Deep-sea Corals

Related Expeditions

Below are some past expeditions featured on the OceanExplorer.NOAA.gov website that included the investigation of deep-sea corals.

Windows to the Deep 2021: Southeast U.S. ROV and Mapping

Windows to the Deep 2021: Southeast U.S. ROV and Mapping

From October 26 to November 15, NOAA Ocean Exploration and partners conducted a telepresence-enabled ocean exploration expedition on NOAA Ship Okeanos Explorer. The Windows to the Deep 2021: Southeast ROV and Mapping expedition collected critical information about unexplored and poorly understood deepwater areas of the Blake Plateau region of the North Atlantic Ocean. This foundational information will encourage further exploration and research and inform resource management decisions and activities in the region.

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2021 North Atlantic Stepping Stones: New England and Corner Rise Seamounts

2021 North Atlantic Stepping Stones: New England and Corner Rise Seamounts

From June 30 through July 29, 2021, NOAA Ocean Exploration and partners conducted the 2021 North Atlantic Stepping Stones: New England and Corner Rise Seamounts expedition, a telepresence-enabled ocean exploration expedition on NOAA Ship Okeanos Explorer to collect critical baseline information about unknown and poorly understood deepwater areas off the eastern U.S. coast and high seas.

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2019 Southeastern U.S. Deep-sea Exploration

2019 Southeastern U.S. Deep-sea Exploration: Remotely Operated Vehicle and Mapping Operations

From October 31 through November 20, 2019, NOAA and partners will conduct the second part of a two-part telepresence-enabled ocean exploration expedition on NOAA Ship Okeanos Explorer to collect critical baseline information about unknown and poorly understood deepwater areas of the U.S. Southeast.

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Deep Connections 2019

Deep Connections: 2019 Exploring Atlantic Canyons and Seamounts of the United States and Canada

Deep Connections 2019: Exploring Atlantic Canyons and Seamounts of the United States and Canada was a two-part, telepresence-enabled ocean exploration expedition. The overarching purpose of the expedition was to collect critical baseline information about unknown and poorly understood deep water areas of the U.S. and Canadian Atlantic continental margin.

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Windows to the Deep 2019

Windows to the Deep 2019: Exploration of the Deep-sea Habitats of the Southeast United States

From May 30 through July 12, 2019, NOAA and partners conducted a two-part, telepresence-enabled ocean exploration expedition on NOAA Ship Okeanos Explorer to collect critical baseline information about unknown and poorly understood deepwater areas of the southeastern United States.

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DEEP SEARCH 2019

DEEP SEARCH 2019: DEEP Sea Exploration to Advance Research on Coral/Canyon/Cold seep Habitats

The 2019 DEEP SEARCH mission was a great success. We battled some stormy weather that forced us to run and adapt our plans, but the whole team worked together and did an exceptional job in pulling off this complex research expedition.

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Océano Profundo 2018

Océano Profundo 2018: Exploring Deep-sea Habitats off Puerto Rico and the U.S. Virgin Islands

Océano Profundo 2018: Exploring Deep-Sea Habitats off Puerto Rico and the U.S. Virgin Islands was a 22-day telepresence-enabled expedition on NOAA Ship Okeanos Explorer to collect data on priority exploration areas identified by the ocean management and scientific communities.

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DEEP SEARCH - 2018

Deep Sea Exploration and Research of Coral/Canyon/Cold seep Habitats (DEEP SEARCH - 2018)

Although it was relatively short, this was an incredibly successful research expedition. We learned a lot about the different habitats in the study area between Virginia and Georgia. The R/V Atlantis mapped large areas of the ocean floor and helped us sample the waters of the Gulf Stream and Atlantic Ocean.

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Windows to the Deep 2018

Windows to the Deep 2018: Exploration of the Southeast U.S. Continental Margin

Windows to the Deep 2018: Exploration of the Southeast U.S. Continental Margin was a two-part, 36-day telepresence-enabled expedition on NOAA Ship Okeanos Explorer to collect data on priority exploration areas identified by the ocean management and scientific communities.

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Discovering Deep-Sea Corals of the Phoenix Islands

Discovering Deep-Sea Corals of the Phoenix Islands (2017)

The goal of this expedition was to provide our first glimpse of the deepwater communities within the largest and deepest UNESCO World Heritage Site on Earth, the Phoenix Islands Protected Area.

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Gulf of Mexico 2017

Gulf of Mexico 2017

From November 29 through December 21, 2017, a team of scientists and technicians, both at-sea and shore-based, conducted exploratory investigations into the diversity and distribution of deep-sea habitats and associated marine communities in the Gulf of Mexico basin.

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DEEP SEARCH: DEEP Sea Exploration to Advance Research on Coral/Canyon/Cold seep Habitats

DEEP SEARCH: DEEP Sea Exploration to Advance Research on Coral/Canyon/Cold seep Habitats (2017)

On this first cruise of the DEEP Sea Exploration to Advance Research on Coral/Canyon/Cold seep Habitats (DEEP SEARCH) program, scientists used a combination of mapping with water column profiling and sampling to improve knowledge of the geology along the U.S. continental margin, the types of communities found on the seafloor, and the mid-water communities that interact with those seafloor communities.

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Deep-Sea Symphony: Exploring the Musicians Seamounts

Deep-Sea Symphony: Exploring the Musicians Seamounts (2017)

From September 6 to 30, 2017, NOAA and partners conducted a telepresence-enabled ocean exploration expedition on NOAA Ship Okeanos Explorer to collect critical baseline information about unknown and poorly understood deepwater areas around the Musicians Seamounts and the Hawaiian Islands.

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Southeast Deep Coral Initiative: Exploring Deep-Sea Coral Ecosystems off the Southeast U.S.

Southeast Deep Coral Initiative: Exploring Deep-Sea Coral Ecosystems off the Southeast U.S. (2017)

In August 2017, NOAA's National Centers for Coastal Ocean Science led an 18-day expedition aboard NOAA Ship Nancy Foster to map, survey, and sample deep-sea coral ecosystems in the eastern Gulf of Mexico and the South Atlantic Bight.

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Mountains in the Deep: Exploring the Central Pacific Basin

Mountains in the Deep: Exploring the Central Pacific Basin (2017)

The Mountains in the Deep: Exploring the Central Pacific Basin expedition was a 23-day telepresence-enabled expedition to collect critical baseline information about unknown and poorly known deepwater areas of the Jarvis Island Unit and the Kingman Reef and Palmyra Atoll Unit of the Pacific Remote Islands Marine National Monument; around Marae Moana (Cook Islands Marine Park); and the high seas.

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Discovering the Deep: Exploring Remote Pacific Marine Protected Areas

Discovering the Deep: Exploring Remote Pacific Marine Protected Areas (2017)

In 2017, scientists conducted this 23-day expedition to collect baseline information about deepwater areas in the Pacific Remote Islands Marine National Monument, American Samoa, the Phoenix Islands Protected Area, and the waters around New Zealand's Territory of Tokelau.

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A skate and other fishes hover above the seafloor.

Exploring Carolina Canyons (2016)

Scientists are finding that canyons significantly support deepwater coral communities, as well as other organisms. In the summer of 2016, explorers investigated three deepwater canyons off the coast of North Carolina to better understand coral and sponge habitats and distribution.

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This is a great look at the spiral shape of an Iridogorgia.

Deepwater Wonders of Wake: Exploring the Pacific Remote Islands Marine National Monument (2016)

In the summer of 2016, NOAA investigated the largely uncharted deep-sea ecosystems and seafloor in and around the Wake Atoll Unit of the Pacific Remote Islands Marine National Monument. During this expedition, at-sea and shore-based science teams worked together to make some of the first deepwater scientific observations ever in this area.

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

2016 Deepwater Exploration of the Marianas

Scientists investigated and documented deepwater environments in and around the Commonwealth of the Northern Mariana Islands and the Marianas Trench Marine National Monument.

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A sculpin rests on a large red tree coral. During this expedition, a number of fish were found collocated with large coral colonies.

Deepwater Exploration of Glacier Bay National Park (2016)

The main objective of this March 2016 expedition was to investigate and document poorly understood areas of Glacier Bay National Park. Explorers collected critical data to help understand how climate variability and change impact the marine environment and when coral first began to occur in the region.

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2016 Hohonu Moana: Exploring Deep Waters off Hawaii

2016 Hohonu Moana: Exploring Deep Waters off Hawaii

Scientists continued the 2016 Hohonu Moana expedition efforts to explore deep-water habitats in and around Papahānaumokuākea Marine National Monument. The expedition included work on seamounts in the Mid-Pacific Mountains while en route to port in Kwajalein.

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2015 Hohonu Moana: Exploring Deep Waters off Hawaii

2015 Hohonu Moana: Exploring Deep Waters off Hawaii

In the summer of 2015, NOAA explored largely unknown deep-sea ecosystems in the Hawaiian Archipelago and offshore Johnston Atoll.

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Lophelia II 2012: Deepwater Platform Corals

Lophelia II 2012: Deepwater Platform Corals

Scientists aboard the Research Vessel Brooks McCall set off on their fifth and final expedition to investigate the deepwater coral communities of the Gulf of Mexico.

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Lophelia II 2010: Oil Seeps and Deep Reefs

Lophelia II 2010: Oil Seeps and Deep Reefs

Scientists aboard NOAA Ship Ronald H. Brown set off on their fourth expedition to investigate the deepwater coral communities of the Gulf of Mexico.

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Life on the Edge 2005

Life on the Edge 2005: Exploring Deep Coral Communities

Scientists returned to the waters off the East Coast of the United States to explore the continental slope coral ecosystems. Increasing evidence shows that deepwater corals are important fish habitats, hold information on ocean climate and productivity, and are hotspots for biodiversity.

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Florida Coast Deep Corals 2005

Florida Coast Deep Corals 2005

Unlike shallow-water tropical reefs, deepwater reefs are not well known. The data gathered during the Florida Coast Deep Corals 2005 expedition provided a strong foundation of information on the deepwater coral ecosystems off the Florida coast.

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Mountains in the Sea 2003

Mountains in the Sea (2003)

With the help of the Alvin submersible, a multidisciplinary team of scientists and educators visited several little known seamounts in the North Atlantic, along with at least one previously unexplored seamount, to study various aspects of deep-sea octocorals and other organisms living on and around the seamounts.

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Islands in the Stream 2002

Islands in the Stream 2002: Exploring Underwater Oases

Four scientific investigations to study the continental shelf break and slope from the eastern coast of Florida to North Carolina – an area known as the South Atlantic Bight. The expedition focused on the characterization of deep-reef habitats, with particular emphasis on the discovery, exploration, and description of reef fish spawning sites; exploration of the unique outer shelf and slope habitats off the Carolinas; discovery of new resources with pharmaceutical potential; and exploration of vision and bioluminescence in the deep-sea benthos.

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The above items are only a selection of the educational materials highlighting deep-sea corals on our website.

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