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Investigations of Chemosynthetic Communities on the Lower Continental Slope of the Gulf of Mexico 2006
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    fileIdentifier:  DeepSlope2006
    language:  eng; USA
    characterSet:  (MD_CharacterSetCode) utf8
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    hierarchyLevelName:  collection-level metadata
    contact:  (CI_ResponsibleParty)
        organisationName:  NOAA/OAR/OER - Ocean Exploration and Research
        contactInfo:  (CI_Contact)
            phone:  (CI_Telephone)
                voice:  301-734-1014
                facsimile:  301-713-4252
            address:  (CI_Address)
                deliveryPoint:  1315 East-West Hwy, SSMC3, #10210
                city:  Silver Spring
                administrativeArea:  MD
                postalCode:  20910
                country:  USA
                electronicMailAddress:  oceanexplorer@noaa.gov
            hoursOfService:  8am-5pm, Monday through Friday
            contactInstructions:
        role:  (CI_RoleCode) resourceProvider
    dateStamp:  2009-11-30
    metadataStandardName:  ISO 19115-2 Geographic Information - Metadata - Part 2: Extensions for Imagery and Gridded Data
    metadataStandardVersion:  ISO 19115-2:2009
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    identificationInfo:  (MD_DataIdentification)
        citation:  (CI_Citation)
            title:  Investigations of Chemosynthetic Communities on the Lower Continental Slope of the Gulf of Mexico 2006
            date:  (CI_Date)
                date:  2006
                dateType:  (CI_DateTypeCode) publication
            citedResponsibleParty:  (CI_ResponsibleParty)
                contactInfo:  (CI_Contact)
                    onlineResource:  (CI_OnlineResource)
                        linkage: http://www.ncddc.noaa.gov/website/google_maps/OE/mapsOE.htm?survey=
                        name:  OER Digital Atlas
                        function:  (CI_OnLineFunctionCode) information
                role:  (CI_RoleCode) pointOfContact
        abstract:  A total of 24 Alvin dives were made at 10 sites. Chemosynthetic communities were found at all of the sites, along with hydrocarbon seepage, carbonates, and occasional brine seeps. Seep-related megafaunal communities were sampled at each site. Bathymodiolid mussels, representing at least four different species, were sampled from every site visited. Vestimentiferan tubeworms were visually confirmed at every site except one, and the tubeworms were collected from seven sites. Four of the 10 sites had diverse and densely populated seep communities and topographically complex sea-floor geology. These four sites became our key sampling locations: Atwater Valley Block 340 (2,200 m depth), Green Canyon Block 852 (1,410 m depth), Alaminos Canyon Block 601 (2,340 m depth), and Alaminos Canyon Block 818 (2,740 m depth). Two of the most important chemosynthetic faunal groups are the bathymodiolid mussels and vestimentiferan tubeworms. Prior to the Alvin cruise, the depth occurrence interval for Bathymodiolus childressi was established with a range from 500 to 2,200 m. For another mussel, Bathymodiolus heckerae, sample collections made during this cruise extended the depth range for this species. Previously, this species had never been observed shallower than 2,220 m and was never found with B. childressi. The mussel with the widest depth range was found to be Bathymodiolus brooksi, which is the most common mussel found in middle and lower slope depths. Based on tubeworm collections, Escarpia laminata was found to be the dominant species below water depths of about 1,400 m. An undescribed species of tubeworm, Lamellibranchia sp., was found to be abundant on the mid-slope between water depths of 1,100 to 2,300 m. Regarding slope-wide faunal changes, our collections indicated that along-slope changes were not significant, but depth-dependent changes were particularly apparent in the mussels and tubeworms. The communities of organisms associated with tubeworms and mussels at lower-slope seep sites were found to be quite different than upper slope (less than 1,000 m) communities. Gastropods and mollusks are dominant on the shallow slope while brittle stars, holothurians (sea cucumbers), and heart urchins are most abundant in middle-to-lower slope depths. Gorgonians were observed at most sites, while large colonies of bamboo corals were present at Alaminos Canyon 645. An extensive coral community, including Scleractinian and hard corals and several octocorals, were observed on large carbonate boulders at Green Canyon 852. A voucher specimen of the hard coral, Enallopsammia rostrata, was collected at a water depth of 1,397 m, which extended the depth range of this species. Another interesting find was a large brine lake at one of our deepest sites, Alaminos Canyon 601. The brine lake was approximately 4 m deep and 180 m wide. The salinity of the lake brine was about 2 times that of sea water, and white "flocs" were found floating in the brine. The white "flocs" were observed on the lake bottom and concentrated at the "shoreline." This white material was later determined to be barium sulfate (barite), a high specific gravity mineral used in drilling mud. However, this occurrence of barite is natural and did not result from drilling for oil and gas. There was no animal life visible in the brine, and after analyzing core samples, researchers found no animal life at the brine lake bottom, either. Heart urchin and mussel communities were distributed in patches around the lake edge. Results from this cruise confirm the widespread existence of hydrocarbon seep habitats and their chemosynthetic communities on the middle and lower parts of the continental slope. The cross-slope and along-slope variability in the geology and geochemistry of these deep-sea seeps suports a surprisingly high density of biological communities. Hydrocarbon seepage sustains life to the deepest parts of the Gulf of Mexico, and highly productive chemosynthetic communities are not limited to water depths shallower than 1,000 m.
