The landscape of the deep sea is ever-changing. Canyons have sediment tumbling down their steep walls, volcanoes erupt with flowing lava, and hot hydrothermal vents spew scalding water rich in minerals. Gases rise to the surface in bubbles or freeze like ice crystals under extremely low temperatures and high pressure. Tectonic plates move against each other, causing underwater earthquakes.

One of MBARI’s fundamental missions is to use and create sophisticated technology to study the deep ocean. Scientists and engineers work together to develop and build cutting-edge technologies that give us unprecedented access to the deep seafloor. Our researchers use various technologies—from remotely operated and autonomous underwater vehicles to equipment deployed on the bottom for long-term monitoring—to study the seafloor’s biological, chemical, and geological processes.

These teams and projects are revolutionizing how we observe the ocean floor to understand this habitat and the life that thrives there.

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