Scientists are always interested where hydrothermal vents are located. However, when a new field is discovered with properties not previously seen, the excitement reaches a whole new level.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
The Cape York Peninsula lies in the far northern Great Barrier Reef (GBR) Marine Park. The peninsula is one of the most isolated regions of the Australian continent and little is known about what lies in the offshore deeper waters. Scientists consider these deeper waters to be a frontier area of the GBR.
As ocean temperatures increase, a pressing global challenge in marine science is to better understand the distribution and characteristics of the critical habitats that support mesophotic and deep-water coral communities.