Photo album:

Exploring Keahole Point Precious Coral Bed

Created by Science Communication Fellow Daniella Griffay, a marine science teacher at Radford High School in Honolulu, Hawai’i.

During NA156 Ocean Exploration through Advanced Imaging, E/V Nautilus visited Keahole Point Precious Coral Bed, located off Keahole Point on the Kona Coast, where scientists explored a region home to an abundant and diverse coral population. 

To better understand coral species in the area, we deployed a new imaging technology known as the Widefield Camera Array System, which allowed for the creation of 3D models resembling these beautiful coral beds. 

Such models will be used to manage and study corals at this location and beyond, allowing for further comparisons determining how populations change and evolve over time. For example, a previous dive conducted in the region by the Hawaiian University Research Lab (HURL) built upon a previous 1975 exploration to determine that the coral bed was four times larger than initially believed. This increase, it is thought, was largely due to technological advances that allowed scientists to further explore the area in greater detail. 

Likewise, our survey will further expand our knowledge and understanding of the planet’s deepest ecosystems. 

Here, we’ve compiled deep-water corals viewed by scientists aboard Nautilus as part of NA156.