Log Post: Baker Bank Beauty and a Possible Trip to Hospital

“This is beautiful.” That was one of the first things I heard coming from the science control room this morning once the Global Explorer ROV made it to the base of Baker Bank. It was the first of many like comments to come, not to mention some wows, oohs, and ahs. The scenes before us … Continued

Log Post: Ready to Dive

The plan is set. Tomorrow morning, the team from Deep Sea Systems International will launch their Global Explorer remotely operated vehicle (ROV) so we can begin exploring an area called Baker Bank. The last time anyone set eyes on this place was from a submersible about 40 years ago. The team decided to start here … Continued

Log Post: The Expedition Begins

Mapping the Depths, from Bad Mud to the Mysterious Bad Mud Bank. It sounds a bit ominous, if not especially attractive. That was our first destination for the day. Fishermen know the spot and probably named it—perhaps after pulling up an anchor coated in stinky mud. But scientists have never had the chance to see … Continued

Log Post: Cruise Summary for Deep Coral Shakedown

This was a shakedown to remember. It was the first time for many things aboard RV Falkor – the first time chased by a tropical storm in the Gulf of Mexico, the first time diving with a remotely operated vehicle (ROV), the first time mapping in rough weather, and the first time imaging corals in … Continued

Log Post: Christmas trees of Atwater Valley

Today, we had our fourth and final dive at a site called AT357, which had been visited previously by some members of our research team in 2009 and 2011. “AT” stands for Atwater Valley, a sub region of the northern Gulf of Mexico. The remotely operated vehicle (ROV) touched down on soft sediments at 1050 … Continued

Log Post: DeSoto Canyon Deep Dive

Remotely Operated Vehicle (ROV) Global Explorer dove today to the deepest point yet on this expedition, on a site called ‘DeSoto Canyon’. At a depth of 2100 meters, the vehicle successfully navigated to the exact location visited previously by NOAA ship Okeanos Explorer. The team shot 3D video, collected water, animal and push-core samples, and … Continued

Log Post: Hübscher’s Mounds

Today was our second full dive day along the West Florida Escarpment, at a site consisting of two distinct mound features about 580 meters deep and 60 km north of yesterday’s dive on Okeanos Ridge. During the dive, the research team discovered another newLophelia aggregation, the second one so far, and they were able to … Continued

Log Post: First ROV Dive a Success

Remotely operated vehicle (ROV) Global Explorer MK3 successfully completed its first full dive this afternoon. The vehicle explored the seafloor to a depth of 600m at a site now called ‘Okeanos Ridge’, a feature that was mapped by the NOAA vessel Okeanos Explorer in April this year.  This seafloor area has never been explored. The … Continued

Log Post: Deep Water Chemistry

This morning, R/V Falkor stopped at a deep-water site on the way to the first dive site, Okeanos Ridge, in order to deploy a CTD-rosette. CTD stands for conductivity-temperature-depth sensor. The instrument derives salinity from conductivity, depth from pressure, and temperature from an electrical thermometer. The ‘rosette’ configuration has 24 bottles associated with it, called … Continued

Log Post: Mapping Canyons

The R/V Falkor arrived near the dive site last night, but seas were still too heavy to launch instruments over the side. In an effort to use the ship’s resources wisely, the research team immediately started multibeam mapping with the Kongsberg EM302 and EM710. This equipment is being put to test in new terrain. The team … Continued