Exploration of the Black, Aegean, and Mediterranean Seas Aboard E/V Nautilus


In the summer of 2012, the Exploration Vessel (E/V) Nautilus undertook a two-month expedition to the Black, Aegean, and Mediterranean Seas. The primary goal of the Nautilus is to create a focus of international leadership for the development and integration of leading-edge technologies, educational programs, field operations, and public outreach programs for ocean exploration, in partnership with the NOAA Office of Ocean Exploration, National Geographic Society, Office of Naval Research, and corporate partners. To do so, the program uses a complement of deep submergence vehicle systems and telepresence technologies to engage scientists, educators and the public, both at sea and ashore, allowing them to become integral members of the on-board exploration team. When discoveries are made, experts ashore are notified and brought aboard virtually within a short period of time to help guide shipboard response before the ship moves on. The 2012 expedition is comprised of four areas of interest. Extensive sidescan mapping took place off the Turkish coasts of the southern Black Sea and eastern Aegean Sea, and was followed by remotely operated vehicle (ROV) dives on targets of archaeological, geological, and biological interest. In the Black Sea, additional work was done on the porewater chemistry of the sediments in the oxic, suboxic, and anoxic zones. Nautilus returned to the Anaximander Seamounts, including Kazan, Amserdam, Thessaloniki, and Athina, to further explore active and formerly active seep sites located in 2010. Finally, based on biological and geological discoveries made on Eratosthenes Seamount in the eastern Mediterranean Sea, we returned to further study chemosynthetic vent communities and tectonic processes.


Center for Coastal and Ocean Mapping

Publication Date


Journal or Conference Title

Fall Meeting, American Geophysical Union (AGU)

Conference Date

Dec 3 - Dec 7, 2012

Publisher Place

San Francisco, CA, United States


American Geophysical Union Publications

Document Type

Conference Proceeding