Dive 09: Verdi Seamount
September 15, 2017
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Dive 09: Undescribed Verdi

Highlights from the September 15 dive on Verdi Seamount at depth of ~3,075 meters (1.9 miles). Video courtesy of the NOAA Office of Ocean Exploration and Research, Deep-Sea Symphony: Exploring the Musicians Seamounts. Download (mp4, 29.7 MB)

Remotely operated vehicle Deep Discoverer (D2) touched down on a steep slope of Verdi Seamount at 3,090 meters (1.9 miles), part way up the flank of the volcanic ridge. We arrived at the contact between a moderately sedimented talus field and low relief lava outcrops, including pillow flows and lobate lava forms. As we explored up slope, the substrate consisted of talus, pillow flows, and sediment pockets in between. Throughout the dive, biological observations included a moderate number of primnoid corals, black corals, glass sponges, and numerous numerous small invertebrates including polychaetes, mysid shrimps, amphipods, isopods, and a ctenophore that may be new to science. Fishes included a lizard fish (Bathysaurus mollis), rattail fish (Coryphaenoides sp.),and a cusk eel (Ophidioform). The team collected two rock samples that should help us better understand the hot spot and mid-ocean ridge interactions, and and two biological specimens: a black coral and a bamboo coral with associates. As D2 left the seafloor at 3,021 meters (1.88 miles), the team observed another transition from a sedimented plain back to a low slope sedimented talus field, suggesting we may have been exploring the saddle between the western and eastern bathymetric highs.