Ocean Exploration and Undersea Research
Explore these research areas in more detail:
- New approaches, such as advanced sea floor observatories
and human-occupied habitats, provide invaluable opportunities for long-term
monitoring and continuity of observations. Ships, submersibles, new
diving technologies and observation tools allow us to examine the oceans
in systematic, scientific and noninvasive ways.
- A primary product of exploration is new and improved maps that characterize
ocean regions and document physical, biological, geological, chemical,
and archaeological aspects of the ocean. NOAA efforts include high-resolution
bathymetric mapping, comprehensive mapping of benthic habitats and monitoring
- Thickets of corals found in dark frigid waters serve as habitat for
diverse organisms including fish and invertebrate communities. Like
trees, they add annual growth rings that are important indicators of
past climates. Deep-sea coral ecosystems provide a rich biodiversity
that may be a future source of novel bio-compounds for development by
pharmaceutical and biotechnology industries.
- Over 70% of the earth's volcanic activity takes place beneath the
sea surface, where it has an impact on deep ocean mixing, the global
chemical and heat balance, and ancient biological communities. NOAA
Research utilizes exploration, long-term time series observations, remote
monitoring, and innovative oceanographic instrumentation to look at
effects on the oceans of deep-sea volcanoes and hydrothermal systems.