Examining the Geology of Ancient Seamounts of the Line Islands North of Kingman Reef
Examining the structure of the seafloor gives us clues into the history of our ocean and planet. While perhaps less colorful than the deep sea life, the geologic shapes of the seafloor are a key part of exploring the deep. Read on to see some of the different landscapes revealed by ROV Hercules during fifteen dives exploring ancient seamounts north of Kingman Reef in the Central Pacific. Diving on these conical (pointy) and guyot (flat-topped) seamounts revealed a wide diversity of lava flow shapes, sizes, and rock types. Geologists continue to use these clues to attempt to understand how these features formed over the last estimated 80-100 million years.
Our first live expedition of 2023 brings us back to the region of Kingman Reef and Palmyra Atoll as part of our ongoing effort to explore the deep ocean in and around the Pacific Remote Islands Marine National Monument (PRIMNM) through the Ocean Exploration Cooperative Institute.