Deep-Water Mid-Atlantic Canyons Exploration 2011

Mission Introduction

By Steve W. Ross, Ph.D, Research Professor - UNC-W, Center for Marine Science,
Sandra Brooke, Ph.D, Director of Coral Conservation - Marine Conservation Institute,
and Rod Mather, Ph.D, Professor - University of Rhode Island
June 4-17, 2011

Primary target areas for the Deep-water Mid-Atlantic Canyons project are in and around the Norfolk, Washington, Accomac and Baltimore canyons. Yellow and pink stars are locations where deep sea corals were previously identified. Green, blue, and red circles are locations of previous submersible dives.

The primary target areas for the Deepwater Mid-Atlantic Canyons Project are in and around the Norfolk, Washington, Accomac, and Baltimore canyons. are This map shows places where deep-sea corals were previously identified (indicated by yellow and pink stars) as well as locations of previous submersible dives (green, blue, and red circles). Image courtesy SW Ross, UNC-W. Download larger version (jpg, 300 KB).

The Deep-water Mid-Atlantic Canyons Project represents a major systematic exploration of submarine canyons on the continental margin of the eastern United States. Funded by the Bureau of Ocean Energy Management, Regulation, and Enforcement (BOEMRE), the U.S. Geological Survey (USGS), and NOAA Ocean Exploration and Research (OER), our diverse team of scientists will investigate deepwater canyons, hard bottom habitats and shipwrecks off Virginia and Maryland. During the project’s first cruise in June of 2011, scientists and technicians onboard the NOAA Ship Nancy Foster will collect seafloor bathymetry and water column profiles. This cruise is critical for establishing the foundation of information necessary for the planning of multidisciplinary investigations in later years.

The Deep-Water Mid-Atlantic Canyons Exploration 2011 is funded in part by the North Carolina Museum of Natural Sciences. View their Blog coverage  of the mission.