2015 Expedition
USS Macon wreck

South/Central California Margin

August 11 – 19, 2015

Expedition Partners

Lead Scientist
Expedition Leader

The team of E/V Nautilus explores the USS Macon, a US Navy dirigible aircraft carrier that sank off the central California coast in 1935. The team finds parts of the ship as well as the Sparrowhawk biplanes it carried.

The 2015 USS Macon survey is a joint-organizational project led by co-principal investigators from three of the stakeholder institutions in this project: NOAA’s Office of National Marine Sanctuaries, the U.S. Naval History & Heritage Command and Ocean Exploration Trust in collaboration with OceanGate Foundation with funding provided by the Edward E. and Marie L. Matthews Foundation. The USS Macon site was first discovered by the Monterey Bay Aquarium Research Institute in 1990.

Meet the Team

Selected Publications


Rodríguez-Flores, P.C., Seid, C.A., Rouse, G.W., Giribet, G. (2023). Cosmopolitan abyssal lineages? A systematic study of East Pacific deep-sea squat lobsters (Decapoda: Galatheoidea: Munidopsidae) . Invertebrate Systematics https://www.publish.csiro.au/is/pdf/IS22030


Wagner, J.K.S., Smart, C., German, C.R. (2020). Discovery and Mapping of the Triton Seep Site, Redondo Knoll: Fluid Flow and Microbial Colonization Within an Oxygen Minimum Zone. New Frontiers in Marine Science 7: 108.


Castillo, C. M., Klemperer, S. L., Ingle, J. C., Powell, C. L., Legg, M. R., & Francis, R. D. (2019). Late quaternary subsidence of santa catalina island, california continental borderland, demonstrated by seismic-reflection data and fossil assemblages from submerged marine terraces. Bulletin of the Geological Society of America 131(1-2): 21-42.


Brennan, M., Cantelas, F., Elliott, K., Delgado, J., Croff Bell, K., Coleman, D., Fundis, A., Irion, J., Van Tilburg, H., Ballard, R. (2018). Telepresence-Enabled Maritime Archaeological Exploration in the Deep. Journal of Maritime Archaeology 13(2): 97-121.
Myhre, S., Pak, D., Borreggine, M., Kennett, J., Nicholson, C., Hill, T., Deutsch, C. (2018). Oxygen minimum zone baseline transects for paleoceanographic reconstructions in Santa Barbara Basin, CA. Deep Sea Research II 150: 118-131.