2012 ECS Atlantic Mission
July 2 – July 17
The NOAA ship, Ron Brown, collected bathymetric data in the southeast Atlantic this summer in support of the U.S. Extended Continental Shelf Project. The ship successfully mapped nearly 65,000 square kilometers, an area equivalent to the size of West Virginia. Specifically, scientists used a multibeam echosounder to collect bathymetric data that provide high-resolution information about the depth and shape of the seafloor. These data are necessary for the U.S. to delineate the continental shelf beyond 200 nautical miles, often called the Extended Continental shelf or ECS. The ECS off the Atlantic is a substantial area that may extend as far as 350 nautical miles from the Atlantic coast. The Chief Scientist for this cruise was Captain Andy Armstrong from the Joint Hydrographic Center, a joint program between NOAA and the University of New Hampshire.