A new species of the genus Munidopsida
Butterflies of the sea
Deeper Than Light


The special issue of Deep-Sea Research II on the Deep Gulf of Mexico Benthos program (vol.55, issues 24-26, 2008).

The report to the Mineral Management Service (pdf).

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Northern Gulf of Mexico

The Deep Gulf of Mexico Benthos (DGoMB), a multi-year project initiated in 1999 for the U.S. Department of the Interior's Minerals Management Service.

The Deep Gulf of Mexico Benthos (DGoMB) project was initiated in 1999 for the U.S. Department of the Interior's Minerals Management Service. MMS sought to investigate the structure and function of the biota associated with the sea floor in the deep water of the northern Gulf of Mexico. The purpose of the study has been to determine how living resources inhabiting deep-water habitats might be impacted by oil and gas exploration and exploitation. The strategy of the initial stage of the field work was to survey a broad region from which community structure could be determined, and to conduct extensive sampling of physio-chemical variables within both the water column and the sediments of the sea floor.

The multi-year project, referred to as Deep Gulf of Mexico Benthos or DGoMB, was designed to provide a better understanding of:

  • the present condition of biological communities in the study area,
  • the distribution patterns of deep-sea biota,
  • the biological and physical processes that control the environmental setting, and
  • the effects of these processes on the character of benthic and benthopelagic communities.

The project has emphasized understanding the make-up and variability of soft-bottom biological communities, joined with a secondary effort to characterize the important biological and abiotic processes that sustain or change the observed patterns. The study includes:

  1. the composition and structure of slope biological communities,
  2. an inference of the relationship between these communities and local conditions and forcing factors,
  3. a characterization of the “health” and functioning of deep-sea communities, and
  4. a comparison of the GoM region with similar oceanic basins.