These photos were taken on June 28, 2013 in the Gulf of Mexico. The team was exploring an area of the seafloor at approximately 1,000 meters depth. The coral communities in this exact location had never been imaged before. This album highlights the invertebrates discovered while exploring the coral reef habitat.
The ECOGIG expedition is part of a larger research program focused on examining the ecosystem-level response to oil and gas in the Gulf of Mexico. This research group, the ECOGIG Consortium, is made up of scientists from a wide variety of disciplines studying current flow, ocean chemistry, microbial activity, deep-sea coral communities, and everything in between. The group is looking primarily at natural oil and gas seepage into the Gulf, but using these natural processes to learn more about what happened after the Deepwater Horizon oil spill of 2010.