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Okeanos Explorer

The following pages provide information about the ROV dives conducted during each selected cruise, and enables direct access to ROV data and products. Additional data and information products from the mission are publicly accessible through the U.S. National Data Centers.

Galapagos Rift Expedition - EX1103L2

In June and July 2011, the GALREX 2011 expedition explored the diverse habitats and geologic settings of the deep Galapagos region, including axial volcanic ridges, hydrothermal vents, off-axis sulfide mounds, and seamounts. The discovery of deep-sea hydrothermal vents and associated organisms on the Galapagos Rift (GR) in 1977 profoundly changed our view of the deep-sea and revolutionized the biological and Earth sciences. During the 2011 field season, the NOAA Ship Okeanos Explorer provided scientists, engineers, and the public with an opportunity to explore unseen areas and revisit historical sites in the GR. More than 40,000km2 of seafloor were mapped by the ship's multibeam sonar, 11 CTD tows completed a ~400 km-long hydrothermal plume survey of the unexplored eastern arm of the Rift, and 12 ROV dives collected more than 90 hours of high-definition digital video. Data and ROV video feeds were transmitted by broadband satellite from the ship to a team of scientists onshore. The expedition team evaluated seafloor observations, directed seafloor ROV, CTD, and mapping operations in real-time, and maintained a portal for outreach.

Mid-Cayman Rise Expedition - EX1104

During August 2011, a team of scientists and technicians both at-sea and on shore conducted exploratory interdisciplinary investigations on the geology, marine life, and hydrothermal systems at the Mid-Cayman Rise.

The 17-day expedition included 10 days of operations at the Mid-Cayman Rise and one day at the Cayman Trough Fracture Zone, southwest of the Cayman Islands and located entirely within their Exclusive Economic Zone.

Gulf of Mexico Exploration - EX1202L2

From March to April 2012, NOAA Ship Okeanos Explorer conducted exploratory investigations on the diversity and distribution of deep-sea habitats and marine life in the northern Gulf of Mexico.

Gulf of Mexico Exploration - EX1202L3

From March to April 2012, NOAA Ship Okeanos Explorer conducted exploratory investigations on the diversity and distribution of deep-sea habitats and marine life in the northern Gulf of Mexico. During Leg 3, cold seeps, deep coral communities, undersea canyons, shipwrecks, brine pools, and mud volcanoes were explored.

Northeast U.S. Canyons Exploration - EX1304L1

The first leg of the 2013 Northeast U.S. Canyons Expedition explored diverse habitats and geological settings of the deep canyons region off the Northeast United States. The remotely operated vehicle Deep Discoverer (ROV D2) completed 16 dives to depths ranging from 500 to 2,200 meters. D2 surveyed four major submarine canyons, including Block, Alvin, Atlantis, and Hydrographer; one unnamed minor canyon; three priority sites considered to be geohazard areas; and three potential (and confirmed) hydrocarbon seep areas.

Northeast U.S. Canyons Exploration - EX1304L2

During Leg 2 of this expedition, ROV Deep Discoverer (D2) completed fifteen dives, ranging in depth from 490 to 3300 m at five named canyons (Nygren, Heezen, Oceanographer, Lydonia, and Welker), one minor canyon (unnamed near Shallop Canyon), two intercanyon sites, two USGS geohazards targets, and Mytilus Seamount. Many of the ROV dives were the first exploration and visual examination of this region.

Gulf of Mexico - EX1402L3

Okeanos Explorer EX1402 Leg 3 - the final voyage in the series of three ocean exploration cruises as part of the 2014 Gulf of Mexico Expedition conducted 16 highly successful telepresence-enabled remotely operated vehicle (ROV) dives in two different areas of the Gulf:

1. The northwestern part of the basin, characterized by a very thick (~12-14 kilometer) accumulation of sediments mobilized from below by evaporites/salt, and

2. The central part of the Florida Escarpment, the western edge of a thick carbonate platform, and the outer shelf next to it.

