Acoustic survey

Activity or Mini-Lesson:

Painting Rainbows On The Seafloor

In this hands-on STEAM activity, students will learn about modern multibeam mapping SONAR technology and the data products created using maps from a 2017 E/V Nautilus expedition to the Revillagigedo Archipelago in Mexico. After examining and interpreting different bathymetric maps produced by the Corps of Exploration, students will paint their own watercolor bathymetry in this art integration activity.

Activity or Mini-Lesson:

Shapes Of The Seafloor

Using the 5E method (Engage, Explore, Explain, Extend, Evaluate) students will gain an understanding of why seafloor mapping is a valuable tool in ocean exploration. With Play-Doh and shoe boxes, students will create their own simulated seafloor and use skewers to measure various depths to resemble what an ocean floor would look like.  This unit connects well to learning topographic maps and landforms. 

Teaching Animation or Graphic:

Multibeam Cutaway Teaching Graphic

Nautilus is equipped with an acoustic echosounder that simultaneously collects bathymetric, seafloor backscatter, and water column backscatter data to enable identification of areas or features of interest and the production of high-quality seafloor maps at depths to 7,000 meters (23,000 feet).

Whether focused on a canyon, seamount, or shipwreck, creating a map allows us to identify potential targets, cutting down exploration time and boosting our mission efficiency.

Teaching Animation or Graphic:

Undersea Navigation Teaching Animation

E/V Nautilus and ROV Hercules are each equipped with transponders to signal or ping to each other to provide a signal or range bearing. This method of "talking" to each other is used to determine and keep track of the location of the ROV.

Clips used in public presentations should be credited “Courtesy of Ocean Exploration Trust/ Nautilus Live."

Teaching Animation or Graphic:

Seafloor Mapping Teaching Animation

When exploring little-known regions of the ocean, we often need to create our own maps to plan efficient and safe operations. Nautilus is equipped with an acoustic echosounder that simultaneously collects bathymetric, seafloor backscatter, and water column backscatter data to enable identification of areas or features of interest and the production of high-quality seafloor maps at depths to 7,000 meters (23,000 feet).

STEM Learning Module:

Seafloor Mapping Simulation

Introduce students to multibeam sonar mapping using simulated sonar beams (wooden dowels) and “mystery seafloor” boxes with perforated lids and hidden landscapes. Students will use the dowel to measure returns then calculate the depth of their sonar soundings based on the speed of sound through water (basic conversions and algebraic equations). Students will infer the seafloor features based on the depth profiles created, and compare and analyze the differences between low and high-resolution sounding maps before revealing the true hidden landscape.

Activity or Mini-Lesson:

Seafloor Mapping Classroom Warm Up

This classroom warm up will help students understand why mapping is such an important component of ocean exploration. 

Whether focused on a canyon, seamount, or shipwreck, creating a map allows us to identify potential targets, cutting down exploration time and boosting our mission efficiency. Before ROVs are deployed, our team must first map the area to understand the characteristics of the region and identify potential benthic habitats, seeps, and other environments and resources worthy of exploration.