Rising temperatures, ocean acidification, and overfishing have now gained widespread notoriety as human-caused phenomena that are changing our seas.
The very deepest reaches of the sea are one of the planet’s last true frontiers. In November, RV Falkor sailed to the Mariana Trench with a group of biologists and geologists to conduct a new study of one of the deepest places in the world.
December, Falkor returned to the Mariana Trench focusing on collecting trench bacteria, animal samples, and the first-ever recordings of sounds from such depths.
Perth Canyon is one of Australia’s subsea treasures. Yet many of its deeper reaches remained unexplored, until Falkor’s visit with a deep-diving ROV. This first survey of life in the canyon provided a baseline of deep corals, which will aid in determining the likely future impacts of warming seas and ocean acidification.
The Timor Sea expedition explored factors that affect the health of remote coral reefs and the connections between reefs. This collaborative project expands on previous research at shallower reefs, and encompasses the first ever exploration of deeper sites.
In June of 2013, R/V Falkor will be using the hybrid underwater robotic vehicle Nereus, to explore the depths of the Mid-Cayman Rise, which reaches more than 6,500 meters (~4 miles)
The expedition’s second leg focused on gathering video records of the life found in and around lower-oxygen zones using the ROV ROPOS.
This unpresented study of microbes and viruses that live within the rocky layers of the seafloor was conducted using ROV ROPOS, 575 kilometers southwest of the underwater volcano Axial Seamount.
Since 1988, oceanographers have been studying a patch of deep blue 60 miles north of Oahu known as Station ALOHA. But despite extensive work there, much remains unknown about the diversity of the area’s zooplankton.