Seascape Alaska 5: Gulf of Alaska Remotely Operated Vehicle Exploration and Mapping


Expedition Features

These expedition features provide updates and reflections on experiences, science, technology, and other elements of the Seascape Alaska 5: Gulf of Alaska Remotely Operated Vehicle Exploration and Mapping expedition.

Expedition Summary

January 22, 2024

From August 23 - September 14, NOAA Ocean Exploration and partners conducted the fifth in a series of Seascape Alaska expeditions on NOAA Ship Okeanos Explorer. Operations during this 23-day expedition included 19 successful remotely operated vehicle (ROV) dives conducted in water depths ranging from 253 - 4,262 meters (830 - 13,983 feet), mapping of 28,287 square kilometers (10,922 square miles) of seafloor, and the collection of a wide variety of biological and geological samples.

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Unidentified Golden Specimen Captures Public Imagination

September 7, 2023

On August 30, 2023, while using remotely operated vehicles to dive on a small seamount in the Gulf of Alaska, mission personnel aboard NOAA Ship Okeanos Explorer came across a confounding sight. While gliding over a rocky outcrop at a depth of about 3,300 meters (2 miles), they found what one of the videographers onboard helping to document the dive first referred to as a “yellow hat.”

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Search for Prinsendam

September 5, 2023

During the Seascape Alaska 5: Gulf of Alaska Remotely Operated Vehicle Exploration and Mapping expedition, the team will search for, and if found, explore the wreck of Prinsendam, a 427-foot cruise liner that sank off Sitka, Alaska, in 1980 after the second greatest rescue operation in the history of the United States Coast Guard (USCG). The dive will provide scientists with important information to better understand how the shipwreck and surrounding marine environment have changed over time.

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An Introduction to the Geology of the Aleutian Islands

July 25, 2023

Ocean exploration is vital for mapping and characterizing geologic features and biologic communities in the ocean, some of which have not been previously described. However, the impacts of ocean exploration extend well beyond the ocean, with impacts reaching to rock layers in the high mountains and deep subsurface. By investigating modern tectonic margins and deep-ocean environments, we improve interpretations of ancient rock layers that record the geologic history of our planet.

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Expedition Overview

June 22, 2023

The Seascape Alaska 5 expedition will commence on August 23, 2023, in Kodiak, Alaska, and conclude on September 16, 2023, in Seward, Alaska. The team will work to fill gaps in our understanding of the region by conducting focused mapping and remotely operated vehicle (ROV) operations. Operations will focus on exploring deep waters greater than 200 meters (656 feet) for mapping operations and 250 meters (820 feet) for ROV operations in U.S. waters, the high seas, and Canadian waters off Alaska.

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