This album highlights the dives on July 1, 2013. Hercules and Argus explored a coral site on the bottom of the ocean and then dove on the Florida Escarpment. The Escarpment is an approximately 1000 meters tall cliff and begins at the ocean floor at around 2500 meters below the surface of the ocean. As we traveled up the cliff, we saw a diversity of corals, as well as sponges and other creatures.
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.