Aboard R/V Falkor, Dr. Ken Rubin and his research team will visit one of the most active underwater volcano sites in the world, the Meta Volcano group. There they will work to obtain a detailed geological understanding of up to 12 different submarine volcanoes, attempting to do this across a suite of volcanos for the very first time.
The Phoenix Islands Protected Area (PIPA) is the largest and deepest UNESCO World Heritage Site on Earth. Approximately the size of California, PIPA was the first Marine Protected Area (MPA) of its kind. In October, Dr. Erik Cordes (Temple University) and his team will explore never seen before seamounts and atolls within PIPA with R/V Falkor and ROV SuBastian.
In an innovative whole-reef approach, scientists will sail on Falkor this August and September for a 29-day expedition to reconstruct past sea levels in the Pacific. Falkor will sail along the central Hawaiian Islands and Line Islands in a two-part expedition using both an Autonomous Underwater Vehicle (AUV) and Remotely Operated Vehicle (ROV) SuBastian.
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.
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.
At the end of March, Falkor headed to a spectacular, isolated, coral wonder known as Scott Reef. The goals of this project were to improve techniques and algorithms for efficiently coordinating deployments of multiple exploratory vehicles so they can be left unattended to accomplish tasks like detailed seafloor mapping.
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)