Alvin Makes an Exciting Coral Discovery

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On August 23, a team made up of Erik Cordes from Temple University, Cathy McFadden from Harvey Mudd College, and HOV Alvin pilot Bruce Strickrott made an exciting discovery off the coast of South Carolina: a previously unknown deep-water coral reef that may extend for more than 80 miles along the Southeast Coast of the U.S. They made the discovery during one of the first Alvin dives of the Deep Search 2018 expedition in a region previously mapped from the surface by NOAA's Okeanos Explorer. The long work to describe the reef, its many inhabitants, and its relationship to surface waters, including important commercial fisheries is just beginning, but it was made possible by a human presence in Alvin bringing their unique expertise and understanding directly to the seafloor. Watch the entire 8-hour dive compressed into three minutes. Camera provided by the WHOI MISO Facility. Video courtesy of Erik Cordes, Temple University, Deep Search (BOEM, USGS, NOAA OER), HOV Alvin, 2018, ©Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution.

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