Expedition Features

Between May 26 - June 14, 2022, a team of scientists will explore Escanaba Trough, about 200 miles off the coast of northern California, in order to characterize the hydrothermal sulfide system within the trough. They are also seeking to learn more about the hydrothermal minerals, fluids, and organisms that live near active and inactive hydrothermal settings and explore interactions between marine life, the metal sulfide minerals, and the hydrothermal and oceanic environments enveloping both. View Expedition Overview

Field Log: June 14: The Expedition Comes to a Close

June 14, 2022

This highly-successful expedition is drawing to a close. Once all the equipment was back on the deck of Research Vessel Thomas G. Thompson, we began packing the labs as the ship journeyed back to Newport, Oregon.

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Field Log: June 7

June 7, 2022

During one of our last dives at the northern portion of the Escanaba Trough (“NESCA”), as we traveled across a mud flat towards another hydrothermal area.

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Field Log: June 2: Sentry and Jason

June 5, 2022

We’ve collected several more sets of water samples, gravity cores, and had a couple more joint autonomous underwater vehicle (AUV) Sentry and remote operated vehicle (ROV) Jason deployments. All the work through tomorrow is taking place in the northern section of the Escanaba study area, nicknamed “NESCA.”

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Hydrothermal Systems in Escanaba Trough

June 3, 2022

Hydrothermal systems occur when seawater percolates down through fractures in the oceanic crust, heating up as it nears the earth’s hot interior. These systems are often found near mid-ocean ridges such as Escanaba Trough, where tectonic plates diverge, and new seafloor is created.

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Marine Geology in Escanaba Trough

June 3, 2022

Escanaba Trough is the southern-most segment of the Gorda Ridge seafloor spreading center, the only mid-ocean ridge located within the US Exclusive Economic Zone. Several geomorphic and geochemical characteristics set Escanaba Trough apart from most of the Juan de Fuca Plate-Gorda Plate mid-ocean ridge plate boundary.

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Field Log: May 27-29

June 1, 2022

As seen in this update from Bureau of Ocean Energy Management critical minerals geologist Paul Knorr, the first three days of the Escanaba Trough: Exploring the Seafloor and Oceanic Footprints expedition were indeed busy – from collecting gravity cores and collecting measurements using the conductivity, temperature, and depth (CTD) rosette to deploying vehicles to map and visually survey the seafloor.

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