Atlantic Canyons and Seamounts - EX1404L2

From September 4 - September 10, NOAA Ship Okeanos Explorer deployed the Deep Discoverer and Seirios on three dives in the Canyons along the continental shelf. These canyons proved to be biodiversity hotspots.

Atlantic Canyons and Seamounts - EX1404L3

From September 16 - October 7, NOAA Ship Okeanos Explorer deployed the Deep Discoverer and Seirios camera sled on thirteen dives in the Canyons and the New England Seamount Chain. Highlights from these dives include observations of deep sea predation, a series of caves inhabited by octopuses, dragonfish, and several areas of high coral density.

Caribbean Sea, Puerto Rico Trench - EX1502L3

During Leg 3, the at-sea and shore-based science teams worked together to investigate unknown and poorly known areas, including the Puerto Rico Trench, Muertos Trough, Mona Passage, and the Virgin Islands Trough.

Campaign to Address Pacific monument Science, Technology, and Ocean NEeds (CAPSTONE) NWHI Exploration Leg II - EX1504L2

Operations for Leg 2 focused on areas around the North West Hawaiian Islands. Dives took place in deep-waters offshore of Oahu, Ni'ihau and in and just outside of Papahanaumokuakea Marine National Monument (PMNM).

CAPSTONE Leg III: Main Hawaiian Islands and Geologists Seamounts (ROV/Mapping) - EX1504L3

Operations for the third leg of the 2015 Hohonu Moana Expedition included ROV, mapping, CTD rosette and telepresence-based remote participation.

Campaign to Address Pacific monument Science, Technology, and Ocean NEeds (CAPSTONE) Leg IV - EX1504L4

Leg 4 consisted of a telepresence-enabled ROV cruise which focused on the offshore Johnston Atoll.

Exploring the Deep Waters off Hawaii - EX1603

Operations included collecting baseline-characterization data of poorly known areas over a wide area of the US EEZ around the Hawaiian Island Chain, focusing primarily in and around Papahanaumokuakea Marine National Monument (PMNM).

CAPSTONE CNMI & Mariana Trench MNM (ROV & Mapping) - EX1605L1

Telepresence-enabled ROV/CTD/mapping cruise focused on the southern half of the CNMI and the MTMNM.

CAPSTONE CNMI & Mariana Trench MNM (ROV & Mapping) - EX1605L3

Telepresence-enabled ROV/CTD/mapping cruise focused on the northern part of the CNMI and the MTMNM.

CAPSTONE Wake Island Unit PRIMNM (ROV & Mapping) - EX1606

This expedition addressed science themes, priority areas, and exploration targets put forward by scientists and managers across the broad ocean science community.

FY17 Ship and ROV Shakedown - EX1608

Operations used the ship's deep water mapping systems (Kongsberg EM302 multibeam sonar, EK60 splitbeam fisheries sonars, ADCPs, and Knudsen 3260 chirp sub-bottom profiler sonar), NOAA's two-body 6000 m remotely operated vehicles (ROVs Deep Discoverer and Seirios, and the ship's high-bandwidth satellite connection for real-time ship to shore communications.

American Samoa Expedition: Suesuega o le Moana o Amerika Samoa (ROV/Mapping) - EX1702

Operations for this cruise were conducted 24 hours/day and consisted of daily remotely operated vehicle (ROV), overnight mapping, CTD casts and full shore-based participation via telepresence. Operations were conducted within several marine protected areas. Operations were planned in the Rose Atoll Marine National Monument, National Marine Sanctuary of American Samoa, offshore (not within) of the National Park of American Samoa, and the waters of both American Samoa and Samoa.

