Header image for expedition: Cradle of the Earthquake: Exploring the Underwater San Andreas Fault 2010

Background Information

The essays below will help you to understand the goals and objectives of the mission and provide additional context and information about the places being explored and the science, tools, and technologies being used.

  • Mission Plan

    By Chris Goldfinger

    A field of the soft coral Callogorgia sp. with its ophiuroid symbiont.

    This is the third year of a four year study to investigate the deep-water coral communities of the Gulf of Mexico.

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  • 'Green' Research - Exploration Onboard the Derek M. Baylis

    By Chris Goldfinger and Waldo Wakefield

    The Derek M. Baylis heads to sea for the transit to Fort Bragg.

    One unique aspect of the San Andreas Fault 2010 expedition is that the geophysical science legs of the ship-borne operations will be conducted from the Sailing Research Vessel (SRV) Derek M. Baylis (DMB), a state-of-the-art vessel designed as a prototype for the ‘green’ research vessels of the future.

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  • AUV Lucille

    By M. Elizabeth Clarke

    AUV Lucille on deck. With negative   buoyancy in the lower hull, and positive buoyancy in the upper hull, Lucille is able to remain stable in the unpredictable pitch and roll of the ocean while it follows the terrain of the bottom.

    Some ocean creatures are a challenge to study because they live in places that are difficult to get to or because they have complex life cycles. And to study unique creatures, sometimes scientists need to use unique tools.

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  • R/V Pacific Storm

    By Waldo Wakefield

    The Storm will support AUV operations and map the distribution of fishes associated with the fault.

    The Research Vessel (R/V) Pacific Storm joined the Underwater San Andreas Fault 2010 expedition on September 25th, immediately after having completed a project, led by Elizabeth Clarke, using the SeaBED AUV to groundtruth new multibeam echosounder imagery of the area surrounding Grays Canyon, Washington and to map the distribution of glass sponges.

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