Alaska Seamount Locator Map

Many of the volcanic seamounts in the Gulf of Alaska are visible on this bathymetric map. Only a few of these have been studied. Five more seamounts will be explored this summer. Click image for larger view.

Exploring Alaska's Seamounts

June 22-July 15, 2002

Podcasts LOGO camera icon Highlights of Gulf of Alaska Seamount Exploration

This summer, with the use of the Alvin submersible, scientists studied several unexplored seamounts in the Gulf of Alaska (GOA) to understand how they formed and to determine their volcanic history. They also characterized GOA's unique habitats, and explored the diverse communities of organisms such as fish and invertebrates that exist around these undersea mountains. Scientists examined various aspects of deep-sea corals and sclerosponges, and observed and collected several deep ocean crab species. A photographic inventory of the unique flora and fauna of each seamount was developed.

Background information for this exploration can be found on the left side of the page. Daily updates are included below. More detailed logs and summaries of exploration activities are found on the right.

Updates & Logs

Click images or links below for detailed mission logs.

July 15 Log July 15 A brief recap of the under sea garden that is Warwick Seamount in today's log.

July 14 Log July 14 These corals' unique appearances are reminiscent of bamboo. Today, a scientist discusses what information is known about bamboo corals as well as the difficulties in taxonomic identification encountered with them. camera icon Watch a video of an elegant crinoid gracefully swimming during Alvin's last dive. (mp4, 742 KB)

July 13 Log July 13 Sue Doenges, a Midwestern teacher, reveals her experience at sea, including working with the science party, as well as befriending the crew of the Atlantis.

July 12 Log July 12 How would you like to live in the jaws of a monster? Some animals do. Also read about what scientists are learning from water, sediment and bacteria samples, all in today's log.

July 11 Log July 11 Join the field trip in volcanology as the Chirikof seamount is explored. camera icon Watch a video of Alvin collecting volcanic rock samples. (mp4, 4 MB)

July 10 Log July 10 Join an undergraduate student as she takes her first research cruise. Also the Alaska Seamount team takes a look back in time.

July 9 Log July 9 The Alaska Seamount team has begun the second leg of the exploration. It's a crab eat crab world on submerged seamounts. Most crabs observed by the science team have missing limbs, or worse.

July 7 Log July 7 Corals can be found in cold, deep waters as well as warm tropical waters. Many marine organisms use corals as a habitat. camera icon Watch a video of coral from one of the recent dives. (mp4, 2.9 MB)

July 5 Log July 5 The Alaska Seamount team has reached port in Kodiak, Alaska. Tours of the R/V Atlantis were given. Those attending included various school groups, the US Coast Guard, the Kodiak Chamber of Commerce, the Kodiak National Wildlife Refuge, and other groups.

July 2 Log July 2 The Alaska Seamount team has completed the first leg of the mission and is in transit to Kodiak, Alaska for an Open House. camera icon Watch a video of squids from one of their final dives. (mp4, 2 MB)

July 1 Log July 1 Seamounts exist in the oceans as isolated islands with a wide variety of biological life. How is life on these seamounts affected by changes in seamount geology? Read an answer.

June 27 Log June 27 Dives were completed on Murray Seamount. The science party also took samples of sediment, rocks, coral and crabs, plus digital video and still images of organisms and seamount structures. camera icon Watch the submersible collect a crab sample from Murray Seamount. (mp4, 10.6 MB)

June 26 Log June 26 Reports from the field indicate the Alvin was successfully launched today. Read a log from the ship about submersible launch, communications, and more.

June 25 Log June 25 Rough seas and severe weather greeted the exploration team as they headed to the first dive location on Murray Seamount. Read about the impact that high seas have on the science party.


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