6th Trans-Atlantic Seabed Mapping Survey – Trasna 2017

On Tuesday 18th of April 2017 at 9.30pm the Irish Research Vessel RV Celtic Explorer left Galway, Ireland to commence the 6th Trans-Atlantic Seabed Mapping Survey – Trasna 2017 on route to St John’s, Newfoundland and Labrador.

This 6th Transit will trial remote accessing of the Multibeam Echosounder that maps the seafloor/ seabed.  Tommy Furey and the INFOMAR team at Marine Institute Ireland will remotely access the data acquisition instrumentation from Ireland, to assess the future feasibility of tri-lateral 24-hour supervision of the multibeam echosounder by remote experienced hydrographers and data analysts.  Should this be successful it will be another milestone on the path to a developing a cost-effective mapping campaign of the North Atlantic.

This is the third transatlantic seabed mapping transit for the RV Celtic Explorer.  The Canadian Coast Guard vessel the Louis St. Laurent has undertaken two to date and the French Ifremer’s Research Vessel the L’Atalante undertook another last year.  The US plan to have the RV Okeanos Explorer in the Atlantic by the end of 2018.

On-board the RV Celtic Explorer representing the Atlantic Ocean Research Alliance, this April, are:

  • Margot Cronin, Marine Institute Ireland (EU)
  • Clynton Gregory, National University of Ireland, Galway (EU)
  • Ricardo Arruda, Dalhousie University, Halifax, Nova Scotia (Canada)
  • Lieutenant Anthony Klemm, National Oceanic & Atmospheric Administration (USA)

Blogs transmitted from the ship and will provide updates and reflections on experiences, the science, technology, and other elements of this expedition.


Cetacean Observation on the Transatlantic 2017
Monday, 24 April, 2017 - 09:50
A blog written by Hannah Keogh of Irish Whale and Dolphin Group (IWDG) on the cetacean observation taking place during TRASNA 2017
Day 4 - Aerial Sparks
Friday, 21 April, 2017 - 15:26
Louise Manifold is travelling on board the Celtic Explorer as research for art project Aerial Sparks which aims bring artists, writers and composers together to work on the Marine Institute research vessel The Celtic Explorer.
Day 3 - Multibeam Sonar
Friday, 21 April, 2017 - 15:01
I’m Anthony Klemm, a visiting hydrographer operating Celtic Explorer’s multibeam sonar. I am a lieutenant for the United States National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration Commissioned Officer Corps (NOAA Corps), and very excited to participate in this cruise.
RV Celtic Explorer to launch minature Lancer sailboat as part of Transit
Friday, 21 April, 2017 - 12:45
Nine months ago in September 2016, Méabh Ní Ghionnáin, a 9 year old school girl from Droim, Leitir Móir, Galway found the Lancer boat washed ashore on her local beach after it had travelled across the Atlantic as part of a year-long research project that 18 year old Kaitlyn Dow from Connecticut, USA had undertaken.

A blog detailing the 5th Trans-Atlantic seabed mapping survey can be read here.

A blog detailing the 4th Trans-Atlantic seabed mapping survey can be read here.

Multibeam Mapping Education Resources:

The following links are provided for educators interested in learning more about seafloor mapping and bringing lessons about this exciting technology into their classrooms. 

Wet Maps
Mapping the Deep Ocean Floor
Watching in 3-D
NE US Canyons Expedition 2013: Mytilus Seamount
NE US Canyons Expedition 2013: Cold Seeps
Video on First Collaborative Transatlantic Seabed Mapping Survey -
NOAA Ship Okeanos Explorer: One Million Square Kilometers of Seafloor Mapped Video and Fact Sheet -
Vice Admiral (ret) Shin Tani, co-organiser of the Forum for Future Ocean Floor Mapping, in Monaco, from 15 to 17 June 2021 on the Importance of Mapping the Ocean Floor