The features below will help you to understand the goals and objectives of the expedition and provide additional context and information about the places being explored and the science, tools, and technologies being used.
Shore-side Data Management of Deep-sea Specimens
In addition to high-definition video data and environmental parameters such as water temperature, salinity, dissolved oxygen, location, and depth, remotely operated vehicle Deep Discoverer collects highly valuable biological and geological specimen samples. Managing these physical samples from the depths of our ocean is high-priority work.
Video Feature: A Colorful Ctenophore
Belonging to the ctenophore order Lobata, family Lampoctenidae, this animal was initially identified as being the bloody belly ctenophore, though emerging research suggests that this yellow ctenophore might be a new and different red-belly ctenophore species.
Recap: Exploring the Corner Rise Seamounts
As we transition to our next set of dive sites on the New England Seamounts (mapping along the way, of course!), we asked our expedition team leads what was most interesting, most surprising, or aspect from which they learned the most during our eight dives on the Corner Rise Seamounts.
Video Feature: Cerianthid Anemone
Cerianthid or tube anemones, belonging to the subclass Ceriantharia, are rather distant relatives of sea anemones. All tube anemones have a quite uniform appearance, with an elongated body and two crowns of non-branched tentacles.
How Long Must I Wander?
We talk about seamount chains being stepping stones for organisms, about finding the same species along these chains and about the often-dense communities of deep-sea corals and sponges that live there. But how does that happen, when these animals can’t swim?
The Importance of Exploring the Sargasso Sea: ‘Spiritual and Aesthetic Delight’ as Well as Conservation
The Sargasso Sea is a distinctive ecosystem located on the high seas. Its boundaries are defined by currents circulating the North Atlantic sub-tropical gyre, including the Gulf Stream and the Antilles Current. The Sargasso Sea is named for the floating sargassum that populates its surface – a kind of macroalgae that is designed for a pelagic (open ocean) existence, never attaching to the bottom at any point in its life cycle.
Oh, (a Few of) the Places We’ll Go!
While most of our dives during this expedition will occur on seamounts that NOAA Ocean Exploration has not explored yet via NOAA Ship Okeanos Explorer, we will be revisiting a few familiar seamounts within the New England Seamount chain from dives in 2014 and 2019.
From June 30 through July 29, 2021, NOAA Ocean Exploration and partners will conduct the 2021 North Atlantic Stepping Stones: New England and Corner Rise Seamounts expedition, a telepresence-enabled ocean exploration expedition on NOAA Ship Okeanos Explorer to collect critical baseline information about unknown and poorly understood deepwater areas off the eastern U.S. coast and high seas.
Tiptoeing Through the North Atlantic
Some seamounts form long chains as the continental shelf glided over a hotspot in the Earth’s crust, creating seamounts one after another in a long succession stretching back over 100 million years. These seamount chains can form what we call “stepping stones” across the seafloor—areas of habitat that are suitable for a wide variety of species to settle, colonize, and live.