MBARI AUVs conduct a wide range of missions, both within the Monterey Bay area and far afield. MBARI’s first big test of its autonomous underwater vehicles involved sending the AUV under the Arctic ice in 2001. The upper-water-column vehicle is a critical tool for research of the upper ocean and harmful algal blooms. It has also been used to help gather data about the catastrophic 2010 oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico. The mapping AUV has also been used locally to further map the details of Monterey Canyon, as well as being sent far afield to map such areas as the seafloor of mid-ocean ridges, submarine volcanoes, southern California methane mounds, and seamounts.
Follow these links for information about some of these missions: