Saturday, January 26, 2008
(Image: Representation of the Monterey Canyon courtesy of MBARI. © 1998 MBARI.)
This region is the world's most exciting site for ocean study, according to many observers. The single biggest reason is the presence of the Monterey Canyon, a vast chasm in the floor of the bay, larger than the Grand Canyon, plunging to a depth of more than two miles, one of the most interesting marine environments in the world, and conveniently close to shore. As one magazine notes,it "isn't chance" that "major marine research facilities ring the bay." The first submarine exploration of the canyon took place in the 1970s with brief forays by the U.S. Geological Survey. In 1985, biologists got their first crack at examining life in the canyon in a one-person sub named Deep Rover.