Perth Canyon: first deep sea exploration

A group of acclaimed scientists will go where few others have gone before when they set out to unlock the secrets of a deep ocean canyon off Perth the size of the Grand Canyon in the US.

A research team headed by The University of Western Australia’s Oceans Institute’s Professor Malcolm McCulloch, together with researchers from theWestern Australian Museum, Commonwealth Scientific and Industrial Research Organisation (CSIRO), and the Institute of Marine Sciences in Italy. will be among the first to explore life in the vast Perth Canyon, about 50km off Fremantle.

Professor McCulloch will lead the research team’s expedition on board the Schmidt Ocean Institute’s Research Vessel, R/V Falkor, during a 12-day trip departing on Sunday, 1 March.

Researchers will use a deep-diving remotely operated vehicle (ROV) to discover and collect deep-sea corals and sea water from the canyon.  Chemical and biological analyses of these rare samples will provide critical new data about the canyon’s marine ecosystems.  This will help determine the likely future impacts of warming seas and ocean acidification on the deep-sea life and waters in these remote and previously inaccessible habitats.

If you would like to find out how they fare, visit the blog