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The Unknowns - East Coast

A rare 1715 Fleet gold coin was discovered in 2021 by a high school student south of Turtle Trail Beach, off the east coast of Florida. On a beach in St. Augustine, a man discovered a diamond ring in October that was worth roughly $40,000.

The Unknowns - East Coast

August 15 - September 28, 2021: NOAA Ocean Exploration conducted two telepresence-enabled exploratory ocean mapping expeditions on NOAA Ship Okeanos Explorer. These expeditions included 24-hour-a-day acoustic exploration mapping operations in areas generally deeper than 200 meters (656 feet) in U.S. waters off the east coast, with a focus on the Blake Plateau.

June 30 - July 29, 2021: NOAA Ocean Exploration and partners conducted a telepresence-enabled ocean exploration expedition on NOAA Ship Okeanos Explorer to collect critical baseline information about unknown and poorly understood deepwater areas off the eastern U.S. coast and high seas.

October-November 2019: From October 7 to November 7, 2019, scientists and engineers conducted a 29-day expedition aboard NOAA Ship Reuben Lasker along the California, Oregon, and Washington coasts, exploring the deep sea, one of the largest, but least known environments on Earth.

June 2017: A team of scientists aboard NOAA Ship Henry Bigelow spent 15 days at sea exploring canyon and slope habitats off the coast of the Northeast U.S. and Canada and sites in the Gulf of Maine with the Canadian remotely operated vehicle, ROPOS.

May - September 2016: The Ocean Exploration Trust embarked on a four-month expedition aboard Exploration Vessel (E/V) Nautilus. In its second year of exploring the eastern Pacific Ocean, Nautilus visited sites from British Columbia and along the west coast of North America down to southern California, including regions within several national marine sanctuaries.

August 2013: This was the final cruise in a four-year project to study submarine canyons along the continental slope of the Middle Atlantic coast. Submarine canyons are dominant features of the outer continental shelf and slope of the U.S. east coast from Cape Hatteras to the Gulf of Maine.

Deep-sea ecosystems represent the largest biome of the global biosphere, but knowledge of their biodiversity is still scant. The Mediterranean basin has been proposed as a hot spot of terrestrial and coastal marine biodiversity but has been supposed to be impoverished of deep-sea species richness. We summarized all available information on benthic biodiversity (Prokaryotes, Foraminifera, Meiofauna, Macrofauna, and Megafauna) in different deep-sea ecosystems of the Mediterranean Sea (200 to more than 4,000 m depth), including open slopes, deep basins, canyons, cold seeps, seamounts, deep-water corals and deep-hypersaline anoxic basins and analyzed overall longitudinal and bathymetric patterns. We show that in contrast to what was expected from the sharp decrease in organic carbon fluxes and reduced faunal abundance, the deep-sea biodiversity of both the eastern and the western basins of the Mediterranean Sea is similarly high. All of the biodiversity components, except Bacteria and Archaea, displayed a decreasing pattern with increasing water depth, but to a different extent for each component. Unlike patterns observed for faunal abundance, highest negative values of the slopes of the biodiversity patterns were observed for Meiofauna, followed by Macrofauna and Megafauna. Comparison of the biodiversity associated with open slopes, deep basins, canyons, and deep-water corals showed that the deep basins were the least diverse. Rarefaction curves allowed us to estimate the expected number of species for each benthic component in different bathymetric ranges. A large fraction of exclusive species was associated with each specific habitat or ecosystem. Thus, each deep-sea ecosystem contributes significantly to overall biodiversity. From theoretical extrapolations we estimate that the overall deep-sea Mediterranean biodiversity (excluding prokaryotes) reaches approximately 2805 species of which about 66% is still undiscovered. Among the biotic components investigated (Prokaryotes excluded), most of the unknown species are within the phylum Nematoda, followed by Foraminifera, but an important fraction of macrofaunal and megafaunal species also remains unknown. Data reported here provide new insights into the patterns of biodiversity in the deep-sea Mediterranean and new clues for future investigations aimed at identifying the factors controlling and threatening deep-sea biodiversity. 041b061a72


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