Lophelia II 2012: Deepwater Platform Corals was a 12 day mission in the Gulf of Mexico sponsored by the Department of the Interior’s Bureau of Ocean Energy Management (BOEM) and NOAA. NURTEC provided its remotely operated vehicle, the Kraken2 (K2), that worked off from the research vessel the Brooks McCall, operated by TDI-Brooks. The mission was called Lophelia II after the deep-water coral Lophelia pertusa and focused on understanding the ecology of deep water corals and other invertebrates that inhabit oil and gas platforms in the Gulf of Mexico.
The expedition included lengthy, challenging yet successful ROV dives at four oil platforms and one subsea installation off the Louisiana, Mississippi, and Alabama coastline. K2 was used to conduct thorough video and photographic surveys of coral and other invertebrate communities living on the subsea structure of the platforms, extending as deep as 1000m. K2 was also used to collect biological specimens for museum display and genetic analysis as well as seawater and sediment samples for related ecological parameters. One of the mission highlights was the discovery of a new depth record for Lophelia at 799m on the Ram Powell platform. Click here for more information.