2012 Nautilus Expedition Summary
During July and August of 2012, Exploration Vessel Nautilus will carry out an expedition to explore the Black Sea, Aegean Sea and Mediterranean Sea off the coasts of Turkey and Cyprus. Our rotating Corps of Exploration aboard Nautilus will be mapping the geological, biological, archaeological and chemical aspects of these regions to depths of approximately 2000 meters. During the expedition, we will be sharing our discoveries live on the web via telepresence technology, putting the unexplored ocean directly in your hands.
The 2012 expedition consists of four separate cruise legs and will begin off the northern coast of Turkey in the Southern Black Sea. Our second leg brings Nautilus south to the submerged Anaximander Mountains off the southern coast of Turkey in the Mediterranean Sea. After a brief port stop, our third leg will explore the Eratosthenes Seamount off the southern coast of Cyprus and then head north to conduct mapping operations in the Southeast Aegean Sea near Bodrum, Turkey.
E/V Nautilus is a 211-foot research vessel equipped with state-of-the-art exploration and telepresence technology. Our primary remotely operated vehicles (ROVs) on board, named Hercules and Argus, will be used to view the seafloor with high definition video, take environmental measurements and collect geological and biological samples. Our two secondary exploration tools, the towfish named Diana and Echo, will be utilizing side-scan and subbottom sonar technology to explore the seafloor and seek out compelling targets for closer investigation and study.
Dr. Robert Ballard and Dr. Katherine Croff Bell of the Ocean Exploration Trust will lead the expedition, which includes a rotating team of more than 100 scientists, engineers and educators as they explore these poorly understood regions of the world’s oceans. Our operations aboard Nautilus will be conducted by a team of engineers from the Institute for Exploration based at the Mystic Aquarium in Connecticut. All of the video and data that we collect will be transmitted via satellite to the Inner Space Center, located at the University of Rhode Island Graduate School of Oceanography, where Dr. Ballard is a professor of oceanography. From this “mission control,” our live feeds will be broadcast on the web so that anyone in the world can be a part of the exploration as it happens.