A field of anemones

Tuesday, August 9:

We launched Mola Mola early in the morning and despite a computer glitch that brought it up early, obtained some stunning bottom photos…much clearer than the ones we had gotten earlier because of far less marine snow in the water.

Launch of the Mola Mola

Launching the NIUST Mola Mola AUV from the Henry Bigelow. (Credit: Peter Rona, Rutgers University)

Large anemones are everywhere in great numbers, apparently regardless of substrate type. They are on the rocks and equally abundant on the mud. Among them are large numbers of shrimp, which we did not see in the previous dive. Like previous dives we are seeing deep sea red crabs, hake (species uncertain), flat fish (probably witch flounder), and monkfish.

sea seamenones, fish, crabs and shrimp

Sea anemones, fish, crabs amd shrimp in Hudson Canyon, photographed August 9, 2011 by the NIUST Mola Mola AUV. (Credit: NIUST)

On the acoustic front, we are close to producing a multibeam map of a portion of the tilefish habitat along the west side of the canyon. Single beam sonar continues to reveal a “wall effect” phenomenon in which plankton and fish aggregate along canyon walls centering around 200 m depth.

We performed still more CTD deployments with the rosette water sampler to search for the precise source(s) of dissolved methane that we had detected in deep water in the canyon in 2008 and 2009.

The weather was very calm today, perfect for Mola Mola operations; it may begin to blow up a bit tomorrow, putting those ops in question tomorrow.

Vince Guida
Chief Scientist
HB11-04 Habitat Mapping Cruise

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