Posted: October 24, 2021

Follow the E/V Nautilus expeditions in Papahānaumokuākea Marine National Monument

ROV collecting a deep-sea specimen.
ROV Hercules collecting a specimen during a dive. Image by Ocean Exploration Trust

From late October through early December, researchers will conduct mapping operations and use remotely operated vehicles (ROVs) to investigate seamounts in Papahānaumokuākea Marine National Monument. You can follow along with seafloor mapping, interact with scientists, and watch live streamed ROV footage from the expedition on

November 15–December 6, 2021: Exploring ancient volcanoes

Coral overgrown with alga.

This expedition will involve mapping and ROV dives on unexplored seamounts located in Papahānaumokuākea Marine National Monument. Scientists will survey seamounts, document biological communities, and collect rock samples, specimens, and water samples. Follow along on

Photo: Squat lobster being collected by scientists in PMNM waters. Image by Ocean Exploration Trust

October 24- November 13, 2021: Mapping of Liliʻuokalani Seamounts

Coral overgrown with alga.

This expedition focused on multibeam and sub-bottom profiler mapping on the unmapped and unexplored Liliʻuokalani Seamounts. Mapping is a prerequisite for ROV dives in future expeditions, since it provides detailed visualization of the targeted features.

Photo: Bathymetric maps use color to indicate water depth. Colors on the “warm” end of the spectrum (red, orange, and yellow) represent shallower water. As the water deepens, the colors shift through green, blue, and violet. Image by Ocean Exploration Trust

As we visit Papahānaumokuākea, the ancestral homeland of the Native Hawaiian people and the largest marine conservation area in the U.S., we gratefully acknowledge generations of Indigenous Hawaiians and today’s stewards of these waters. Ocean Exploration Trust is working closely with PMNM collaborators to inform research priorities at sea and from shore, ensure culturally-grounded collection protocols, and connect with local communities through ship-to-shore connections, a virtual role model speaker series, and development of education resources in ‘Ōlelo Hawaiʻi (Hawaiian language). All of these efforts support opportunities to work with Native Hawaiians and to perpetuate the cultural values, knowledge, and practices of their cultural heritage while advancing modern science and exploration together.

For more information, visit Expeditions page or NOAA’s Office of National Marine Sanctuaries Ocean Exploration Trust 2021 Expedition page.