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Data Mining to Support Deep-Sea Coral and Sponge Research in Alaska

Project Goal

To review and analyze archived deep-sea video footage and document locations of deep-sea corals in the Aleutian Islands and throughout Alaskan waters. Also, to produce a database containing coral locations and habitat data that can be used in future efforts to model coral habitat in the region.

Geographic Location

North Pacific, Alaska


Coral locations in the central Aleutian Islands and elsewhere in Alaska will be identified by analyzing existing video footage collected with the submersible Delta and the remotely operated vehicle (ROV) Jason II. The footage covers 100s of kilometers of seafloor (depths 190-2800 meters). A database containing the spatial location of key coral and sponge taxa and habitat information such as substrate type, depth, and seafloor roughness will be linked with metadata for each dive.

Importance to Management

This project will provide new coral location data that may help elucidate the location of high abundance areas of corals that should rank as a high priority for closer examination (i.e. in situ observations and supplemental seafloor mapping) during the upcoming field research planned for the North Pacific Fishery Council Region in 2012-2014. These new data can also be used to augment already funded coral habitat modeling efforts in the region.


Project webpage: http://ccma.nos.noaa.gov/about/biogeography/proj_theme.aspx
BOEM Potential Hard Bottom Geodatabase: http://www.boemre.gov/offshore/mapping/SeismicWaterBottomAnomalies.htm

Fiscal Year 2011 Funding


Point of Contact

Robert Stone, Bob.Stone@noaa.gov