Voyage to the Ridge 2022

May 14 - September 2, 2022

Expedition Features

May through September 2022, NOAA and partners will conduct Voyage to the Ridge 2022, a series of three telepresence-enabled ocean exploration expeditions on NOAA Ship Okeanos Explorer that will include mapping operations and remotely operated vehicle (ROV) dives to collect baseline information about unexplored and poorly understood deepwater areas of the Charlie-Gibbs Fracture Zone, Mid-Atlantic Ridge, and Azores Plateau. View Expedition Overview

What is the deep scattering layer?

August 9, 2022

The deep scattering layer (or DSL) is a region in the water column where there is a high density of marine organisms that reflect sound.

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The Fishy Faces of the MARNA Marine Protected Area

August 3, 2022

Fish are an important component of deep-ocean ecosystems and while they inhabit parts of the ocean, we certainly have dives where we see little to no fish. This was not the case during the first dive of the second second Voyage to the Ridge 2022 expedition. As we explored an unnamed seamount within the OSPAR Mid-Atlantic Ridge North of the Azores (MARNA) marine protected area, we were treated to a diverse array of fish! Let’s meet a few of the fish seen during Dive 01.

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Voyage to the Ridge 2022: Meet the Explorers!

July 27, 2022

On Wednesday, August 3 at 1:30 p.m. ET/5:30 p.m. GMT, join a live discussion featuring mission personnel leading the Voyage to the Ridge 2022 expedition aboard NOAA Ship Okeanos Explorer!

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The Case of the Mysterious Holes on the Seafloor

July 27, 2022

During Dive 04 of the second Voyage to the Ridge 2022 expedition, we observed several sublinear sets of holes in the sediment on the seafloor at a depth of approximately 2,540 meters (1.6 miles). While the holes look almost human made, the little piles of sediment around them suggest they had been excavated. We attempted but were not able to take a peek into the holes and poke them with the tools on the remotely operated vehicle. It was also not apparent as to whether the holes were connected beneath the sediment surface.

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The Importance of Building a Database of Information on Deep-Sea Ecosystems and Communities

July 25, 2022

Deep-sea coral and sponge communities, such as those being explored during Voyage to the Ridge 2022, represent some of the most valuable marine ecosystems on Earth. They are also some of the most vulnerable, particularly to human activities such as bottom contact fishing gear, seabed mining, and associated environmental change. Before any such activities take place, we need information about these fragile deep-sea ecosystems, so that we can best mitigate any potential impacts.

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Voyage to the Ridge – Resource Use and Conservation

July 22, 2022

As noted in our introduction to high seas governance feature [link], a patchwork of sectoral organizations exerts fragmented authority over marine areas beyond national jurisdiction. There is no centralized mechanism to protect open ocean areas, and the state of high seas governance has been characterized by Dr. David Freestone as “an unfinished agenda.” Below is a snapshot of the management measures over areas that will be explored during Voyage to the Ridge 2022.

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What Is High Seas Governance?

July 20, 2022

The high seas are defined by international law as all parts of the ocean that aren't included in the exclusive economic zone, the territorial sea, or the internal waters of a country, or in the archipelagic waters of an archipelagic country.

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The Charlie-Gibbs Fracture Zone: A Jewel in the Mission Blue Crown

July 18, 2022

In this essay, Hope Spot Champion Professor David Johnson relays what makes this deep-sea fracture zone and the life found within it so unique and worth discovering, understanding, and protecting.

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Watch Live: NOAA Explorers Dive Into the Mysteries of the Mid-Atlantic Ridge

July 14, 2022

Join us online July 17 through August 28.

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