Hydrothermal vents in the North Guaymas Basin of the Gulf of California create a perfect opportunity for the Corps of Exploration to investigate this dynamic ecosystem. Being cut off from sunlight poses unique challenges and results in complex interactions among the organisms living down in the deep. Vent communities rely on converting chemicals from the vents into a food source in a process known as chemosynthesis.
Moving closer to shore, Nautilus will begin to explore the Gulf of California (GOC), one of the most notable bodies of water on Earth. Thanks to the nutrient-rich waters that once flowed from the Colorado, the GOC was among the most productive of seas and is diverse in its geography, geology, oceanography, and biology. The GOC is an area of active seafloor spreading directly linked to the San Andreas Fault System.