With about 95 percent still unexplored, the ocean is mankind’s final frontier here on Earth. And at this very moment you can join scientists from the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration in their quest to learn more about this deep blue void. The United States’ only federally funded ship designated for ocean exploration, the Okeanos Explorer, is on another mission to explore noteworthy sites at the bottom of the sea. This time, the crew is cruising off the coast of New England in the Atlantic Ocean gathering data about deep-sea canyons and mountain ranges. Above, you can watch live video feeds from the ocean rover
and listen to scientists explaining what they’re seeing.
Screenshot from a Sept. 23 Deep Discoverer dive. (Credit: NOAA).
Today they’re sending the rover of a 4,200-foot dive to check out a minor canyon just east of Veatch Canyon. This is the fourth divewithin the third leg of their mission, which will conclude Oct. 7. This mission takes researchers to a deep-sea neighborhood that’s near one of the most populous regions of the United States. They’ll be gathering baseline data about the New England Seamount Chain, an underwater mountain range which has never been seen by humans. The data collected by the Okeanos team are important for both scientists and resource managers to better inform research and decision-making. Hey, it's not every day you get to explore never-before-seen parts of the seafloor without leaving your desk.
Map showing areas that will be explored during the second and third legs of the Our Deepwater Backyard: Exploring Atlantic Canyons and Seamounts 2014 expedition. Color-coded bathymetry, previously collected by Okeanos Explorer and by the University of New Hampshire’s Center for Coastal and Ocean Mapping UNCLOS expeditions, processed with QPS Inc., Fledermaus software. Map created with ESRI ArcMap software. (Credit: NOAA)