Deep Connections 2019: Exploring Atlantic Canyons and Seamounts of the U.S. and Canada

Dive 04: Northeast Channel

Date: September 1, 2019
Location: Lat: 41.98381°, Lon: -65.37541°
Dive Depth Range: 975 - 1,494 meters (3,201 - 4,905 feet)

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A tiny juvenile fish, species undetermined, was spotted by the keen eyes of our videographer. Video courtesy of the NOAA Office of Ocean Exploration and Research, Deep Connections 2019. Download larger version (mp4, 60.6 MB).

A dogshark seen during the fourth dive of Deep Connections 2019 expedition.

A dogshark seen during the fourth dive of Deep Connections 2019 expedition. Image courtesy of the NOAA Office of Ocean Exploration and Research, Deep Connections 2019. Download larger version (jpg, 985 KB).

We had a successful dive in the Northeast Channel today, our fourth dive of the Deep Connections 2019 expedition and our last in Canadian waters. This dive site was located near the southern boundary of the Fundian Channel and Browns Bank, in an area of interest to our partners at Fisheries and Oceans Canada due to the dense aggregations of deep-sea gorgonian corals and sponges that have been documented during previous explorations of this area. The purpose of our dive was to characterize the deep-sea benthic communities in an unexplored area of the Northeast Channel in order to provide information to support resource management. Furthermore, we sought to investigate the geological origin of the site, which is thought to be composed of glacial trough mouth fan materials.

Graneledone sp. octopus seen brooding her eggs during the fourth dive of Deep Connections 2019 expedition.

Graneledone sp. octopus seen brooding her eggs during the fourth dive of the Deep Connections 2019 expedition. Image courtesy of the NOAA Office of Ocean Exploration and Research, Deep Connections 2019. Download larger version (jpg, 1.7 MB).

The remotely operated vehicle (ROV) reached the seafloor on a relatively flat, soft substrate adjacent to the submarine plateau slope, which was inhabited by bamboo corals, sabellid polycheate tube worms, xenophyphores, halosaurs, and lantern sharks. As we moved up the slope, the bottom transitioned from fine sediment to a fine-grained mantle interspersed with cobbles. The benthic community also shifted with slope and substrate, and we began to see more soft corals and small sponges. When the ROV reached the crest of the plateau, the community shifted back to that seen in the submarine channel axis at the start of the dive. Samples collected during this dive included a glass sponge, a demosponge, and a bubblegum coral (Paragoria sp.).

A leafy demosponge collected by Deep Discoverer during the fourth dive of Deep Connections 2019 expedition.

A leafy demosponge collected by Deep Discoverer during the fourth dive of the Deep Connections 2019 expedition. Image courtesy of the NOAA Office of Ocean Exploration and Research, Deep Connections 2019. Download larger version (jpg, 1 MB).

An aggregation of small sponges seen during the fourth dive of Deep Connections 2019 expedition.

An aggregation of small sponges seen during the fourth dive of the Deep Connections 2019 expedition. Image courtesy of the NOAA Office of Ocean Exploration and Research, Deep Connections 2019. Download larger version (jpg, 1.4 MB).

Location of Dive 4 of the Deep Connections 2019 expedition on September 1, 2019.

Location of Dive 4 of the Deep Connections 2019 expedition on September 1, 2019. Download larger version (jpg, 1.3 MB).

Map showing the dive track of dive 4 of the Deep Connections 2019 expedition.

Map showing the dive track of Dive 4 of the Deep Connections 2019 expedition. Download larger version (jpg, 789 KB).