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Seafloor Fault Expedition 2018

Seafloor Fault Expedition 2018

This map shows the faults (red lines) discovered by previous AUV mapping efforts. The light blue circles are proposed dive sites for the upcoming expedition.

MBARI Expedition #447

Expedition goal: During this cruise we will be studying submarine channels and seafloor faults offshore Southern California.

Expedition dates: September 14 – October 2, 2018

Ship: R/V Western Flyer

Research technology:  ROV Doc Ricketts, vibracores, push cores

Expedition chief scientist: Charles Paull

The principal goal of this expedition is to study seafloor faults and submarine channels offshore of Southern California. During this expedition, we will be using the ROV Doc Ricketts to investigate specific features that have been mapped in recently conducted surveys using an autonomous underwater vehicle (AUV).

The extremely detailed AUV maps show evidence of geologically recent fault deformation associated with the San Diego Trough and San Pedro Basin Faults. The maps also provide insight into how the shape of nearby seafloor channels continues to evolve.

The ROV Doc Ricketts will make observations and sample the seafloor at these sites. The AUV data will provide “road maps” that direct the ROV to particular sites and allow the geological samples to be collected in a surgically targeted way. Sediment samples will be collected using vibracores and push cores on the ROV.

Our goal is to establish the timing of movements along these faults and to understand the processes that modify the submarine channels. Weather permitting, we will also deploy a mooring carrying a current meter and a sediment trap to monitor the existing conditions at a potential offshore wind farm site near Morro Bay.

About Seafloor Fault Expedition 2018

September 14 to October 2, 2018 – MBARI's Geological Changes group is studying submarine channels and seafloor faults offshore of Southern California.