Amongst the diverse coral community along Hydrographer Canyon, ROV D2 observed a glass sponge containing cephalopod eggs. If you look closely you can see what looks to be a recent hatchling!

Amongst the diverse coral community along Hydrographer Canyon, ROV D2 observed a glass sponge containing cephalopod eggs. If you look closely, you can see what looks to be a recent hatchling! Image courtesy of the NOAA Office of Ocean Exploration and Research, Northeast U.S. Canyons Expedition 2013. Download larger version (jpg, 1.4 MB).

Dive 06
July 14, 2013
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Dive 06 was conducted in Hydrographer Canyon, exploring the east wall to characterize and discover benthic habitats and biodiversity, including anticipated deep-sea coral and sponge communities, as well as examine canyon geomorphology. Video courtesy of the NOAA Office of Ocean Exploration and Research, Northeast U.S. Canyons Expedition 2013. Download video (mp4, 63.3 MB).

Dive 06 was conducted in Hydrographer Canyon, exploring the east wall to characterize and discover benthic habitats and biodiversity, including anticipated deep-sea coral and sponge communities, as well as examine canyon geomorphology. The Deep Discoverer remotely operated vehicle (ROV D2) reached the seafloor at a depth of 907 meters and settled over a soft sediment area with scattered rock boulders. A strong current persisted from the south, as we began our transit to waypoint 1 and observed numerous cutthroat eels, blue cod, black dogfish, witch flounder, red crab, and a few dead octocoral colonies. Several small coral recruits and larger coral and sponge colonies were noted on angular rock blocks. Molluscs and shrimps were seen living associated with coral colonies. Dislodged coral colonies were also observed in between areas of large rock blocks. We transited up a steep cliff covered with a dense assemblage of octocorals and sponges. Here, larger coral colonies appeared to grow under ledges and sponges blanketed the walls, particularly the tops of the overhangs. Sediment composition differed between that under the overhangs and away from the cliff, with frequent dislodged coral colonies. A vertical wall with a wide variety of corals and other invertebrates was observed, including a sponge containing cephalopod (octopus, squid or nautilus) eggs. D2 moved up a steep scarp in a stepping stone pattern, with tops covered with debris and sediment. Numerous large bubblegum corals with shrimp associates were observed, with many of the large colonies containing soft coral at the base. D2 approached the top of the vertical scarp at 808 meters and continued upslope, crossing a soft sediment bottom with scattered rock boulders until the dive concluded at 610 meters.