Mid-Cayman Rise Expedition 2011

Mission Summary

In August 2011, NOAA Ship Okeanos Explorer embarked on an expedition to the deepest part of the Caribbean Sea, where a team of international scientists both at-sea and on shore conducted interdisciplinary investigations of the Mid-Cayman Rise – an ultra-slow spreading center where two plates gradually move apart and upwelling magma creates new crust and the adjacent Cayman Trough. Our exploration focused on the oceanic core complexes that appear to dominate construction of the rift valley walls along much of the Mid-Cayman Rise, and the inner wall of the Cayman Trough fracture zone immediately to the north – investigating the geology, marine life, and hydrothermal systems that these areas host.

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