NOAA’s 2024 hydrographic survey season is underway

An image of survey vessel operating near Pago Pago Harbor, American Samoa.

The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration’s 2024 hydrographic survey season is ramping up and will be in full swing before too long. For the past few months, NOAA hydrographic survey ships, navigation response teams, and contractors have been diligently preparing for the upcoming field season. The ships and survey vessels collect bathymetric data to support nautical charting, modeling, and research, but also collect other environmental data to support a variety of ecosystem sciences. NOAA considers hydrographic survey requests from stakeholders such as marine pilots, local port authorities, the Coast Guard, and the boating community, and also considers other hydrographic and NOAA science priorities in determining where to survey and when. Visit our “living” ArcGIS StoryMap to find out more about our mapping projects and if a hydrographic vessel will be in your area this year!

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Possible Ancient River System Discovered off Wilmington, North Carolina

A graphic showing newly discovered underwater paleochannels off of Wilmington, North Carolina shown at 4-meter resolution.
By Alexandra Dawson and Lt. Patrick Debroisse

During the 2023 field season, NOAA Ship Ferdinand R. Hassler was tasked with surveying an area offshore of Wilmington, North Carolina, in the vicinity of Frying Pan Shoals—a dynamic area of dangerously shallow waters. While scientists and crew conducted mapping surveys of the seafloor, they discovered what is believed to be well-preserved ancient remnants of a paleochannel system that could give us a glimpse as to what our North Carolina coastline looked like approximately 20,000 years ago. The location of these newly discovered paleochannels indicates that they may have once been part of North Carolina’s historic Cape Fear River and likely were above sea level during the Last Glacial Maximum.

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Change of command for NOAA Ship Ferdinand Hassler

The crew of the NOAA Ship Ferdinand R. Hassler (S-250) hosted a change of command on November 5, while moored at its homeport in New Castle, New Hampshire.
In front of the crew and guests – including Rear Adm. Gerd Glang, director of the Office of Coast Survey, and Capt. Anne Lynch, commanding officer of the Atlantic Marine Operations Center – Lt. Cmdr. Briana Welton accepted command of Hassler, replacing Cmdr. Marc Moser.
Welton is the new survey ship’s third commanding officer.
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