Dive 7: Castellano Seamount
March 10, 2016
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Sea Star

Close-up view of the tube feet of a sea star, seen on March 10, 2016, while exploring the never-surveyed Castellano Seamount at a depth of approximately 2,000 meters. Video courtesy of the NOAA Office of Ocean Exploration and Research, Deepwater Wonders of Wake.

Dive 7 was located on a ridge extending to the southeast of Castellano Seamount. This seamount had never been previously surveyed and therefore its geology and biological communities were completely unknown. The remotely operated vehicle (ROV) landed on the ridge crest at 2,013 meters. The substrate consisted of large Mn-encrusted volcanics, pebble to boulder in size, that were overgrown with a very high density of corals and sponges. There was little sedimentation at the landing site and the current was moderate from the east towards the west. As the ROV moved up along the ridge crest, the density of corals remained very high and consisted of numerous different species. Further up the slope, the ROV maneuvered around a large pinnacle, around which current flow was particularly strong. Along the entire dive track, layering of lava flows surrounded by volcanic rubble and talus were observed. The ROV left the bottom at a depth of 1,838 meters. Once the ROV was on deck, we commend transit mapping to our next dive site.