Expedition Log


Seafloor Ecology Spring 2020 – Log 6

On today’s final dive of our expedition series, MBARI’s Benthic Ecology Group, working with Janet Voight (Field Museum Investigative Research Center) and Julia Sigwart (Coastal and Marine Sciences Institute, University of California, Davis) are revisiting this work. Late Friday evening, the ROV Doc Ricketts’ large drawer was neatly loaded with forty-one, 1’ x 4” x …

Expedition Log


Seafloor Ecology Spring 2020 – Log 5

Gregory Bongey Should you ever find yourself as a marine science student in your fifth year of a master’s program, your first, second, and third priorities are to defend your thesis as soon as possible. Unless of course, you receive an unexpected opportunity to join MBARI on a deep-sea research cruise. In that case, practicality …

Expedition Log


Seafloor Ecology Spring 2020 – Log 4

Andrew DeVogelaere Today we split the science team to run ROV operations while preparing to relaunch our large, physical oceanography mooring. That allowed us to have an extra exploration dive at Davidson Seamount today. There is always a special excitement about exploration dives because we get to view areas that no human eyes have ever …

Expedition Log


Seafloor Ecology Spring 2020 – Log 3

After two days working at Davidson Seamount it was time to return to Sur Ridge to find the Deep Coral Cam we dropped off on the first day of the cruise and move it to the spot where it will spend the next nine months. Before heading to Sur Ridge, we steamed back to Monterey …

Expedition Log


Seafloor Ecology Spring 2020 – Log 2

Amanda Kahn Today was a mixed day of deploying and recovering moorings along with an ROV dive. In the morning, the sediment trap mooring we recovered yesterday was redeployed at the top of Sur Ridge. The sediment traps will remain there until December, collecting marine snow that rains down from the ocean’s surface. Corals and …

Expedition Log


Seafloor Ecology Spring 2020 – Log 1

Andrew DeVogelaere After months of preparation and a full day of loading equipment, the crew boarded R/V Western Flyer at 4:00 a.m. Our main destination for the research cruise is Sur Ridge and its dense forests of deep-sea corals and sponges. Sur Ridge is located 45 kilometers (28 miles) west of Point Sur, near the …



The secret lives of sponges

Time-lapse photography in the deep sea over 30 years reveals sponges "coughing" and moving across the seafloor.

Expedition Log


Biodiversity and Biooptics 2020 Expedition – Log 3

Today was an exciting day because we thought we were going to be weathered out at first (GALE WATCH, NO!). Luck was on our side in the ‘hole of hope’ and the wind and waves enabled us to collect five species of ctenophores that we are currently studying. This is an important site for our …

Expedition Log


Biodiversity and Biooptics 2020 Expedition – Log 2

As with the ctenophores, siphonophores are found from the ocean surface to the seafloor. Also like the ctenophores, many siphonophores are bioluminescent which makes them prime targets for the science team to investigate. Siphonophores range in size from 10 millimeters to 30 meters (less than half an inch to almost 100 feet)—longer than a blue …

Expedition Log


Biodiversity and Biooptics 2020 Expedition – Log 1

The scientific team aboard the R/V Western Flyer this week is focused on learning more about the gelatinous creatures that inhabit the open midwaters of the ocean. This is the largest, and yet least understood, habitat on our planet. Most of the researchers are specifically studying ctenophores or siphonophores, or both. In today’s report we’ll …



Robots filming robots in Monterey Bay

In an intricate underwater robot ballet, two of MBARI's underwater robots recently shot video of each other in the depths of Monterey Bay.