What Could Have Formed This?
Video courtesy of NOAA Ocean Exploration, 2021 North Atlantic Stepping Stones: New England and Corner Rise Seamounts. Download larger version (mp4, 54.8 MB).

During our exploration of MacGregor Seamount on the eighth dive of the 2021 North Atlantic Stepping Stones expedition, we explored along the face of a near-vertical wall that may have been the remnants of an old volcanic cone that has since been eroded away. Given that the Corner Rise Seamounts were formed by hotspot volcanism around 75 million years ago, this could indeed be a rather old feature! In addition to being impressive from a geological perspective, the wall was also home to a diversity of corals, with dense patches of soft corals in the genus Chyrsogorgia and exceptionally large colonies of octocorals in the genus Thourella dotting the wall, with interspersed Iridiogorgia sp. corals as well.

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