The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) Center for Coastal Monitoring and Assessment (CCMA) Biogeography Team conducted the fourth year of an ongoing scientific research mission. The objective of this project was to collect a multibeam bathymetry dataset with 100% seafloor ensonification, along with multibeam backscatter suitable for seafloor characterisation in high-priority conservation areas within Puerto Rico. Scientists collected high-resolution multibeam in mid-water depths from approximately 10 to 1000 metres. The multibeam data was collected to conform to IHO Order 1 (<100m) and Order 2 (>100m) accuracy standards. The strategies developed for each survey area took into account the minimum depths, general bathymetry and time allotment. The delineation and identification of seafloor habitats was assisted by the use of a moderate-depth drop camera. The vehicle has video and frame camera capability to depths of 300 meters and was used for point sampling within areas mapped during the mission.
Timothy W Battista (NOAA Center for Coastal Monitoring and Assessment)
Puerto Rico (Abrir La Sierra Bank, Bajo De Cico, Isla De Mona)