Geology Wednesday

I love it when a plan comes together!

This summer on Nautilus my expedition legs were called “California Borderlands” and my three and half weeks of sailing were right off the coast of San Diego, Long Beach, Palos Verdes, Catalina Island, and Monterey Bay. During our dives off the coast of Catalina, our Chief Scientist, Chris German, was leading our ROV exploration in collaboration with geologists from Wyoming and California. Research has shown that Catalina Island is submerging at a fraction of a millimeter per year, and tilting ever so slightly toward the mainland of California. Big picture: the submerging and tilting could cause underwater landslides which in turn can fuel a tsunami.

A fancy vocabulary word for you: tsunamigenic – the potential for a tsnuami to be generated or caused by major subductive plate boundary activity

In the tsunami’s pathway – mainland California, a mere 26 miles across San Pedro Channel. And Hercules, the ROV for Nautilus, was part of that research this summer. AND, I was just on Catalina Island to talk with CIMI Instructors at Toyon Bay about this geologic discovery.

The research was just highlighted at the Catalina Island Conservancy Symposium in Long Beach last month and written about in this article. More details and a shoutout to the Nautilus Expedition here!


ROV drawing of Hercules by the talented Karen Romano Young


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