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Discovering the Deep


About the Book

The deep oceans and global seafloor are truly Earth's last frontier. This magnificent, full-color volume transports you to bizarre landscapes hosting exotic life forms that rival the most imaginative science fiction. This indispensable reference and visually stunning resource will enlighten and intrigue oceanographers and enthusiasts alike.


  • Provides a comprehensive, up-to-date view of the oceanic crust, seafloor features, and seafloor volcanism, uniting studies of related phenomena in a single volume
  • Presents the latest perspectives and unique visual images of regions along the global mid-ocean ridge, providing context to understand diverse features, rock types, vent ecology and chemistry
  • Contains extraordinary images of the seafloor and representative geological, geochemical and biological features, combined with accompanying online visual and teaching materials to provide a unique resource

Video Gallery

Exclusive deep-sea footage takes you on a dive into the abyss

video_img Inferno Palm and Tube Worms -
Hydrothermal Vents on Axial Seamount - The ROV Jason images the 4 m tall, actively venting black smoker chimney called Inferno within the ASHES Hydrothermal Vent Field at the summit of Axial Seamount, Juan de Fuca Ridge. The metal sulfide deposit is covered in tubeworms, scaleworms, palmworms, white limpets, and bacteria that thrive in the absence of sunlight, using chemosynthesis to drive their metabolisms. Credit: J. Delaney and D. Kelley, University of Washington, NSF-OOI/WHOI; Enlighten’10 Expedition.
video_img Black Smoker Chimney Sully -
In 2005, a temperature-chlorinity probe was installed by the ROV Jason into the throat of the 360°C black smoker chimney called Sully that was emitting boiling fluids. The chimney is located in the Main Endeavour Vent Field, on the Endeavour Segment of the Juan de Fuca Ridge at a water depth of ~ 2200 m. Lush tubeworms with red plumes thrived here in 2005. Credit: J. Delaney and D. Kelley, University of Washington, KECK-UW-WHOI; VISIONS’05 Expedition.
video_img Galapagos Rift Biology in the Rosebud Vent -
In May 2002, the submersible Alvin and the autonomous underwater vehicle ABE (Autonomous Benthic Explorer) explored some of the first known hydrothermal vents sites along the Galápagos Spreading Center (GSC) between 86° W and 90° W and discovered that the well-known Rose Garden field was buried by a recent eruption. The video shows the animals and venting at the Rosebud (2470 m) field, which occupies the site near the Rose Garden and, supports both small Riftia tubeworms and mussels on which brachyuran crabs were feeding.
video_img Galápagos animals -
Macro-video imagery collected by the submersible Alvin of hydrothermal vent fauna inhabiting the Rosebud vent field on the Galápagos Rift in 2002 when it was discovered.
video_img Vent Biology in the East Pacific Rise -
Macro-video imagery of hydrothermal vent fauna from the East Pacific Rise and Mid-Atlantic Ridge as collected by the submersible Alvin.
video_img East Pacific Rise Tube Worm -
Close up Alvin imagery of a single Riftia pachytila tubeworm slowly emerging from it’s chitonous tube (~2 cm in diameter). Like a fish gill, the highly vascularized red "plume" provides gas exchange with the environment (e.g., hydrogen sulfide, carbon dioxide, and oxygen). With no mouth, gut, or anus, the plume provides the conduit for nutrients to microbes living in the worm’s trophosome where the microbes live.
video_img West Mata Eruption 2009 -
The first deep-sea eruption observed by scientists using the ROV Jason during a cruise sponsored by the National Science Foundation’s Ridge2000 Program. In 2009, the West Mata volcano south of Samoa, was observed to be erupting at 1200 m. Tubes of pillow lava formed as 1200°C molten lavas quickly froze when it came into contact with near freezing seawater at the ocean floor. For more information see this link:

Download more resources from Discovering the Deep¸ including a PowerPoint designed by the authors, here

Meet the Authors

Discovering the Deep: A Photographic Atlas of the Seafloor and Ocean Crust

Discovering the Deep: A Photographic Atlas of the Seafloor and Ocean Crust

Product details

Format: Hardback
ISBN: 9780521857185
Dimensions: 276 x 219 mm
Contains: 24 b/w illus, 506 colour illus, 7 tables

£60.00 / $99.99

Buy the book

"This is the book I wish I'd had on my eight deep ocean expeditions, to better understand the wonders I was gazing upon. A must-own for anyone in the ocean sciences, and for those simply curious about what lies down there in the most remote realm on our planet."

James Cameron, explorer and film-maker

"Discovering the Deep will open your eyes to the largest and most unexplored region on Earth… this beautifully illustrated and comprehensive account shows how far we have come over the last forty years in our understanding of this fundamental tectonic feature of the Earth and the technology required to investigate it."

Robert D. Ballard, President of the Ocean Exploration Trust


Image Gallery

Explore the Mid-Ocean Ridge with hundreds of images


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