This 24-day expedition will involve multibeam and sub-bottom profiler mapping to reveal the seafloor within the Johnston Atoll Unit of Pacific Remote Island Marine National Monument (PRIMNM). Johnston Atoll, one of the most isolated atolls globally, is located in the central Pacific Ocean, between the Hawaiian Islands and the Line Islands. The main objective of this expedition will be to collect high-resolution seafloor bathymetry data where it has not been previously collected. In 2014, the boundaries of PRIMNM expanded encompassing a large seafloor area that was unmapped. Discoveries and data revealed on this expedition will inform planning for ROV dives on a follow-on expedition examining areas of prime deep sea coral and sponge habitat.
This project will directly support the National Strategy for Ocean Mapping, Exploring, and Characterizing the United States Exclusive Economic Zone by contributing to mapping the deep waters of the US EEZ along with the Biden-Harris administration’s executive order on tackling the climate crisis at home and abroad (30x30); the GEBCO-Nippon Foundation’s Seabed 2030 program; and the United Nations’ Decade for Ocean Science for Sustainable Development.
This expedition is funded by NOAA Ocean Exploration.