Diverse Coral Communities of King George Seamount


We’re exploring Papahānaumokuākea’s Lili'uokalani Ridge Seamounts and have already experienced a diversity of corals in a variety of colors, shapes, and sizes. During the first dive of the Luʻuaeaahikiikekumu expedition, we recorded this footage while exploring the southern ridge of King George Seamount. Some of the many coral species identified are soft corals like Chrysogorgia and Siphonogorgia. Soft corals lack stony skeletons and are often soft and bendable and may even resemble plants we see on land. These animals tend to live in colonies like the ones seen here.

Our return to the monument will build on the accomplishments of the 2021 Luʻuaeaahikiikalipolipo expedition, which mapped the previously unmapped Lili'uokalani Ridge Seamounts. We’re now diving on these seamounts to survey for biodiversity with expectations to find rich coral and sponge communities which are commonly found on seamounts of these depths throughout PMNM.

This expedition is funded by NOAA Ocean Exploration via the Ocean Exploration Cooperative Institute with additional support from the NOAA Office of National Marine Sanctuaries.