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Connecting the Dots
Video courtesy of the NOAA Office of Ocean Exploration and Research, Windows to the Deep 2019. Download larger version (mp4, 89.4 MB).

During Dive 10 of the expedition, we explored an area nicknamed Richardson "Jellyfish," due to its location northwest of the Richardson Complex and the fact that it has an unusual shape in the bathymetry data (collected during the Windows to the Deep 2018 expedition). Since 2010, the NOAA Office of Ocean Exploration and Research has been collecting mapping data along the Blake Plateau, Blake Ridge, and Blake Escarpment and has mapped over 65,000 square kilometers (25,097 square miles) of seafloor in this region.

Until recently, much of this area was thought to be flat and largely devoid of features that would make it suitable to support coral communities; however, mapping done via the Okeanos in 2018 and 2019 has revealed a very different picture, showing a seafloor covered with "mound" features. Subsequent exploration using remotely operated vehicles has revealed these mounds are formed by extensive deep-sea coral communities, changing our perspective of the region as we continue to connect the dots to understand the deep.

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