Blooming Basalt Towers of North Gorda Rift Axis
While conducting visual geotransect surveys of unexplored regions of the North Gorda rift axis at over 3000m depth, we encountered some unusual features that dazzled the whole team--including the geologists! Basalt towers covered in gorgeous glass sponges, starburst-like stalked crinoids, and jewel-toned brisingid stars, deep trenches, and basalt "layer cake"-like features were just some of the highlights. These features are part of the Gorda Ridge, a tectonic spreading center located off the border of California and Oregon.
Learn more about the Gorda Ridge expedition with the SUBSEA research program, a multi-year partnership between NASA Science Mission Directorate PSTAR Program, NOAA Office of Ocean Exploration and Research, Ocean Exploration Trust, Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution, and various academic research centers.
This expedition continues the multi-year SUBSEA (Systematic Underwater Biogeochemical Science and Exploration Analog) Research Program, a partnership between NASA, NOAA, and various academic research centers. Bringing together both ocean and space exploration teams aboard E/V Nautilus, SUBSEA blends ocean exploration with ocean worlds research to address knowledge gaps related to the exploration of our Solar System.