Seascape Alaska 2: Aleutians Deepwater Mapping
June 5 - 20, 2023
NOAA Ship Okeanos Explorer
Gulf of Alaska – Aleutian Trench and Aleutian Islands
From June 5 - 20, 2023, NOAA Ocean Exploration conducted an expedition on NOAA Ship Okeanos Explorer to map 37,601 square kilometers (14,518 square miles) of seafloor in unexplored regions of the Gulf of Alaska and Aleutian Islands.
Throughout the expedition, mapping watchstanders collected, processed, and documented high-quality data during 24-hour-a-day mapping operations, aiding in closing bathymetric gaps within the region. In total, 37,601 square kilometers of bathymetry and associated water column data were collected in deep waters (deeper than 200 meters, or 656 feet) within the U.S. Exclusive Economic Zone and territorial sea.
During mapping operations, NOAA Ocean Exploration mission personnel simultaneously collected EM 304 multibeam sonar bathymetry observations and Simrad EK60/EK80 split-beam fisheries sonar observations of biological material in the water column, along with Knudsen 3260 sub-bottom profiler observations of sub-seafloor geological structure and sediment. A focused survey region targeted potential geological hazards along the Aleutian Trench. During the expedition, one CTD cast collected water samples for environmental DNA (eDNA) analysis. The exploratory mapping operations conducted during this expedition will provide initial characterization of the region, as well as data to support further exploration.
In line with NOAA Ocean Exploration’s commitment to outreach and support for the next generation of ocean explorers, during this expedition the office hosted three ship-board explorers-in-training and hosted a live interaction with the Indigenous Geoscientist Community Workshop in Ketchikan, Alaska.
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 assembled information about the members of the team who are sailing on the ship and participating in the expedition from sea – meet the team!
Education theme pages provide the best of what the NOAA Ocean Exploration website has to offer to support educators in the classroom during this expedition. Each theme page includes expedition features, lessons, multimedia, career information, and associated past expeditions.
- Seascape Alaska
- NOAA Ship Okeanos Explorer: 2023 Expeditions Overview
- Introducing Seascape Alaska
- United Nations Ocean Decade endorses Seascape Alaska
NOAA Ocean Exploration’s 2023 Seascape Alaska expeditions will contribute to the National Strategy for Exploring, Mapping, and Characterizing the United States Exclusive Economic Zone, Seabed 2030, and multipartner Seascape Alaska campaign, which has been endorsed by the Intergovernmental Oceanographic Commission of UNESCO as part of the United Nations Decade of Ocean Science for Sustainable Development 2021-2030.
Published August 21, 2023