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Deep search: Deep sea exploration to advance research on coral/canyon/cold seep habitats

March 1, 2019

Led by the Bureau of Ocean Energy Management (BOEM), the United States Geological Survey (USGS), and OER is an interagency partnership to explore and characterize sensitive deepwater habitats of the U.S. mid- and south Atlantic deep-sea habitats. Sponsored by the National Oceanographic Partnership Program, the study has brought together scientists from six U.S. academic institutions and five USGS science centers for a multi-year research program.

By exploring and characterizing biological communities in the study area, examining their sensitivity to natural and human disturbance, and describing the oceanographic, geological, geochemical, and acoustic conditions associated with each habitat type, DEEP SEARCH will improve our ability to predict the location of seafloor communities off the coast of the Southeastern U.S. that are potentially sensitive to disturbance. This area encompasses a variety of different habitat types, including submarine canyons, methane seeps, coral mounds, and soft sediments.