Eddy Exploration and Ecosystem Dynamics

If you have ever flown over the Pacific and looked down from the window seat, the water seems still. Viewed from this distance, the water appears stagnant with unmoving dashes of waves. This picture strikes discordantly with the imagination - it fails to capture the flux of ocean dynamics, giving little evidence to the diverse … Continued

Coordinated Robotics Part 2: ʻAuʻAu Channel

There is a great need to increase the efficiency of marine research. Building global ocean mapping infrastructure is difficult given the financial costs and human effort required in traditional oceanographic technology. Remote sensing technology (such as multibeam sonar and satellite imagery) is insufficient on its own as it cannot penetrate past the ocean surface. Robotics … Continued

Underwater Fire: Studying the Submarine Volcanoes of Tonga

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.

Discovering Deep Sea Corals of the Phoenix Islands

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.

Unraveling Ancient Sea Level Secrets

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.

Searching for Life in the Mariana Back-Arc

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: First Deep Exploration

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.

Coordinated Robotics

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.

Timor Sea Reef Connections

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.