Ocean Service Vessel(OSV) Bold: Seafloor Research Cruise
SATURDAY, JUNE 19 – Observing the seafloor using a high tech underwater video camera fascinates the entire crew. Each drop of the camera brings a new mosaic of geology, flora, and fauna into view. The video display from various stations may show boulders with attached seaweed, sandy bottom with sand dollars and small fish, or broad expanses of apparently featureless mud. We have also seen sea stars, shrimp, cunner (a small fish that lives on the seafloor), anemones, shells, and an assortment of seaweeds ranging from beautiful red encrusting algae to swaying kelp.
The scientific party is also collecting sediment samples that will help us gain a better understanding of seafloor habitat. The samples will be analyzed for both the size of the sediment (sand/silt/clay) and the number and types of organisms living in the sediment. Many species have specific habitat preferences, so accurate mapping of seafloor sediments is essential for a better understanding of our biological resources.
After 24 hours of round the clock effort, we have sampled 43 stations. If the weather and the crew hold up, we are aiming to visit as many as 300 stations.