Overall the second leg of the expedition was successful for both the science and R/V Falkor operations teams. The primary mission for this leg focused on using ROV Global Explorer MK3for long-term studies of deep-sea coral communities near the site of the Deepwater Horizon oil disaster. Eight dives of the ROV were completed during the week at sea. The scientists achieved their objectives for data collection and sampling with the ROV as well continuing daily multicore sediment samples and additional multibeam mapping data. The R/V Falkor team gained valuable experience with the daily operations.
Chief Scientist Chuck Fisher was extremely pleased with the ROV dives and the important imagery obtained of nearly every coral colony that he is monitoring. The high-resolution cameras on Global Explorer recorded detailed images that will be critical in analyses of changes to the coral communities over time.
Now the last boxes have been sealed and shipped, the labs and rooms have been cleared and cleaned, and the good-byes have been said. The research team leaves with great appreciation to the Schmidt Ocean Institute for the opportunity to be a part of the R/V Falkor shakedown period. It has been a productive experience for all.