The ROVs discover a field of bed forms or ripples on a flat area of Kelvin Seamount. Geologists and oceanographers can learn a lot about the current conditions of an area by studying the size and shape of the ripples. Image courtesy of NOAA Okeanos Explorer Program, Our Deepwater Backyard: Exploring Atlantic Canyons and Seamounts 2014. Download larger version (jpg, 1.4 MB).
Okeanos Explorer EX1404L3
Dive 09: Kelvin Seamount. Video courtesy of NOAA Office of Ocean Exploration and Research. Download (mp4, 30.2 MB)
Dive 09 explored an interesting bulls-eye feature on Kelvin Seamount, starting at a depth of 2,052 meters. After descending through a large layer of salps, jellyfish, midwater fish, and siphonophores, remotely operated vehicle Deep Discoverer (D2) landed on uniform rippled sediment with occasional dropstones. During the first portion of the dive, D2 encountered sea cucumbers, sea stars, xenophyophores, anemones, urchins, sea pens, brittle stars, and a few corals. As D2 continued upslope, the underlying geology changed to hard rock lobate sheet flows with a high diversity, but low abundance, of corals that included precious corals, black corals, primnoids, bamboo corals, and other octocorals. Other fauna encountered included crinoids, a diversity of sponges, brittle stars, shrimp, fish, sea spiders, crabs, and sea stars. The highlight of the dive was seeing a live pteropod, or sea butterfly, on the seafloor, as usually only their shells are observed.