02 February 2006

Deep, dark and still 99.8% unexplored

Join a team scientists as they explore the cold waters of the Davidson Seamount, 4,100 to 12,000 feet deep (1250 to 3660 meters), off the Central California coastline.

Davidson Seamount is covered with amazingly diverse organisms including large and ancient coral gardens.

The team has four general goals for the new exploration of corals on the Davidson Seamount, to: 1. Understand why deep-sea corals live where they do on the seamount 2. Determine the age and growth patterns of the bamboo coral 3. Improve the species list and taxonomy of corals from the seamount, and 4. Share the exciting experience with the public through television and the Internet. The expedition began on January 26th, just in time for you to join the team on its voyage of discovery...

Experts plan to test a model developed to predict where corals will be located. The next step is to take measurements of water currents and food available to understand what causes corals to thrive in some areas, but not others.

During the entire expedition the team will photograph and collect corals to evaluate if they are new species and assess their age and growth patterns.

The BBC is filming during the cruise. You can see the fascinating variety of many deep-sea creatures on an upcoming broadcast of Planet Earth.

The expedition is a collaboration between the Monterey Bay National Marine Sanctuary, the Monterey Bay Aquarium Institute, Moss Landing Marine Laboratories, the British Broadcasting Corporation, and NOAA's Office of Ocean Exploration.

To learn more about the expedtion, read the expedition logs, and view images from the vessel, visit: Davidson Seamount 2006

Source: www.divenews.com


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