NOAAʻs Seirios camera sled images ROV Deep Discoverer shining its lights and cameras on a very dense community of large, presumably very old, colonies of bamboo coral (isididae) that were found on the ridge crest of Ellis Seamount. Image courtesy of the NOAA Office of Ocean Exploration and Research, 2015 Hohonu Moana. Download larger version (jpg, 972 KB).
Dive 06 was the first dive ever conducted on Ellis Seamount, located in the Geologist Seamounts group. The objective of this dive was to survey a rift zone ridge coming off the northern end of the seamount for corals and sponges, to gather more information on whether high-density communities can be found on ridge topography. From beginning to end, the dive observed high densities of coral colonies with the most dominant taxa being species of Keratoisis, Isidella, and Acanella which were present as full-size, mature colonies throughout the survey track. A total distance of roughly 800 meters was traveled during the dive.