Dive 02: “Beach Ridge”
September 8, 2017
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Dive 02: Beach Time

During the second dive of the expedition, the Deep Discoverer remotely operated vehicle (ROV) descended to 3,280 meters (~2 miles) to explore a site dubbed “Beach Ridge,” after the female composer and musician Amy Beach. This was the first ROV dive ever conducted in the Musicians Seamounts and the first in a series that will investigate the similarities and differences in community composition between different features across the Musicians Seamounts. Video courtesy of the NOAA Office of Ocean Exploration and Research, Deep-Sea Symphony: Exploring the Musicians Seamounts. Download (mp4, 23.6 MB)

Dive 02 took place at a site the mission team dubbed “Beach Ridge,” after the American composer and pianist, Amy Marcy Cheney Beach. This was the first remotely operated vehicle (ROV) dive ever conducted in the Musicians Seamounts and the first in a series that will investigate the similarities and differences in community composition between different features across the Musicians Seamounts. We are particularly interested in the connectivity of coral and sponge communities and the possibility for endemism (endemic animals are those that exist only in one geographic region) in these areas. This dive transited upslope along a small ridge at the summit of this ridge-like volcanic construct. ROV Deep Discoverer reached the seafloor at 3,280 meters (~2 miles) and explored the ridge for approximately four hours. Throughout the dive, the team observed a glass sponge (Hyalonema sp.), at least two different types of shrimp, sea pens, cusk eel, an unusual chanux (a type of anglerfish), two types of black corals, and a swimming polychaete worm. The team also observed a Primnoid coral that may be a new genus and several colonies of Iridogorgia that are likely a significant depth range extension. Geological observations included broken pillow lava and talus, which are to be expected at the base of a ridge structure.