Hadal Ecosystem Expedition Takes Off
An international team of researchers is using the unique deepwater Hybrid ROV Nereus, and other advanced technology to explore life in the depths of the Kermadec Trench, which runs northeast from the North Island of New Zealand. The 40-day expedition, which began on April 12th, kicks off an ambitious three-year collaborative effort funded by the National Science Foundation (NSF). The goal of the project, known as Hadal Ecosystem Studies (HADES), is to conduct the first-ever systematic study of life in ocean trenches, comparing it to the neighboring abyssal plain at depths between 3,000 and 6,000 meters. Due to the extreme pressures of these deep-sea environments and the technical challenges involved in reaching them…
Schmidt Ocean Istitute Designing New Ultra-Deepwater Research HROV
Accessing to the world’s deepest ocean trenches has always been challenging and these have only been reached sporadically, leaving these areas virtually unexplored. The Woods Hole Oceanographic Institute’s (WHOI) Nereus, a proof of concept Hybrid Remotely Operated Vehicle (HROV), now being used on Schmidt Ocean Institute’s (SOI) Falkor and other research vessels, offers unprecedented access to the deepest regions for scientists, enabling systematic exploration and studies of deep trenches. There are a number of deepsea trenches at hadal depths around the globe worth exploring, highlighting to WHOI and SOI that they would have an exceedingly large area to cover with a single HROV.