Howland/Baker PRIMNM and PIPA (ROV/Mapping) - EX1703

EX-17-03 operations were conducted 24 hours/day and consisted of daily remotely operated vehicle (ROV), overnight mapping, CTD casts and full shore-based participation via telepresence. Operations were conducted within several marine protected areas. The expedition commenced on March 7th, 2017 in Apia, Samoa and concluded on March 29, 2017 in Apia, Samoa.

American Samoa, Kingman/Palmyra, Jarvis (ROV & Mapping) - EX1705

EX-17-05 operations occurred in the waters of American Samoa, the Cook Islands, Kiribati, the high seas and the US EEZ around Jarvis Island, Kingman Reef, and Palmyra Atoll. This cruise collected baseline data and information to support priority NOAA science and management needs including in multiple marine protected areas of the Pacific Ocean.

Johnston Atoll (ROV/Mapping) - EX1706

Operations included the use of the ship's deep water mapping systems (Kongsberg EM302 multibeam sonar, EK60 split-beam fisheries sonars, Knudsen 3260 chirp sub-bottom profiler sonar, and Teledyne Acoustic Doppler Current Profilers), XBT and Underway CTD casts in support of multibeam sonar mapping operations, OER's 6000 m two-body ROV Deep Discoverer and Seirios, and the ship's high-bandwidth satellite connection for continuous real-time ship-to-shore communications.

Musicians Seamounts (ROV & Mapping) - EX1708

Operations for this cruise were conducted 24 hours/day and consisted of daily remotely operated vehicle (ROV), overnight mapping, and full shore-based participation via telepresence. Operations included the use of the ship's deep water mapping systems (Kongsberg EM302 multibeam sonar, EK60 split-beam fisheries sonars, Knudsen 3260 chirp sub-bottom profiler sonar, and Teledyne Acoustic Doppler Current Profilers), XBT and CTD casts in support of multibeam sonar mapping operations, OER's two-body ROV Deep Discoverer and Seirios, and the ship's high-bandwidth satellite connection for continuous real-time ship-to-shore communications. Operations were planned in and around Hawaii, the US EEZ, and in the High Seas around the Musicians Seamounts.

Gulf of Mexico (ROV and Mapping) - EX1711

Operations included the use of the ship's deep water mapping systems (Kongsberg EM302 multibeam sonar, EK60 split-beam fisheries sonars, Knudsen 3260 chirp sub-bottom profiler sonar, and Teledyne Acoustic Doppler Current Profiler), XBT and CTD casts in support of multibeam sonar mapping operations, OER's two-body ROV Deep Discoverer and Seirios, and the ship's high-bandwidth satellite connection for continuous real-time ship-to-shore communications.

Gulf of Mexico (ROV and Mapping) - EX1803

Operations included the use of the ship's deep water mapping systems (Kongsberg EM302 multibeam sonar, EK60 split-beam fisheries sonars, Knudsen 3260 chirp sub-bottom profiler sonar, and Teledyne Acoustic Doppler Current Profiler), XBT and CTD casts in support of multibeam sonar mapping operations, OER's two-body ROV Deep Discoverer and Seirios, and the ship's high-bandwidth satellite connection for continuous real-time ship-to-shore communications. Operations are planned in and around the US Gulf of Mexico and potentially the international waters of the Gulf.

Mid and Southeast US (ROV and Mapping) - EX1806

Operations included the use of the ship's deep water mapping systems (Kongsberg EM302 multibeam sonar, EK60 split-beam fisheries sonars, Knudsen 3260 chirp sub-bottom profiler sonar, and Teledyne Acoustic Doppler Current Profiler), XBTs in support of multibeam sonar mapping operations, CTD casts, OER's two-body ROV Deep Discoverer and Seirios, and the ship's high-bandwidth satellite connection for continuous real-time ship-to-shore communications. Operations are planned throughout the South Atlantic Bight, offshore Florida, Georgia, South Carolina, North Carolina, and Virginia.

