We are now diving on a site we are calling, “Kahalewai.” We spent all of yesterday conducting transit mapping and now know that this area contains a long stretch of flat abyssal seafloor, which is the largest habitat in the world. On an interesting note, we found no seamounts on our track until we got close to our dive site last night. Rising from the muddy abyss, a ~4,200-meter (~13,800-foot) seamount was mapped overnight – that’s about 11 times the size of the Empire State Building!
During today’s dive, we will explore at depths between 1,500 and 1,700 meters and hope to characterize and evaluate both the fauna and substrate of this area.
For more information about this expedition: http://oceanexplorer.noaa.gov/okeanos/explorations/ex1705/welcome.html