Mendocino Fracture Zone Cruise - 2001
August 20 - 30, 2001
Over 300 km off the California-Oregon Coast

August 27, 2001: Day #8

Amazing diversity sitting on a rock on the abyssal plain.

Log Entry: Tiburon headed towards the depth of 2670 meters at 0613 hours local time. We hit the muddy bottom at 0803 hours. The benthic community present on the abyssal plain of the Gorda Escarpment consisted of brittle stars, cucumbers, jellies, and spider crabs (see picture above). We headed towards the basement of the high ridge. Our aim was to continue collecting igneous rocks for geochemical analysis and sedimentary rocks to study the uplift and subsidence history.

The dive began on the north side of the escarpment and continued up the slope towards the ridge, and back down again on the south side of the escarpment. The best outcrops we found were on the south side of the escarpment. These consisted of mounds of bedrock sticking out from the sediment (see figure), and we were happy with our sample collection at the end of the dive. Tomorrow will be our last dive, and we have planned a similar route to today’s dive but at a different location.

- Jenni Kela

We came across a relatively recent landslide, and were able to collect fresh igneous rocks exposed at the surface.


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