The Papahānaumokuākea Marine National Monument mapping project will be spread over two legs to identify likely sites of deep-sea coral beds, manganese crust zones, and other key features.
AUV Sentry will be used at Hawaii’s underwater volcano, Loihi Seamount, whose base remains largely unexplored. The team will survey and sample the seamount to better understand the dispersion of hydrothermal fluids from Loihi to the Pacific Ocean.
The Ontong Java Plateau is a massive submerged seafloor platform north of the Solomon Islands. During this expedition researchers produced high-resolution seafloor maps that will provide clues to explain its mysterious formation, as well as improve tsunami predictions for people living on Ontong Java’s atolls.
The Mariana region is home to the Mariana subduction system. This November, scientists shed light on the Mariana back-arc spreading center looking for new sites of hydrothermal activity.