Taney Seamounts: Collapsed Calderas and New Species

By Samuel Georgian, Marine Biogeographer at Marine Conservation Institute The Taney Seamounts are a chain of five seamounts spanning a distance of 33 miles across the seafloor off the coast of California. The seamounts are an example of near-ridge seamounts, which generally form near fast-spreading ridges on diverging tectonic plates. Fast is a relative term Read more about Taney Seamounts: Collapsed Calderas and New Species[…]

Rodriguez Seamount – A Geologic Rarity

By Samuel Georgian, Marine Biogeographer at Marine Conservation Institute Rodriguez Seamount is a 10–12 million-year-old seamount located approximately 42 miles off the coast of southern California. It towers over a mile above the seafloor, with its tallest summit cone standing over a little over 2,000 feet below the surface. Once upon a time, Rodriguez was Read more about Rodriguez Seamount – A Geologic Rarity[…]

Denizens of the Deep: Are Brittle Stars the Best House Guests?

By Samuel Georgian, Marine Biogeographer at Marine Conservation Institute If you have ever seen a brittle star, you may have assumed that you were looking at the closely related starfish instead. Starfish and brittle stars are both members of the Echinodermata phylum, characterized by their radial symmetry – meaning that their bodies are organized into Read more about Denizens of the Deep: Are Brittle Stars the Best House Guests?[…]

A Deeper Dive: Protecting Deep-Sea Corals in the Channel Islands

By Matt Coomer, Communications Coordinator at Marine Conservation Institute Every year, the Channel Islands National Marine Sanctuary attracts hundreds of thousands of visitors to its beautiful rocky islands, historic sites, and abundant ocean wildlife. The Sanctuary is 25 miles off the coast of southern California, surrounding five of the Channel Islands. Because these islands are positioned where Read more about A Deeper Dive: Protecting Deep-Sea Corals in the Channel Islands[…]

Deep But Not Deserted – Exploring Deep-Sea Ecosystems Off the California Coast

By Dr. Samuel Georgian, Marine Biogeographer at Marine Conservation Institute In July 2018, Marine Conservation Institute staff scientist Samuel Georgian stepped on board the NOAA research vessel Bell M. Shimada, beginning a two-week expedition to explore deep-water coral and sponge habitats off the coast of northern California. In conjunction with NOAA’s Cordell Bank National Marine Sanctuary Read more about Deep But Not Deserted – Exploring Deep-Sea Ecosystems Off the California Coast[…]

Deep-Sea Coral Expedition to California’s Channel Islands

By Dr. Lance Morgan, President of Marine Conservation Institute Location, location, location! This axiom of the real estate world is perhaps even more true in the natural world. Finding the right environmental conditions for deep-sea corals and sponges to survive and thrive is a rare occurrence in the deep ocean. Marine biologists have discovered deep-sea Read more about Deep-Sea Coral Expedition to California’s Channel Islands[…]

Expedition Planning 101 – How Models Can Help Guide Deep-Sea Exploration

By Dr. Sam Georgian, Marine Biogeographer at Marine Conservation Institute In May 2018, a joint Marine Conservation Institute and Marine Applied Research and Exploration (MARE) expedition will probe the deep seafloor within the Channel Islands National Marine Sanctuary. The sanctuary is home to an astonishing diversity of cold-water corals and sponges that build crucial habitat Read more about Expedition Planning 101 – How Models Can Help Guide Deep-Sea Exploration[…]

5 Reasons Seamounts Matter

By Matt Coomer, Communications Coordinator at Marine Conservation Institute Seamounts are underwater mountains that rise from the seabed. Because most of the world’s seafloor is a muddy plain, seamounts are special deep-sea features that support unique creatures. Seamounts can arise along mid-ocean ridges, as isolated landmarks, or as volcanoes in chains and clusters. Off California, Read more about 5 Reasons Seamounts Matter[…]

Needle in a haystack: identifying vulnerable marine ecosystems in the deep sea

By Dr. Samuel Georgian, Marine Biogeographer at Marine Conservation Institute  Seamounts are underwater mountains rising thousands of feet from the bottom of the ocean. Due to their size and shape, seamounts exert a strong influence on local currents that results in nutrient enrichment and increased food supply. As a result, these massive features are often Read more about Needle in a haystack: identifying vulnerable marine ecosystems in the deep sea[…]