EXPRESS: West Coast Mapping 2022
October 16 - November 3, 2022
From October 16 - November 3, 2022, NOAA Ocean Exploration conducted an exploratory expedition on NOAA Ship Okeanos Explorer to increase mapping coverage in unexplored regions off the coasts of California and Oregon, with a focus on waters deeper than 200 meters (656 feet). The expedition started with a transit northwest from San Diego, California, to reach target areas for mapping in a small region south of the Channel Islands and off the west coasts of California and Oregon.
Over the course of the expedition, the team used the ship’s deepwater mapping systems to conduct 24-hour-a-day operations, mapping a total of 3,586 linear kilometers (2,228 miles) and collecting a total of 26,945 square kilometers (10,404 square miles) of bathymetry and associated water column data, including 20,240 square kilometers (7,815 square miles) within the U.S. Exclusive Economic Zone and Territorial Sea deeper than 200 meters. In addition to filling critical mapping gaps in the region, high-resolution mapping data revealed two previously unexplored seamounts. The team also completed a detailed sub-bottom survey of a sponge reef south of the Channel Islands.
The mapping work conducted during the EXPRESS: West Coast Mapping 2022 expedition directly supports the objectives of the interagency EXpanding Pacific Research and Exploration of Submerged Systems (EXPRESS) campaign, including guiding wise use of living marine resources and habitats, informing ocean energy and mineral resource decisions, and improving offshore hazard assessments along the U.S. West Coast.
In support of NOAA Ocean Exploration’s goal of training the next generation of ocean explorers, two explorers-in-training will participate in the expedition, assisting in the collection and processing of sonar data.
The expedition concluded in Newport, Oregon, successfully closing out operations on Okeanos Explorer for the 2022 calendar year.View Expedition Overview
NOAA Ocean Exploration
Public Affairs Officer
NOAA Office of Marine and Aviation Operations
NOAA Ocean Exploration’s EXPRESS: West Coast Mapping 2022 expedition will contribute to the National Strategy for Exploring, Mapping, and Characterizing the United States Exclusive Economic Zone, Seabed 2030 and the interagency EXpanding Pacific Research and Exploration of Submerged Systems (EXPRESS) campaign.
Data collected during the expedition will be available in NOAA’s public data archives within 60-90 days of its completion and will be accessible via the NOAA Ocean Exploration Data Atlas.