Deep Sea Dive Lab

Part 1: Background Information

Image from:  NOAA

Image from: NOAA

  1. During this lab activity you will be making use of bathymetric map and oblique map. How are the two different? How are the two the same?(Hint: you might look up the definition of oblique.)
  2. The goal for this lab is to plan a submersible dive in Monterey Bay Canyon using the manned submersible Deep Worker 2000.  Click on the link and read about your submersible. Record the information required below.
    • Size Length/Width/ Height:
    • Speed (note – 1 knot = 1.15 mph = 1.85 kmh):
    • Accommodations for:
  3. The Deep Worker was designed to be highly intuitive to operate and easy to drive. From the same link, write a brief description of how you drive this submersible.
  4. From the same link, describe how the submersible is taken out to sea and deployed.
  5. For your mission, you must also select a NOAA research vessel.  Click on the link to learn about vessels in the fleet.  Consider the vessels size, submersible deployment capabilities, and home port, then record answers to the following questions.
  • What vessel did you select and what were the reasons you selected it?
  • How large is the ship?
  • What is its range and speed?
  • How many crew (scientific and non-scientific) will it hold?

Part 2: Planning your Dives

You will be planning a dive in Monterey Bay National Marine Sanctuary. Click on the link to take a look at the interactive map of the Sanctuary. You may also want to look at the bathymetric and oblique maps given to you in class. The goal of you mission to make as many biological observations as possible. To do this you will want to look at different habitat types such as; canyon walls, mid-water, and sea floor bottom and different types of substrate. Examine a map of the substrate of Monterey Bay and describe the location of one part of the canyon that looks interesting to you.

It is important that you not exceed the time or depth limitations for your dive, so do some math, and record your answers.

  • What is deep workers max speed (in km)?
  • What is the maximum depth that deep worker can achieve?
  • What depth range are most living things likely to be found in?
  • Deep thruster batteries can work for 6 hours. What is the maximum range (in km) you could cover?
  • It does not make sense for you to race through your dive. You are there to make observations. In addition, you are not traveling a straight line, you dive will include lots of up’s and downs. Lets assume that you will travel at a rate equal to one third of the Deep Worker’s maximum Speed (or maybe even less). At this rate, what distance can you reasonably expect your dive to cover (in km)?
  • Taking into account the goals of your mission, your habitat and substrate requirements, and your depth and distance limitations draw on your map an approximate transect of you dive.

Part 3:Preview your Dive

  1. Once you have selected a region to dive, open up Google Earth. Type in “Monterey Bay”. Spend some time exploring the area. Use your controls to trace out your dive in three dimensions, under water.
  2. Use the thumb tack feature to mark the start and ending points of your dive, as well as any point at which you make a significant turn. Label each tack as point 1, point 2, etc. Record the exact latitude and longitude of your dives beginning _________ and ending __________.
  3. Now use the “path feature” feature to trace out your transect. Using this took you can make as many turns as you want. Before you are done with the path tool, be sure to check its measurement (in km). Is it within your dive limitations? Finally, under “altitude” set your path to seafloor bottom and give your path a name.
  4. Use the record feature to record your dive in three dimensions. You may have to practice this a few times before you get it right. Once you hit the record button, you can follow your transect line using the hand or using the lower set of arrows. The upper set of arrows control with way you are looking, and the +/_ toggle bar controls your altitude. Clearly you need to be underwater (check the eye elevation) but you also need to stay above -600 m in depth. Stop where you think it would be interesting to stop, and try to move slowly through your dive. Finally, you can also record your voice in the recording, if you want to narrate your tour.
  5. When you are satisfied with your recording, show your recording to your teacher and get their initials on your paper. __________

Part 4: Biological observations

By New Zealand-American Submarine Ring of Fire 2005 Exploration; NOAA Vents Program (NOAA Photo Library) [Public domain], via Wikimedia Commons

By New Zealand-American Submarine Ring of Fire 2005 Exploration; NOAA Vents Program (NOAA Photo Library) [Public domain], via Wikimedia Commons

  1. Check out the Life in the Deep Interactive feature from Monterey Bay Aquarium. Examine the video from each of the habitats listed describe what they physically look like. Watch the videos and describe two species from each you might expect see during your dive.
      • Canyon Walls
        • Physical Conditions (what does it look like)
        • Species (descriptions)
      • Midwater
        • Physical Conditions (what does it look like)
        • Species (descriptions)
      • Seafloor
        • Physical Conditions (what does it look like)
        • Species (descriptions)