Fire and Ice: Volcanic and Glacial Interactions

On May 2, 2008, Chile’s Chaitén volcano erupted without warning, spewing ash 30 kilometers into the air.  This ash blanketed the landscape, and heavy rain in the following days triggered devastating volcanic mudflows that flowed down mountainsides and into the fjords below. The nearby town of Chaitén evacuated as the volcano completely transformed the surrounding landscape. While the destruction was easy to observe on land, scientists have not yet closely examined the impacts the eruption had on the surrounding ocean environments. Dr. Sebastian Watt of the University of Birmingham, UK, will lead an international team to study the underwater effects of the Chaitén eruption from the research vessel Falkor (too). Understanding the imprint of the Chaitén eruption in the marine environment will also help unlock deeper-time records of major volcanic eruptions in the region, allowing scientists to reconstruct volcanic behavior in Southern Chile over geologic time. 

High Seas and Seamounts of the Nazca Ridge

8 July - 9 August 2024 #NazcaHighSeas Lush forests of deep-sea corals and sponges host animals and organisms that defy imagination. Many endangered or threatened species like sea turtles, blue whales, and rays travel here to feed on the abundant nutrients upwelling from the deep. The 8000-meter-deep Atacama Trench, the Southeast Pacific Oxygen Minimum Zone, … Continued

In Search of Hydrothermal Lost Cities

Expedition dates: March 3 – April 11, 2023 On its inaugural expedition, Falkor (too) will head to the Mid-Atlantic Ridge with Chief Scientist Dr. David Butterfield from the NOAA Pacific Marine Environmental Laboratory - University of Washington, and his team to search for hydrothermal lost cities. In 2000, scientists found a hydrothermal vent system on … Continued

Designing the Future 2

Dr. Phillips and his team are looking to create a paradigm shift in how researchers perform midwater exploration. The ‘twilight’, or mesopelagic zone, is receiving renewed interest from the oceanographic community. There are numerous undescribed species dwelling in the pelagic zone beneath the limits of technical SCUBA diving, and improved survey methods have highlighted the biomass that exists in the twilight zone and beyond.

Biodiverse Borderlands

Mineral-Rich Habitats of Southern California The deep sea hosts minerals that contain high quantities of elements that are valuable for human societies. Countries around the world are preparing to develop extractive practices for deep-sea minerals, and baseline biological data are needed to further assess the life that may dwell on or around minerals in different … Continued

Discovering Deep-Sea Corals of the Phoenix Islands 2

In June, Falkor will return to the Phoenix Islands under Chief Scientist Randi Rotjan. The scientific objectives include continuing to investigate deep-sea microbes’ therapeutic potential; examining how ancient cold water corals survive predation by corallivores; and enquiring into the equator’s effect on the ecology of deep coral and sponge communities.

Seafloor to Seabirds in the Coral Sea

Far offshore Queensland Australia, in the Coral Sea Marine Park, is a seafloor full of clues for understanding the complex geologic history of the Australia and the submerged Zealandia continent.

Pinging in the New Year: Mapping the Tasman and Coral Seas

Schmidt Ocean Institute in partnership with The Nippon Foundation-GEBCO Seabed 2030, alongside collaborating researchers from Australia, will bring in the New Year on a mission– mapping significant areas of the seafloor of the Tasman and Coral Seas, offshore Queensland, Australia.

Ice Age Geology of the Great Barrier Reef

The upper continental slope and shelf edge of the southern Great Barrier Reef is largely unknown and poorly mapped. After a successful expedition mapping the northern Great Barrier Reef, R/V Falkor will traverse to the southern reaches of the Great Barrier Reef World Heritage Area.