2022 Caribbean Mapping

March 10 - 28, 2022

Expedition Summary

From March 10 - 28, 2022, NOAA Ocean Exploration conducted an exploratory ocean mapping expedition on NOAA Ship Okeanos Explorer focused on U.S. waters south of Puerto Rico deeper than 200 meters (656 feet).

During the expedition, the team put the sonars on Okeanos Explorer to work, including the ship’s recently upgraded Kongsberg EM 304 multibeam sonar. After departing Key West, Florida, mapping data were collected during the transit to the primary exploration area south of Puerto Rico. Over the course of the expedition, the expedition team mapped a total of 8,398 linear kilometers (5,218 miles) and 18,580 square kilometers (7,174 square miles) of seafloor, an area approximately twice the size of Puerto Rico. These mapping efforts resulted in the collection of high-resolution data needed to fill critical mapping gaps in the region and revealed never-before seen morphologic features of the seafloor south of Puerto Rico, including small seamounts.

In addition to meeting mapping objectives, outreach activities conducted during the 2022 Caribbean Mapping expedition contributed to NOAA Ocean Exploration’s goals of engaging the public in exploration and training the next generation of ocean explorers. These activities included hosting three Explorers-in-Training, hosting a live seminar with the Environmental Studies and Biology departments at University of North Carolina, Asheville and conducting one in port media tour with Telemundo, Puerto Rico.

View the initial Expedition Overview.

Mapping area covered during the 2022 Caribbean Mapping expedition.
Mapping area covered during the 2022 Caribbean Mapping expedition. Image courtesy of NOAA Ocean Exploration, 2022 Caribbean Mapping. Download largest version (jpg, 350 KB).
New bathymetric coverage in U.S. waters south of Puerto Rico collected during the 2022 Caribbean Mapping expedition.
New bathymetric coverage in U.S. waters south of Puerto Rico collected during the 2022 Caribbean Mapping expedition. Image courtesy of NOAA Ocean Exploration, 2022 Caribbean Mapping. Download largest version (jpg, 278 KB).

Operations

This map shows the general operating area in and around Puerto Rico for the 2022 Caribbean Mapping expedition.
This map shows the general operating area in and around Puerto Rico for the 2022 Caribbean Mapping expedition. Image courtesy of NOAA Ocean Exploration, 2022 Caribbean Mapping. Download largest version (jpg, 866 KB).

Related Links

NOAA Ship Okeanos Explorer: 2022 Expeditions Overview

NOAA Ship Okeanos Explorer: 2022 Expeditions Overview

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NOAA Ship Okeanos Explorer

NOAA Ship Okeanos Explorer

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Education Themes

Education Theme pages provide the best of what the NOAA Ocean Exploration website has to offer to support your classroom during this expedition. On each theme page, you will find links to expedition features, lessons, multimedia, career information, and associated past expeditions.

Media Contacts

Emily Crum

Communication Specialist
NOAA Ocean Exploration
emily.crum@noaa.gov

David Hall

Public Affairs Officer
NOAA Office of Marine and Aviation Operations
david.l.hall@noaa.gov

NOAA Ocean Exploration’s 2022 Caribbean Mapping expedition will contribute to the National Strategy for Exploring, Mapping, and Characterizing the United States Exclusive Economic Zone (PDF, 1.9 MB) and Seabed 2030 and is part of NOAA’s Atlantic Seafloor Partnership for Integrated Research and Exploration (ASPIRE) campaign.

Data collected during this expedition will be available in NOAA’s public data archives within 60-90 days of the end of the expedition and accessible via the NOAA Ocean Exploration Digital Atlas.