2017 Expedition

ABISS Lander | Nautilus Live

Central California Technology Testing

Jul 31, 2017 to Aug 3, 2017

E/V Nautilus will move north along Central California’s shoreline, renowned for natural rugged beauty that parallels underwater features. In the deep waters off the coast, numerous submarine canyons cross-cut the continental slope, some of which feature exposed canyon walls rich in methane and other chemicals that support unique microbial and animal communities. Sediments carried by longshore currents also often end up in these canyons, transporting organic matter into the deep sea. As such, distinct filter-feeding communities such as deep-sea corals can be abundant in these canyons.

Key features of this region potentially include deep-sea corals and other 3-D benthic habitats, tectonic activity, hydrocarbon repositories, chemosynthetic ecosystems, and anthropogenic impacts from agricultural runoff and associated activities. One component of this expedition will be to explore and sample unusual and novel features, fauna, sediments and authigenic rocks to expand our knowledge of the canyons off Central California.

The southern extent of California’s central coast is also home to well-developed oxygen minimum zones as well anoxic basins such as the Santa Barbara basin, ecosystems which are dominated by microbes. These regions offer an opportunity to study what Earth’s ocean was like in past, not only because sediments are well preserved and harbor a record that goes back thousands of years, but also because Earth was a microbial world well before animals came onto the scene.

This diversity of habitats offers an opportunity to study the critical role that microbes play in supporting animal communities and influencing ocean chemistry. This expedition will include launching and testing a new deep sea microbial and chemical sensor and sampler to study microbial processes in low-oxygen environments.


Meet the Team

Photo of Sulaiman Al'Sibani
Photo of Jennifer Berglund
Science/Data Team
Photo of Josh Chernov
ROV Operations Manager
Photo of Jack Clawson
Video Engineer
Photo of Megan Cook
Communication Lead
Photo of Widad Dabbas
Science/Data Team
Photo of Mark DeRoche
Deck Chief
Photo of Samuel Freeman Jr.
Nautilus Ambassador
Photo of Allison Fundis
Expedition Leader
Photo of Katherine Gertz
Nautilus Ambassador
Photo of Peter Girguis
Science/Data Team
Photo of Catherine Greenspon
Nautilus Ambassador
Photo of Renato Kane
Photo of Jason Kapit
Science/Data Team
Photo of Justin Lowe
Data Engineer
Photo of Michael Marin
Hercules Pilot
Photo of Hector Martinez
Nautilus Ambassador
Photo of Ed McNichol
Video Engineer
Photo of Anna Michel
Science/Data Team
Photo of Clifford Pontbriand
Science/Data Team
Photo of Trevor Shepherd
Argus Pilot
Photo of Lily Simonson
Communications, Artist
Photo of Stacy Sinclair
Nautilus Ambassador
Photo of Katelyn Sullivan
Nautilus Ambassador
Photo of Katherine Sutton
Science Communication Fellow
Photo of Ali Trueworthy
Argus Pilot
Photo of Suna Tüzün
Science/Data Team
Photo of Jamie Wagner
Science/Data Team
Photo of Robert Waters
Hercules Pilot
Photo of Michael Wegner
Navigation Intern


Album: Using New Tools & Technologies to Explore Methane Seeps
Using New Tools & Technologies to Explore Methane Seeps
8 photos
August 2, 2017
Video: Underwater Wifi: Testing the ABISS Lander
Underwater Wifi: Testing the ABISS Lander
August 2, 2017
Album: Underwater WiFi - Testing Autonomous Seafloor Tools
Underwater WiFi - Testing Autonomous Seafloor Tools
7 photos
August 3, 2017