        purpose:  To determine the along-slope and cross-slope changes in species diversity and abundance in chemosynthetic communities and their geological settings.
        status:  (MD_ProgressCode) completed
        pointOfContact:  (CI_ResponsibleParty)
            individualName:  Dr. Charles Fisher
            organisationName:  Penn State University
            positionName:  Professor of Biology
            contactInfo:  (CI_Contact)
                phone:  (CI_Telephone)
                    voice:  814-865-3365
                address:  (CI_Address)
                    deliveryPoint:  Department of Biology
                    deliveryPoint:  208 Mueller Lab
                    city:  University Park
                    administrativeArea:  PA
                    postalCode:  16802
                    country:  USA
                    electronicMailAddress:  cfisher@psu.edu
            role:  (CI_RoleCode)
        descriptiveKeywords:  (MD_Keywords)
            keyword:  EARTH SCIENCE > Oceans
            type:  (MD_KeywordTypeCode) theme
            thesaurusName: (inapplicable)
        descriptiveKeywords:  (MD_Keywords)
            keyword:  Ocean Exploration
            keyword:  hydrocarbon seep
            keyword:  minerals management service
            keyword:  mms
            keyword:  atlantis
            keyword:  cold seeps
            keyword:  alvin
            keyword:  international
            keyword:  coral communities
            type:  (MD_KeywordTypeCode) theme
            thesaurusName: (inapplicable)
        descriptiveKeywords:  (MD_Keywords)
            keyword:  expedition
            keyword:  exploration
            keyword:  explorer
            keyword:  marine education
            keyword:  noaa
            keyword:  ocean discovery
            keyword:  ocean education
            keyword:  ocean exploration
            keyword:  ocean exploration and research
            keyword:  ocean literacy
            keyword:  ocean research
            keyword:  science
            keyword:  scientific mission
            keyword:  sea
            keyword:  stewardship
            keyword:  systematic exploration
            keyword:  technology
            keyword:  transformational research
            keyword:  undersea
            keyword:  underwater
            type:  (MD_KeywordTypeCode) theme
            thesaurusName: (inapplicable)
        descriptiveKeywords:  (MD_Keywords)
            keyword:  North Atlantic Ocean
            keyword:  Gulf of Mexico
            type:  (MD_KeywordTypeCode) place
            thesaurusName: (inapplicable)
        resourceConstraints:  (MD_LegalConstraints)
            accessConstraints:  (MD_RestrictionCode) otherRestrictions
            useConstraints:  (MD_RestrictionCode) otherRestrictions
            otherConstraints:  Data use shall be credited to NOAA Office of Ocean Exploration and Research. No data access constraints, unless data are protected under the National Historic Preservation Act of 1966.
        aggregationInfo:  (MD_AggregateInformation)
            aggregateDataSetName:  (CI_Citation)
                title:  NOAA Office of Ocean Exploration and Research
                date: (inapplicable)
                citedResponsibleParty:  (CI_ResponsibleParty)
                    contactInfo:  (CI_Contact)
                        phone:  (CI_Telephone)
                            voice:  (301) 734-1014
                            facsimile:  (301) 713-4252
                        address:  (CI_Address)
                            deliveryPoint:  1315 East-West Highway, SSMC#3, #10210
                            city:  Silver Spring
                            administrativeArea:  Maryland
                            postalCode:  20910
                            country:  USA
                            electronicMailAddress:  oceanexplorer@noaa.gov
                        onlineResource:  (CI_OnlineResource)
                            linkage: http://oceanexplorer.noaa.gov/
                            name:  NOAA Office of Ocean Exploration and Research Ocean Explorer Website
                            function:  (CI_OnLineFunctionCode) information
                    role:  (CI_RoleCode) pointOfContact
            associationType:  (DS_AssociationTypeCode) largerWorkCitation
            initiativeType:  (DS_InitiativeTypeCode) program
        language:  eng; USA
        topicCategory:  (MD_TopicCategoryCode) oceans
        extent:  (EX_Extent)
            geographicElement:  (EX_GeographicBoundingBox)
                westBoundLongitude:  -95.2
                eastBoundLongitude:  -88.2
                southBoundLatitude:  21.6
                northBoundLatitude:  29.2
            temporalElement:  (EX_TemporalExtent)
                extent:
                  TimePeriod:
                    beginPosition:  2006-05-07
                    endPosition:  2006-06-02
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    distributionInfo:  (MD_Distribution)
        transferOptions:  (MD_DigitalTransferOptions)
            onLine:  (CI_OnlineResource)
                linkage: https://oceanexplorer.noaa.gov/explorations/06mexico/welcome.html
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    metadataMaintenance:  (MD_MaintenanceInformation)
        maintenanceAndUpdateFrequency: (unknown)
        contact:  (CI_ResponsibleParty)
            organisationName:  DOC/NOAA/NESDIS/NCEI > National Centers for Environmental Information, NESDIS, NOAA, U.S. Department of Commerce
            contactInfo:  (CI_Contact)
                phone:  (CI_Telephone)
                    voice:  (228) 688-2936
                    facsimile:  (228) 688-2968
                address:  (CI_Address)
                    deliveryPoint:  1021 Balch Blvd.
                    city:  Stennis Space Center
                    administrativeArea:  MS
                    postalCode:  39529
                    country:  USA
                    electronicMailAddress:  oer.info.mgmt@noaa.gov
                hoursOfService:  8:00 - 5:00 CST
            role:  (CI_RoleCode) pointOfContact