large stalked crinoid on the outer southwest flank of Vailulu'u Seamount.

Seamount Role in Species Life Cycles
A large stalked crinoid on the outer southwest flank of Vailulu'u Seamount.

Swarms of cutthroat eels thriving in the crevices on the summit of Nafanua. Scientists dubbed this site Eel City.

Seamount Role in Species Life Cycles
Swarms of cutthroat eels thriving in the crevices on the summit of Nafanua. Scientists dubbed this site "Eel City."

Shallow-water reef habitat of Fagetele Bay (around 10 meters depth) showing a thriving coral community.

Deep and Shallow Ecosystem Connections
Shallow-water reef habitat of Fagetele Bay showing a thriving coral community. (HR)

Shallow-water reef habitat of Fagetele Bay (around 10 meters depth) showing a thriving coral community.

Deep and Shallow Ecosystem Connections
Shallow-water reef habitat of Fagetele Bay showing a thriving coral community. (HR)

 

 

 

 

 

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