Monterey Bay Aquarium Research Institute
Northern Expedition
July 27 - September 10, 2013

Leg 1

Geologist Charlie Paull's research team will use high resolution maps collected by MBARI’s autonomous underwater vehicle (AUV) to aid in remotely operated vehicle (ROV) dives to continue their ongoing investigations of processes associated with seafloor gas venting and modern submarine canyons. They plan to focus on one geographically restricted area surrounding Eel Canyon, offshore of Eureka, California, where both these themes can be addressed simultaneously. Read more...


Leg 1, Day 11: Last day of the expedition
August 6, 2013

Today we had one short dive before heading in to Eureka, California. As we steamed into port, the pilots, crew and science team were busy cleaning and getting ready for the port stop.Read more...

Leg 1, Day 10: Gas and ice
August 5, 2013

Today, we managed to collect a rather large piece of hydrate. This is no small feat because as we ascend, the water temperature rises and the pressure decreases, causing the hydrate to decompose. Read more...

Leg 1, Day 9: Bad weather—bad for some, good for others
August 4, 2013

Bad weather has unfortunately meant that we are unable to investigate gas hydrate sites in the vicinity of Eel Canyon. Instead we are steaming south to use the remotely operated vehicle (ROV) to explore and collect cores in Mendocino Canyon. Read more...

Leg 1, Day 8: Weather and turbidity flows
August 3, 2013

On Saturday morning, we were able to find favorable weather to work at the head of Mendocino Canyon. This was a rare occasion when the team worked in an area without a detailed bathymetric map. Read more...

Leg 1, Day 7: A visit from friends
August 2, 2013

First Engineer Lance Wardle was very excited to see the engine room of the R/V Falkor especially the shaft generators. Read more...

Leg 1, Day 6: Sediment layers are like pages in a book
August 1, 2013

One of the most exciting discoveries that Charlie Paull’s team made while exploring the large scours at the base of Eel Canyon was a series of underwater cliffs and ledges that expose a beautiful sequence of sedimentary strata. We traversed about 90 vertical meters of alternating beds of sand and mud that at a first glance resemble a barcode pattern. Read more...

Leg 1, Day 5: Gas venting!
July 31, 2013

Today we worked at a site we called the North Plume. This site has five bubble plumes that could be seen on the sonar over 400 meters above the seafloor. Sonar sends pulses of sound and listens for echoes. The sonar can easily detect hard targets like rocks, but can also detect gas (including animals with gas bladders). Read more...

Leg 1, Day 4: Eel Canyon scour
July 30, 2013

The Eel River is California’s third largest watershed. Approximately 320 kilometers (200 miles) long, it drains a rugged area in the California Coast Ranges. For most of its course, the river flows northwest, parallel to the coast, originating in Bald Mountain in Mendocino County, winding through part of Trinity County and entering the Pacific Ocean 24 kilometers (15 miles) south of Eureka in Humboldt County. Read more...

Leg 1, Day 3: Noyo Canyon
July 29, 2013

Noyo Canyon is offshore of Fort Bragg, California. This canyon is interesting because the San Andreas fault transects the head of the canyon. In the 1906 earthquake, the fault slipped about nine meters at the head of Noyo Canyon. Read more...

Leg 1, Day 2: Outer Monterey Canyon
July 28, 2013

Submarine canyons dominate the landscapes of continental margins, and Monterey Canyon is one of the largest on the Pacific Coast of North America. It is similar in size to the Grand Canyon. For many years, geologists have asked the question, "how are submarine canyons formed?" Read more...

Leg 1, Day 1: Testing the new vibracorer
July 27, 2013

This is the first leg of an extended Western Flyer expedition to the Pacific Northwest. The researchers are studying Eel Canyon off the coast of northern California. Read more...

Leg 1:
Gas hydrates

July 27 - August 6

Legs 2-3:
Seafloor lava flows

August 10 - September 1

Leg 4:
Deep-sea chemistry

September 5 - 10

research teamResearchers