Jaya Roperez, of the South and West Pacific Regional Center (SaWPaC) for the Nippon Foundation-GEBCO Seabed 2030 project, shares her experience of helping to 'Map The Gaps'.
DSSV Pressure Drop transit mapping from Guam to Japan, Photo credit: Alan Dankool
On 6th September 2021 - DSSV Pressure Drop finished a 7-day transit mapping from Guam to Japan - in collaboration with SaWPaC Regional Center.
The Center worked closely with the vessel crew to maximize the transit by helping plan the route to cover some data gaps. With no ocean mapper onboard, the mapping operations were conducted with the support of the vessel’s enthusiastic crew while the Kongsberg Maritime EM124 multibeam and the processing computer were being operated remotely in New Zealand.
Through this collaboration, the vessel managed to have nineteen percent of its transit data covering targeted data gaps that will be defined as multibeam data in the next GEBCO compilation.
When Captain Dankool was asked what he thought about the operation, he said, “During this current global pandemic, COVID travel restrictions have not allowed a professional mapper to join DSSV Pressure Drop. Being able to carry out transit mapping operations remotely has been an enlightening experience. Utilizing our EM124, seeing how simple it can be done, easy to set-up and straight forward procedures, I would certainly expect to see a lot more research ships utilizing this remote method in the near future.”
DSSV Pressure Drop, Caladan Oceanic’s research vessel owned by Victor Vescovo, has been helping map the gaps since they started their Five Deeps Expedition in late 2018. Mr Vescovo signed an MOU in March 2019 to show and formalize their commitment to support The Nippon Foundation–GEBCO Seabed 2030 Project by donating data through IHO DCDB.
Mr Vescovo said, “As we continue our deep-diving expeditions all over the world, we look forward to contributing to GEBCO's mission to map the entire seafloor by 2030. We will - quite literally - go out of our way to help make this possible. Remote operation of our advanced sonar by Seabed 2030 staff will help make that happen.”