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Seafloor Characterization of the U.S Caribbean

Spring 2010 Research Mission aboard the NOAA Ship Nancy Foster:
March 18 - April 6, 2010

Press Kit ›

Click Dates below for Daily Web Updates from the Mission

Sunday Monday Tuesday Wednesday Thursday Friday Saturday
        March 18 March 19 March 20
March 21 March 22 March 23 March 24 March 25 March 26 March 27
  March 29 March 30 March 31 April 1 April 2 April 3
April 4 April 5 April 6        

Project Summary

NOAA’s Biogeography Branch of the NOAA/NCCOS Center for Coastal Monitoring and Assessment (CCMA) will be conducting the seventh year of an ongoing seafloor mapping and characterization mission in the U.S. Caribbean aboard the NOAA Ship Nancy Foster. This work is funded by NOAA’s Coral Reef Conservation Program. Mission objectives are to:

  • Collect swath bathymetry and acoustical backscatter for seafloor habitat mapping
  • Collect fishery acoustics data in high priority areas, to assess species habitat preferences and possible spawning aggregations

Products from these missions are used to characterize and identify and areas for conservation. Products include: 1) underwater video and photographs with associated geographic locations; 2) processed depth imagery; 3) processed backscatter imagery; and 4) a habitat map describing the geographic location, physical structure, biological cover and live coral cover on the seafloor. All of this data and information is disseminated online using BIOMapper (Biogeography Integrated Online Mapper).

Figure 1. Map of the 2010 Mission Study Area off Puerto Rico and the U.S. Virgin Islands
Figure 1. Map of the 2010 Mission Study Area off Puerto Rico and the U.S. Virgin Islands

Mission Support Products

Cruise Plan (PDF includes cruise overview, personnel, points of contact, description of operations, data acquisition and QA/QC methods, equipment list and more)

Press Kit

Other Support Products

Crew lifting the remotely operated vehicle (ROV) kids in survival suits

Images: Crew lifting the remotely operated vehicle (ROV) used to collect video and high resolution photos of the seafloor; visiting students try on survival suits; and a map showing bathymetry of Bajo de Sico based on data from an earlier mission. Images provided by NOAA's Biogeography Branch.


Links to Related Projects

Mission Contacts