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Click below to go to the Cruise Logs - (photo credit: Lophelia Coral - Open-File Report 2008-1148 & OCS Study MMS 2008-015)

Deep-sea Cruise 2008


October 5-23, 2008

Cruise Highlights

Lophelia coral is just one of many sessile invertebrates comprising a diverse fauna of particulate feeders. (photo credit: Open-File Report 2008-1148) - click to enlarge
Lophelia coral is just one of many sessile invertebrates comprising a diverse fauna of particulate feeders. (photo credit: Open-File Report 2008-1148) - click to enlarge

This is the first cruise kicking off a 4-year project funded by the US Geological Survey's Terrestrial, Freshwater and Marine Ecosystems Program provided in support of the information needs of the Minerals Management Service. Our first cruise will examine deep coral sites in the northern Gulf of Mexico (see multibeam map). University of North Carolina Wilmington and NOAA/NURC provided shiptime on NOAA ship Nancy Foster. SeaVison is providing the SeaEYE Falcon DR ROV which we will use to explore and sample the deep coral sites. Specific cruise objectives include deploying two benthic landers that will reside on the sea floor for up to 12 months. These landers will record benthic activity using time-lapse and still photography. They also are equipped with current meters, optical sensors, and sediment traps, allowing us to examine the chemistry and physics of these habitats over extended periods. Ultimately, these landers will provide us with the most extensive data collected around deep coral habitats in US waters. We will use the ROV to conduct photographic surveys of the deep coral habitats and collect coral and coral inhabitants for genetics, microbiology, food-web, and community studies. Lastly, we will conduct multibeam mapping of the study sites and explore additional areas of the Gulf for as yet undiscovered deep reef habitats. Please select a cruise log entry for day-by-day updates.


Media Inquiries: Gary Brewer, (304) 724-4507, gbrewer@usgs.gov



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