Chirp sub-bottom profile from the Lucia Chica channel system, offshore central California, showing a buried and a seafloor channel.
Recent to modern submarine fan systems offer unique insights into the processes of sandy deep-water sedimentation. Analysis of modern systems provides turbidite researchers a glimpse of sea-floor morphology as well as timing and distribution of sediment gravity flow deposits. Factors that influence deep-water sedimentation, such as (1) basin setting, (2) source-to-basin sediment dispersal, (3) source area composition, (4) structural/tectonic activity, (5) sea level stands, and (6) climatic fluctuations, are relatively well-known for Holocene systems (last 11,000 years) and, thus, provide a contextual framework for understanding controls on deep-water sedimentation.
Katherine Maier is currently analyzing AUV bathymetry images and chirp sub-bottom profiles from the Lucia Chica, offshore central California as part of a collaborative project with Stanford, USGS, Monterey Bay Aquarium Research Institute (MBARI), and Chevron ETC.