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Discovery of a New Deep Chemosynthetic Community

May 9, 2013

Originally posted on Deepwater Canyons:

Mussel Bed

The vast mussel community was found on flat bottom as well as on rocks rising a meter or more off the seafloor. Image courtesy of Deepwater Canyons 2013 Expedition, NOAA-OER/BOEM/USGS

by the Deepwater Canyons Project Science Team

Fish in deep seep mussels

An unidentified deep-sea fish, perhaps a relative of Brotulas, rests among the mussels. Image courtesy of Deepwater Canyons 2013 Expedition, NOAA-OER/BOEM/USGS

Methane Seep

Methane gas bubbles rise from the seafloor – this type of activity, originally noticed by the Okeanos Explorer in 2012 on a multibeam sonar survey, is what led scientists to the area. Image courtesy of Deepwater Canyons 2013 Expedition, NOAA-OER/BOEM/USGS

After several days of lost dives due to bad weather, and making dives under difficult conditions, we are today in calm seas exploring an area that was discovered last year during a NOAA mapping cruise.  While conducting a seafloor survey, the NOAA ship Okeanos Explorer found bubbles coming from the seafloor at a site south…

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