Generalized west-to-east cross-section extending across the Florida and Bahamas platforms. The Florida carbonate platform was built on mostly Paleozoic and Mesozoic rocks that once formed part of Africa and South America, prior to the break-up of the supercontinent Pangea. This older basement high forms the backbone of peninsular Florida. In some places, the carbonates are ~14 kilometers thick. This huge platform is defined by two major submarine erosional escarpments—the western one is the West Florida Escarpment (approximately 2 kilometers relief), on the central part of which the Okeanos Explorer’s ROV will dive in April 2014 (figure courtesy A. Hine, 2009).

Generalized west-to-east cross-section extending across the Florida and Bahamas platforms. The Florida carbonate platform was built on mostly Paleozoic and Mesozoic rocks that once formed part of Africa and South America, prior to the break-up of the supercontinent Pangea. This older basement high forms the backbone of peninsular Florida. In some places, the carbonates are ~14 kilometers thick. This huge platform is defined by two major submarine erosional escarpments—the western one is the West Florida Escarpment (approximately 2 kilometers relief), on the central part of which the Okeanos Explorer’s ROV will dive in April 2014. Image courtesy of A. Hine, 2009.

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Related Links

Geologic History of Gulf of Mexico 2014 Expedition Operating Areas

Exploration of the Gulf of Mexico 2014

NOAA Ship Okeanos Explorer