Puerto Rico and U.S. Virgin Islands (ROV & Mapping) - EX1811

Operations included the use of the ship's deep-water mapping systems (Kongsberg EM302 multibeam sonar, EK60 split-beam fisheries sonars, Knudsen 3260 chirp sub-bottom profiler sonar, and Teledyne Acoustic Doppler Current Profiler), XBTs in support of multibeam sonar mapping operations, CTD casts, OER's two-body ROV system (Deep Discoverer and Seirios), and the ship's high-bandwidth satellite connection for continuous ship-to-shore communications. Operations focused on exploring deep waters (>250 m) in the U.S. exclusive economic zone (EEZ) of the Caribbean Sea, as well as in territorial waters surrounding surrounding Puerto Rico and the U.S. Virgin Islands.

2019 Field Season Shakedown - EX1902

Data from three ROV engineering dives, EM302 multibeam sonar data including backscatter, EK60 and EK80 sonar data.

Mid and Southeast US (ROV and Mapping) - EX1903L2

Operations will include the use of the ship's deep-water mapping systems (Kongsberg EM302 multibeam sonar, EK60 split-beam fisheries sonars, Knudsen 3260 chirp sub-bottom profiler sonar, and Teledyne Acoustic Doppler Current Profilers), XBTs in support of multibeam sonar mapping operations, CTD casts, OER's two-body ROV Deep Discoverer and Seirios, and the ship's high-bandwidth satellite connection for continuous real-time ship-to-shore communications.

2019 Technology Demonstrations - EX1904

Operations will include the use of the ship's deep-water mapping systems (Kongsberg EM 302 multibeam sonar, EK split-beam fisheries sonars, Knudsen 3260 chirp sub-bottom profiler sonar, and Teledyne Acoustic Doppler Current Profilers), XBTs in support of multibeam sonar mapping operations, the two-body ROV system Deep Discoverer and Seirios, and the ship's high-bandwidth satellite connection for continuous real-time ship-to-shore communications. Technology demonstrations will include an integration/shakedown a REMUS 600 Autonomous Underwater Vehicle (AUV), deployment of a towed Kraken Robotics Katfish with Synthetic Aperture Sonar (SAS), integration of a Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) 360 degree camera on Deep Discoverer, integration/testing of a Kraken Robotics SeaVision laser scanner on ROV Deep Discoverer and integration/testing of a One Way Travel Time Inverted Ultra Short Baseline (OWTTIUSBL) from the Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution (WHOI) on ROV Deep Discoverer. Operations are planned throughout the Northeast U.S. Continental Margin and on the Northeast U.S. continental shelf off of Virginia, Maryland, Delaware, New Jersey, New York, Rhode Island and Massachusetts.

New England and Canada (ROV and Mapping) - EX1905L2

Operations will include the use of the ship's deep-water mapping systems (Kongsberg EM302 multibeam sonar, EK60/EK80 split-beam fisheries sonars, Knudsen 3260 chirp sub-bottom profiler sonar, and Teledyne Acoustic Doppler Current Profiler), XBTs in support of multibeam sonar mapping operations, CTD casts, OER's two-body ROV system (Deep Discoverer and Seirios), and the ship's high-bandwidth satellite connection for continuous ship-to-shore communications. Operations will focus on exploring deep waters (>250 m) in the U.S. exclusive economic zone (EEZ) off the Northeast U.S. Coast, as well as in adjacent waters in the EEZ of Canada.

Mid and Southeast US (ROV and Mapping) - EX1907

Operations will include the use of the ship's deep-water mapping systems (Kongsberg EM302 multibeam sonar, EK 60/80 split-beam fisheries sonars, Knudsen 3260 chirp sub-bottom profiler sonar, and Teledyne Acoustic Doppler Current Profilers), XBTs in support of multibeam sonar mapping operations, CTD casts, the two-body ROV Deep Discoverer and Seirios, and the ship's high-bandwidth satellite connection for continuous real-time ship-to-shore communications.