Beyond the Blue: Papahānaumokuākea Mapping

(EX2403, EX2404, EX2407)

Dates

June 21 - July 9, 2024
July 18 - August 12, 2024
October 19 - November 12, 2024

Vessel

NOAA Ship Okeanos Explorer

Location

Pacific Ocean: Papahānaumokuākea Marine National Monument

Primary goal

Increase mapping coverage in unexplored areas of Papahānaumokuākea Marine National Monument, with a focus on waters deeper than 200 meters (656 feet)

Primary technologies

Multibeam sonar

Preview of the Expeditions

In June, July, and August, NOAA Ocean Exploration will conduct two exploratory ocean mapping expeditions on NOAA Ship Okeanos Explorer focused on waters generally deeper than 200 meters (656 feet) in and around Papahānaumokuākea Marine National Monument. The ship will return to Papahānaumokuākea in October and November for a third mapping expedition.

This map shows the general operating area during the Beyond the Blue: Papahānaumokuākea Mapping 2 expedition, with the approximate track of NOAA Ship Okeanos Explorer into Papahānaumokuākea Marine National Monument shown as a white line and the boundaries of marine national monuments shown in red. The four shaded areas represent priority mapping targets.
This map shows the general operating area during the Beyond the Blue: Papahānaumokuākea Mapping 2 expedition, with the approximate track of NOAA Ship Okeanos Explorer into Papahānaumokuākea Marine National Monument shown as a white line and the boundaries of marine national monuments shown in red. The four shaded areas represent priority mapping targets. Image courtesy of NOAA Ocean Exploration, 2024 Beyond the Blue. Download largest version (jpg, 2.31 MB).
This map shows the general operating area during the Beyond the Blue: Papahānaumokuākea Mapping 1 expedition, with the approximate track of NOAA Ship Okeanos Explorer into Papahānaumokuākea Marine National Monument shown as a yellow line, mapping targets shaded in white, and the boundaries of marine national monuments shown in purple.
This map shows the general operating area during the Beyond the Blue: Papahānaumokuākea Mapping 1 expedition, with the approximate track of NOAA Ship Okeanos Explorer into Papahānaumokuākea Marine National Monument shown as a yellow line, mapping targets shaded in white, and the boundaries of marine national monuments shown in purple. Image courtesy of NOAA Ocean Exploration, 2024 Beyond the Blue. Download largest version (jpg, 420 KB).

Operations during these expeditions will include the use of the ship’s deepwater mapping systems, expendable bathythermograph (XBTs) in support of multibeam sonar mapping operations, conductivity, temperature, depth profiler (CTD) casts, and a high-bandwidth satellite connection for continuous ship-to-shore communications via telepresence. Collected data will result in high-resolution maps of the seafloor and provide acoustic backscatter information about the seabed and water column. Data on deepwater habitats, including deep-sea coral and sponge communities, important fish habitats, and chemosynthetic communities, will support science and management needs. Mapping of geologic features can contribute to increased understanding of the geological context of the region and improve knowledge of past and potential geohazards.

During the expedition, the on-ship team will also support partner projects, including the collection of sun photometer measurements in partnership with NASA and the collection of acoustic observations of bats offshore in partnership with the U.S. Geological Survey.

Additionally, in support of NOAA Ocean Exploration’s goal of training the next generation of ocean explorers, several explorers-in-training will participate in the expeditions, focusing on assisting in the collection and processing of sonar data and science communication.

During the expeditions, NOAA will host Native Hawaiian cultural liaisons who will share and lead protocols and cultural practices while working in Papahānaumokuākea Marine National Monument. This important role highlights the value of Indigenous knowledge and practices as an important part of building a holistic understanding of the biocultural oceanscape of the marine monument.

All data collected during the expeditions in Papahānaumokuākea will contribute to Beyond the Blue: Illuminating the Pacific, a multiyear, collaborative science and research campaign aimed at bringing together partners to raise collective knowledge, understanding, and appreciation of waters in the Pacific Islands region through coastal and ocean mapping, exploration, and characterization.

During in-port periods before and after the Beyond the Blue: Papahānaumokuākea Mapping expeditions, NOAA Ship Okeanos Explorer will be docked at the NOAA Daniel K. Inouye Regional Center on Oahu’s Ford Island, as it was in these images from June 2024. Images courtesy of NOAA Ocean Exploration.

Meet the Explorers

View all

Naming every participant in a telepresence-enabled expedition is next to impossible, as scientists from around the world have provided input into the expedition plan. However, we've gathered information about the members of the team who are sailing on the ship and participating in the expedition from sea - meet the team!

Sam Candio

Sam Candio

Expedition Coordinator
Papahānaumokuākea Mapping 2

Treyson (Trey) Gillespie

Treyson (Trey) Gillespie

Mapping Watch Lead
Papahānaumokuākea Mapping 2

Chris Wright

Chris Wright

Data Engineer
Papahānaumokuākea Mapping 1 & 2

Shannon Fitzgerald

Shannon Fitzgerald

Explorer-in-Training
Papahānaumokuākea Mapping 2

Education Content

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

Communications Specialist
NOAA Ocean Exploration
ocean-explore-comms@noaa.gov

Keeley Belva

Public Affairs Officer
NOAA Office of Marine and Aviation Operations
keeley.belva@noaa.gov

Sarah Marquis

West Coast/Pacific Islands Media Coordinator
NOAA Office of National Marine Sanctuaries
sarah.marquis@noaa.gov

For more information, visit the Media Resources page.


Expeditions conducted by NOAA Ocean Exploration as part of Beyond the Blue will contribute to the National Strategy for Exploring, Mapping, and Characterizing the United States Exclusive Economic Zone and Seabed 2030.

As appropriate, data collected during all expeditions will be available in NOAA’s public data archives within 90-120 days of its completion and will be accessible via the NOAA Ocean Exploration Data Atlas.

Published June 18, 2024
Updated July 15, 2024