Researchers are heading to the wreck site of the Titanic to investigate its marine life and ecosystem.
The research will take place in 2022 during the OceanGate Expedition. The first-of-its kind survey will be conducted by a team of renowned scientists and researchers. The team will be led by Dr. Steve W. Ross, research professor at the University of North Carolina at Wilmington.
The expedition aims to investigate the life on the Titanic since the wreck lies at a depth of 3,800m/12467ft in the middle of the Abyssal Plain, making it a beacon for life. Scientists will use the five-crewmember Titan submersible as a platform to conduct their research.
Commenting on the expedition, OceanGate Expeditions President Stockton Rush stated:
“It was fascinating to observe numerous creatures during our dives to the Titanic in 2021. We are privileged to have Dr. Ross shepherding this unprecedented project that promises to shed light on this remarkable underwater community. Dr. Ross brings some 45 years of deep ocean research experience to the 2022 Titanic Expedition. Dr. Ross has authored many frequently cited studies of deep sea corals and fish populations in submarine canyons and other locations, and he will be integral to uncovering the mysteries of this unique undersea habitat.”
While Ross stated:
“Previous dives to the Titanic have focused mostly on the wreck and associated archaeology. We are seeking to compile a list of every living creature we can identify inhabiting the Titanic wreck site to understand this unique deep-sea ecosystem. This has never been attempted before. Unlike ROVs (remotely operated vehicles), using direct observation from the Titan submersible provides a better depth of field and a fuller impression of what the surrounding environment is like. We want to understand what sustains the fish and corals that make this deep ocean artificial reef their home, what is in the water column, and add a biological layer to the GIS mapping effort that began during last year’s expedition. In addition to collecting important ecological and archaeological data, we hope this new information will also contribute to conservation of the wreck site.”
You can find out more about Ocean Gate Expeditions here or check out a video of the 2021 expedition below.