Seascape Alaska 2023


From May – October, 2023, scientists aboard NOAA Ship Okeanos Explorer collected multibeam bathymetry data off Alaska’s southern coastline in an effort to map and characterize these poorly understood waters. The data collected contributed to Seascape Alaska, an interdisciplinary collaborative campaign that seeks to map, explore, and overall improve our understanding of the uncharted waters off the coast of Alaska. There were 5 expeditions in total (pictured below), during each of which multibeam data was collected and ROV dives were conducted using NOAA ROVs Deep Discoverer and Seirios. The primary regions of study were the Gulf of Alaska, Aleutian Trench, and Aleutian Islands.

expedition locations

During the Seascape Alaska 2023 expeditions, a total of 27 ROV dives were conducted, collecting detailed annotated dive videos, as well as biologic, geologic, and water column samples. A total of 94 primary biological and 38 geological samples were collected during the dives, which spanned a significant depth range of 250 – 4,300 meters. Alongside the ROV dives, extensive seafloor mapping was underway. In the end, a total of 285,000 square kilometers of Alaska’s seafloor were mapped.

The BEAMS Program has been following this series of expeditions closely. In both the Fall 2023 and Spring 2024 BEAMS research classes, students exclusively used Seascape Alaska data as they were collected, following each expedition and dive with bated breath. In Spring 2024, these ROV dive and multibeam bathymetry data were analyzed extensively by students enrolled in Explore The Seafloor, a new BEAMS special topics course. In this course, students generated a total of 11 ROV dive overview videos and corresponding bathymetric maps, all of which can be viewed here.

EX2304: Seascape Alaska 3 – Aleutians Remotely Operated Vehicle Exploration and Mapping

EX2306: Seascape Alaska 5 – Gulf of Alaska Remotely Operated Vehicle Exploration and Mapping