Deep Connections 2019: Exploring Atlantic Canyons and Seamounts of the United States and Canada

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.

  • Expedition Summary

    August 6 - September 15, 2019

    This infographic provides a snapshot of the expedition by the numbers.

    Deep Connections 2019: Exploring Atlantic Canyons and Seamounts of the United States and Canada was a two-part, telepresence-enabled ocean exploration expedition. The overarching purpose of the expedition was to collect critical baseline information about unknown and poorly understood deep water areas of the U.S. and Canadian Atlantic continental margin.

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  • Career Paths to the Okeanos

    September 16, 2019  |  By Rachel Gulbraa

    A sample of the diverse collection of people that contribute to an expedition aboard NOAA Ship Okeanos Explorer.

    Something that’s not always obvious from an outside perspective are the many roles that are essential for the ship to function in order to fulfill its mission of scientific exploration and outreach. But how did all of these people, with their unique skill sets and contributions, end up on the Okeanos Explorer?

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  • Hurricanes and the Deep Sea

    September 14, 2019  |  By Meagan Putts

    The shallowest depth that the ROV Deep Discoverer dives at is 250 meters, below the depth that severe storms have been measured to cause disturbances.

    As Hurricane Dorian started making its way north, many of us aboard NOAA Ship Okeanos Explorer were not surprised to hear that we would have to cancel a few ROV dives in order to seek shelter at our home port in North Kingston, Rhode Island. While the physical effects of hurricanes on near-shore ecosystems, such as shallow-water coral reefs and estuaries are well documented, little research has been conducted on the direct impacts of hurricanes on the deep sea.

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  • Behind the Scenes With the Video Team

    September 13, 2019  |  By Emily Narrow

    The author, Global Foundation for Ocean Exploration Video Editor Emily Narrow, in the video chair aboard NOAA Ship Okeanos Explorer.

    Anyone familiar with the ocean exploration missions that take place on board NOAA Ship Okeanos Explorer knows that video content plays a key role in our mission. With video content playing such an important role in our operations, it makes sense to have a dedicated video team.

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  • The Lobster Dinner

    September 12, 2019  |  By Mike Vecchione

    Northern shortfin squid (Illex illecebrosus) actively feeding on a large swarm of crustaceans during dive 3 of the Deep Connections 2019 expedition.

    While exploring a shallow (306-358 meter) soft-bottom area off Canada on August 31, 2019, ROV Deep Discoverer came across a large lobster eating its dinner. What did the lobster have for dinner? Calamari. But how could a lobster catch a squid?

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  • Deep-sea Exploration in Support of Resource Management Off the Northeast U.S.

    September 11, 2019  |  By Dave Packer and Michelle Bachman

    A shortfin squid swims by a large coral during a dive on Kinlan Canyon, the sixth dive site of Deep Connections 2019.

    While the exploration of the deep sea can and should be undertaken for its own sake, it is important to remember that the data we collect can become essential components used by resource managers.

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  • An Ocean of Data

    September 10, 2019  |  By Anna Lienesch

    Three-dimensional perspective of a ROV Deep Discoverer dive track (white lines) and waypoints (red points) with superposed water column bubble plumes (multi-colored point clouds) imaged by NOAA Ship Okeanos Explorer during a previous mission. Methane bubble plumes at Norfolk Seeps have been imaged rising over 900 meters (2,950 feet) above the seafloor in previous surveys. Bathymetric data were collected with the Okeanos Explorer multibeam sonar and are contoured at 10-meter (about 3-feet) intervals. The locations of previously identified seeps are indicated with white points. All data shown at two times vertical exaggeration.

    NOAA Ship Okeanos Explorer expeditions are most well-known for capturing never-before-seen footage of the deep sea and creating beautiful maps of the seafloor. But did you know that these videos and maps are only part of the data that is collected during Okeanos Explorer expeditions?

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  • Canadian Partner Participation via the Bedford Institute of Oceanography’s New Exploration Command Center

    September 9, 2019  |  By Lindsay Beazley, Ellen Kenchington, and Rachael Peters

    Scientists participating in dive 1 of the Deep Connections 2019 expedition from the newly established exploration command center at the Bedford Institute of Oceanography, located in Dartmouth, Nova Scotia, Canada.

    The Deep Connections 2019 expedition provided the unique opportunity for Canadian scientists and ocean managers to collect data and provide regional expertise on unexplored deep-sea habitats of our Atlantic continental margin—all without actually stepping foot aboard a vessel.

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  • What is a Sclerite?

    September 5, 2019  |  By Scott France

    Clavularia, here seen during dive 6 of Deep Connections 2019, is a stoloniferous octocoral that grows in ribbons and mats over rock or skeletons of coral or sponges. The purple color is due to a pigment in the soft tissue and the white is reflections from sclerites.

    You usually don’t have to listen to very much of an Okeanos Explorer dive before you hear one of the scientists refer to “sclerites” when looking closely at an octocoral. What are these structures?

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  • Exploring Kinlan Canyon

    September 3, 2019  |  By Heather Coleman and Martha Nizinski

    Many species of corals and sponges can be found in Kinlan Canyon, including bubblegum coral (Paragorgia arborea), a species of particular interest to Brian.

    In 2018, only a year and a half after Dr. Brian P. Kinlan passed away, his colleagues in the NOAA Fisheries Office of Habitat Conservation, NOAA Fisheries Office of Science and Technology, as well as the Department of Interior’s Bureau of Ocean Energy Management, joined together to commemorate his life’s work by naming Kinlan Canyon in his honor. Now, only a year later, the Deep Connections 2019 expedition will dive inside Kinlan Canyon to explore deep-sea coral and sponge communities and to celebrate Brian’s life and work.

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  • Welcome Aboard: Ship Tours in Dartmouth, Nova Scotia

    August 31, 2019  |  By Dr. Daniel Wagner

    Engineer Dan Rogers, from the Global Foundation for Ocean Exploration, gives visitors a close-up look at ROV Deep Discoverer. Visitors were able to learn about the technological features of this submersible vehicle during the ship tours held on August 23, 2019 in Dartmouth, Nova Scotia..

    On the afternoon of August 23rd, 2019, we hosted a series of four tours of NOAA Ship Okeanos Explorer while the ship was docked at the Center for Ocean Ventures and Entrepreneurship (COVE) pier in Dartmouth, Nova Scotia.

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  • Northeast Channel Coral Conservation Area

    August 29, 2019  |  By Marty King and Ellen Kenchington

    The bubblegum coral Paragorgia arborea growing on a boulder in the Northeast Channel.

    Over the last two decades, Canada has made significant progress in mapping, studying and protecting cold-water corals in its waters. In 2002, the Northeast Channel Coral Conservation Area was established under the Fisheries Act in an effort to protect a dense concentration of large gorgonian corals from bottom contact fishing.

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  • The Gully Marine Protected Area

    August 28, 2019  |  By Emma Marotte

    Underwater habitat in the Gully Marine Protected Area.

    Two hundred kilometers (~125 miles) off Nova Scotia, Canada, lies one of the most unique and diverse marine ecosystems in the Northwest Atlantic Ocean. Known as the Gully, this undersea canyon was formed by the movement of melting glaciers thousands of years ago.

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