PMEL scientists from the Earth-Ocean Interactions Program will be remotely joining the NOAA Ship Okeanos Explorer on its deep-water exploration of the Mariana region via “telepresence” from Newport, OR and Seattle, WA. PMEL will lead three remotely operated vehicle (ROV) dives tentatively scheduled for this weekend. These dives will explore three hydrothermal vent sites that were recently discovered on an R/V Falkor research cruise conducted in fall 2015. This region is home to the deepest parts of the ocean, the Mariana Trench, and hydrothermal vents with unique marine ecosystems in diverse geologic settings.
The main goal of the expedition is to collect baseline information of unknown and poorly known areas in and around the Mariana region to support science and management needs, and to understand the diversity and distribution of deep-water habitats. The expedition continues through July 10.