Ring of Fire Expedition

Expedition to various points in the Pacific Ocean.


The Ring of Fire Expedition has begun. The Expedition is organized into four phases throughout June and July, each with a unique set of goals.

Dive Series 1

Challenger Deep June 5 – 15

  • Dr Kathy Sullivan, the first woman to the bottom of Challenger Deep

  • Three additional dives to the “Eastern Pool” of Challenger Deep

  • First 4K video recording of Challenger Deep

  • Extensive topological and ecological survey

Dive Series 2

Challenger Deep June 17 – 28

  • Descent of Kelly Walsh, Dr. Don Walsh’ son, to the bottom of the Western Pool of Challenger Deep – 60 years after has father did it

  • Three additional dives into Challenger Deep including the Western, Central and Eastern Pools

  • Further topographical and marine life survey of the entire Challenger Deep for a cumulative total in 2020 of eight dives, all piloted by Victor Vescovo.

  • Extensive topological and ecological survey

Scientific Lander Series

Northern Mariana Trench  June 29 – July 26

  • First multiple lander descents to the Nero, Tinian, Saipan and Rota Deeps in the Northern Mariana Trench

  • Extensive scientific research across different depths and locations

  • Continued deep-water multibeam mapping for NOAA priority areas

Deep Ocean Mapping

“Ring of Fire” Trenches  July 26 – August 28

  • Continued extensive mapping of previously unmapped seafloors in the Japan, Kamchatka, and Aleutian Islands Trenches

  • Cross the threshold of over one million square kilometers of new multibeam mapping since early 2019

  • End this phase of the Ring of Fire expedition in Hawaii for ships and sub maintenance and refit