2016 Expedition

Expedition Overview: Cascadia Margin in 60 Seconds

Seeps and Ecosystems of the Cascadia Margin

Jun 1, 2016 to Jun 20, 2016

Methane is a powerful greenhouse gas and an important commercial resource that fuels many elements of our lives on land. Scientists are beginning to understand the complex and varied ways methane fuels life beneath the sea as well. Nautilus will study methane seep habitats along the length of the Cascadia Subduction Zone, from southern British Columbia to northern California. Several sites along the Washington coast are well-studied ecosystems fueled by gas hydrate - a crystalline, consolidated chemical ice made of methane. Oceanographic and geologic conditions suggest gas hydrate and methane seep habitats should stretch all along the Cascadia Subduction Zone, but a comprehensive study of the region has never been done. Advanced mapping technology, like the Kongsberg multibeam system on Nautilus, allows scientists to detect methane bubble plumes in the water column and describe the extent of these habitats.

On this expedition, Nautilus and her Corps of Exploration will use mapping tools to survey the extent of methane seeps along the Pacific Northwest coastline. As habitats are identified, the ROVs will dive on these targets to investigate the structure and communities they support.

Current research indicates warming oceans will rapidly change the stability of these seafloor gaseous reserves, which may in turn have large effects on oceanic dissolved gas concentrations and the release of greenhouse gases into the atmosphere. A well-explored baseline understanding of this dynamic ecosystem will be essential for understanding changes as they occur.

During this cruise, Nautilus will also explore the wreck of the World War II freighter SS Coastal Trader.  The ROVs will conduct the first visual survey of this cultural heritage site as well as assess its condition and remaining vessel stability.  

Meet the Team

Photo of Steve Auscavitch
Science/Data, Data Manager
Photo of Tamara Baumberger
Science/Data Team
Photo of Mark DeRoche
Deck Chief
Photo of Robert Embley
Science/Data Team
Photo of Meredith Everett
Science/Data Team
Photo of Aubrey Foulk
Science/Data Team
Photo of Ethan Gold
Data Engineer
Photo of Amber Hale
Science Communication Fellow
Photo of Michael Hannaford
Hercules Pilot
Photo of Lindsay Holladay
Science Communication Fellow
Photo of Gabrielle Inglis
Argus Pilot
Photo of Onni Irish
Navigator
Photo of Renato Kane
Navigator
Photo of Dave LePage
Video Engineer
Photo of Megan Lubetkin
Science / Data Team
Photo of Susan Merle
Science / Data Team
Photo of Mary Nichols
Video Engineer
Photo of Emil Petruncio
Expedition Leader, Navigator, Science/Data Team
Photo of Nicole Raineault
Expedition Leader
Photo of Rachel Rayner
Science Communication Fellow
Photo of Joshua Reyes
Argus Pilot
Photo of Mallory Ringham
Science/Data Team
Photo of Sarah Seabrook
Science/Data Team
Photo of Will Sellers
Hercules Pilot
Photo of Trevor Shepherd
Argus Pilot
Photo of Kyle Sidlik
Video Engineering Intern
Photo of Alex Simpson
Navigation Intern
Photo of Robert Waters
Hercules Pilot

Highlights

Video: Expedition Overview: Cascadia Margin in 60 Seconds
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Expedition Overview: Cascadia Margin in 60 Seconds
June 2, 2016
Album: Wreck of the SS Coast Trader
 
Wreck of the SS Coast Trader
14 photos
June 3, 2016
Album: From Wreck to Reef: Species Inhabit the Shipwrecked SS Coast Trader
 
From Wreck to Reef: Species Inhabit the Shipwrecked SS Coast Trader
13 photos
June 5, 2016
Video: SS Coast Trader: Wreck Survey
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SS Coast Trader: Wreck Survey
June 5, 2016
Album: Gray's Canyon Sponge Reef
 
Gray's Canyon Sponge Reef
14 photos
June 6, 2016
Album: Shimmering Seeps of Cascadia Margin
 
Shimmering Seeps of Cascadia Margin
8 photos
June 7, 2016
Video: Sunflower Seastars
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Sunflower Seastars
June 9, 2016
Album: Astoria Canyon: Bubbles and Fauna
 
Astoria Canyon: Bubbles and Fauna
24 photos
June 10, 2016
Video: Velcro Seastars
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Velcro Seastars
June 11, 2016
Video: Fascinating Life at Cascadia Margin
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Fascinating Life at Cascadia Margin
June 12, 2016
Video: An Abundance of Giant Pacific Octopi
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An Abundance of Giant Pacific Octopi
June 13, 2016
Video: Discovery of an Active Methane Seep Site
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Discovery of an Active Methane Seep Site
June 13, 2016
Album: Bamboo Corals of the Oregon Coast
 
Bamboo Corals of the Oregon Coast
14 photos
June 17, 2016