Expedition Overview: Cascadia Margin Seeps
Launching the first ROV exploration dives of the 2018 Nautilus Expedition, the E/V Nautilus team and research partners will search for methane seep and hydrate sites and characterize their unique ecosystems along the U.S. Cascadia Margin, located offshore Washington, Oregon, and northern California. In the past two years, over 2700 new bubble streams have been discovered at over 1000 individual sites on the Cascadia Margin, and this expedition will add to that ongoing research.
Dr. Tamara Baumberger of NOAA’s Pacific Marine Environmental Laboratory (PMEL) will serve as Lead Scientist aboard E/V Nautilus, with Dr. Robert Embley of NOAA PMEL leading as a Scientist Ashore. Dr. Nicole Raineault of the Ocean Exploration Trust will serve as Expedition Leader for this expedition running from June 12-29, 2018. Research support for this expedition comes from the NOAA Office of Ocean Exploration and Research.
The main objectives of this expedition are to explore for methane seeps and hydrate sites and to characterize their associated ecosystems along the U. S. Cascadia Margin. Gas hydrates and gas-filled pockets present in sedimentary deposits provide large reservoirs for methane in the Earth’s crust, and the importance of methane as a potent greenhouse gas has been recognized in recent years.