2017 American Samoa Expedition: Suesuega o le Moana o Amerika Samoa

Mission Logs

Follow along as participants in the cruise provide updates and reflections on their experiences, the science, the technology, and other elements of the expedition.

  • 2017 American Samoa Expedition Part 1: Suesuega o le Moana o Amerika Samoa: Expedition Summary

    February 16 – March 2, 2017

    Expedition Summary

    The 2017 American Samoa Expedition Part 1: Suesuega o le Moana o Amerika Samoa, was a 14-day telepresence-enabled expedition to explore unknown and poorly known areas in American Samoa and Samoa with a focus on Rose Atoll Marine National Monument and National Marine Sanctuary of American Samoa.

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  • Crossing the Line

    March 1, 2017 | by Amy Bowman and Adrienne Copeland

    Crossing the Line

    Even though the International Date Line is imaginary, it has implications that can cause interesting dilemmas when planning a cruise that will sail across it.

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  • Sampling Under Pressure

    February 28, 2017 | by Jeffery Laning

    Sampling Under Pressure

    If you watch the live video feed during dives, you will often see a large robotic arm emerge from the right side of the video feed, grab whatever is in the middle of the screen, and run away with it. The part you don’t get to see is how the arm is controlled and the various difficulties that come with this process.

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  • Exploring the Water Column

    February 27, 2017 | by Amanda Netburn

    Exploring the Water Column

    Though it makes up between 95 to 99 percent of the total livable volume of the planet, the water column (all the water in the ocean between the surface and the seafloor) remains one of the most poorly explored environments.

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  • How We Explore—A Look Behind the Curtain

    February 25, 2017 | by William J. Clancey

    How We Explore—A Look Behind the Curtain

    The different roles and responsibilities, robotic equipment, software tools, and operating procedures (including ROV/Seirios launch and recovery) constitute an "exploration system" that all comes together during a dive to satisfy the interests of the scientists.

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  • We Collected a Sample – Now What?

    February 23, 2017

    We Collected a Sample – Now What?

    If you’ve tuned in to the live video from NOAA Ship Okeanos Explorer, chances are you’ve seen remotely operated vehicle Deep Discoverer (D2) collect geological and biological samples from the seafloor. Ever wonder what happens to those samples after they are collected?

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  • A Tantalizing Preview of Vailulu'u Seamount

    February 22, 2017 | by Bill Chadwick

    A Tantalizing Preview of Vailulu'u Seamount

    During the 2017 American Samoa expedition, scientists hope to dive at Vailulu’u Seamount, weather permitting. In anticipation of the dive, NOAA Ship Okeanos Explorer resurveyed the seamount’s summit several days ago using the ship’s multibeam sonar to look for bathymetric changes since the last time the seamount was mapped. You see, Vailulu’u is an active submarine volcano and is known to be restless.

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  • Landslide Hazards in Samoa

    February 20, 2017 | by Jasper Konter

    Landslide Hazards in Samoa

    Explosive eruptions, such as those from hotspot volcanoes, may generate volcanic sediment layers that form weak zones between the predominant submarine pillow lavas and/or lava flows, leading to volcanic flank failure. This has led to the common occurrence of large-scale (mainly submarine) landslides around volcanic ocean islands, as has been defined in areas such as Hawai‘i and the Canary Islands.

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  • Crinoids!

    February 18, 2017 | by Charles Messing


    Sea lilies and feather stars, properly called crinoids (which means lily-like), are among the strangest of creatures that scientists will encounter during the expedition.

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