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

Mission Logs

Follow along as participants in the cruise provide updates and reflections on their experiences, the science, the technology, and other elements of the expedition.

  • Mission Summary

    By Erik Cordes and Amanda Demopoulos

    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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  • Scientists Discover Deep-sea Tubeworms Living at Seeps 36 Miles Offshore North Carolina

    May 8, 2019

    Scientists discovered chemosynthetic vestimentiferan tubeworms while exploring methane cold seeps on a research expedition in the Atlantic Ocean off of the U.S. southeast coast last month, marking the first time that tubeworms have ever been observed in this part of the Atlantic.

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  • The Race to the Finish

    April 29, 2019  |  By Caitlin Adams

    This Paragorgia coral was seen on a boulder near the Cape Fear seep site.

    The end has snuck up on us yet again. Somehow five days have elapsed since my last update, and we’re headed to the dock tomorrow afternoon. In those five days though, we’ve done quite a lot.

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  • Dives Six and Seven: The Marathon Begins…

    April 24, 2019  |  By Caitlin Adams

    These blackbelly rosefish were observed throughout the dive at Pea Island Seep.

    With the end of the expedition in sight, Team DEEP SEARCH has been extremely busy spending our last full week at sea doing as much science as possible. After Monday’s mega-dive at Pamlico Canyon, we were back in the water no more than 5 hours later at Pea Island Seep.

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  • Dive Five: Pamlico Canyon

    April 23, 2019  |  By Caitlin Adams

    This octopus was seen on Dive 5 at Pamlico Canyon.

    Our dive at Pamlico Canyon was our longest yet of this expedition, clocking in at nearly 20 hours on the seafloor. The ROV began the dive at the bottom of the canyon (nearly 1,900 meters down) and spent most of the dive slowly climbing up from there, surveying the canyon’s walls and ledges.

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  • What Happens When We Head Back to the Lab

    April 22, 2019  |  By Alexis Weinnig

    ROV Jason is equipped with a sample “basket” that can be fitted with specific sampling equipment provided by the science team. Here, the ROV pilot places a snip of Lophelia pertusa into a biobox, which is an insulated housing designed to keep the corals with the cold water they’re collected in for the duration of the ROV dive.

    When we send an ROV like Jason down into the ocean it not only provides us eyes on the seafloor with cameras but also arms with hydraulic manipulators. These manipulators provide a lot of utility to sample in different ways while on the seafloor.

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  • Mid-cruise Update

    April 19, 2019  |  By Caitlin Adams

    It’s been a busy week here aboard NOAA Ship Ron Brown! As is often the case with deep-sea research, Leg 1 didn’t go entirely as planned, so we made adjustments, as we’re always prepared to do.

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  • Why We Need Science to Make Management Decisions

    April 15, 2019  |  By Kate Segarra

    Images like this from ROV Jason helps establish baseline habitat information, which the Bureau of Ocean Energy Management uses to understand the environments in which they operate.

    BOEM’s research is primarily use-inspired, meaning it is designed to fill information needs for the Bureau. Studies like DEEP SEARCH provide valuable baseline environmental information and contribute to our understanding of the environments in which we operate.

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  • How Benthic Landers Help Us Understand Why Corals Thrive in the Deep-sea

    April 14, 2019  |  By Furu Mienis

    We not only collect water column data around and above the reefs, but we also measure the near-bottom environmental conditions through time with bottom landers. These stand-alone platforms can be deployed on the deep-sea floor for several days up to a year, during which they can measure a large variety of environmental variables.

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  • Deep-Sea Parasitism

    April 13, 2019  |  By Andrea Quattrini

    Parasitism is an important symbiosis—or interaction between two different species living in close physical association—found in marine communities. Different types of marine parasites, including worms, isopods, and copepods, infect a variety of host species, including crabs and fishes.

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  • Water Bottles and Food for Thought

    April 12, 2019  |  By Cheryl Morrison & Christina Kellogg

    The two Niskin bottles used to collect deep-sea water samples are mounted to the bottom of ROV Jason and can be triggered by the ROV’s manipulator arms.

    What can a bottle of water tell you? Well, if the water was collected from the deep sea, maybe a lot! We’re hoping that bottles of water collected from several sites during this cruise will give us insight into the dominant microbial processes, what food options the animals in the habitat have, and if it is possible to detect the presence of larger organisms like corals and fish from their environmental DNA (eDNA) in the water.

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  • Our First Dive to Richardson Hills

    April 11, 2019  |  By Caitlin Adams

    This crinoid was seen on Madrepora coral during Dive 1 at Richardson Hills.

    This morning, ROV Jason was successfully recovered after our first dive of DEEP SEARCH 2019. The Jason team had a smooth launch just after 9pm last night, and the ROV stayed in the water for over 12 hours exploring the deep-sea coral habitats of Richardson Hills.

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  • All About ROV Jason

    April 10, 2019  |  By Ken Kostel

    On this mission, ROV Jason will be used as a single-body system. Operating in single-body mode will allow for the ROV team to have greater operational flexibility in the high current environments of the Gulf Stream.

    In advance of DEEP SEARCH 2019’s first remotely operated vehicle dive today, Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution has shared the following overview about ROV Jason.

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  • DEEP SEARCH 2019 is Underway!

    April 9, 2019  |  By Caitlin Adams

    NOAA Ship Ronald H. Brown docked at its home port at Pier PAPA at the Federal Law Enforcement Training Center in Charleston, SC.

    Just after 1:30pm today, NOAA Ship Ronald H. Brown pulled away from the dock in Charleston, SC for the official start of DEEP SEARCH 2019! Departure came after four full days of mobilization.

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