Science Use Cases
Graduate Student Andrew Thurber and Prof. Lisa Levin (both at Scripps Institution of Oceanography) each led expeditions using NDSF vehicles in 2010, one using the AUV ABE (predecessor to Sentry) and the other using the HOV Alvin to investigate benthic communities along the active ocean margins of Chile and Costa Rica. As well as the discovery of new chemosynthetic habitats (including novel “hybrid” systems and more conventional hydrothermal vents and cold seeps), both expeditions resulted in the discovery of “new” species previously unknown to science.
NOAA’s Ocean Exploration program has made extensive use of the ROV Jason to locate numerous sites of hydrothermal activity and even active volcanic eruption along the Marianas Arc (Drs. R. Embley & W. Chadwick, NOAA-PMEL). Dr. Tim Shank (WHOI) has used the HOV Alvin and AUV ABE (predecessor to Sentry) to locate new vents on the Galapagos Rift and in the Southern Atlantic Ocean. Most recently, NOAA’s OER program has supported an ongoing project led by Profs. Chuck Fisher (Pennsylvania State University) and Erik Cordes (Temple University) using the Jason ROV to investigate deep water coral and cold seep sites in the northern Gulf of Mexico, both close to and distant from the site of the Deep Water Horizon.