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  • Monterey canyon is really one of the the great submarine

  • canyons of the world. It runs out over 470

  • kilometers meandering all the way out into the deep abyss.

  • If you drained the Monterey canyon it would look very similar to the Grand

  • Canyon with meandering channel with high steep walls and sand deposits in the

  • middle of the channel. We know the surface of other planets

  • better than we know the surface of the earth

  • in the deep ocean. And for the most part it's true because it's so much harder.

  • The ocean is in the way.

  • I think this animation allows the public to get a sense

  • of the grand scale of Monterey canyon and to start to see

  • and appreciate this massive feature that's right in our backyard.

  • Every time we go out we're mapping something that

  • that hasn't been mapped before we're seeing things that haven't been seen

  • before. We're exploring. We get to explore. We want to understand

  • how Monterey canyon formed. If when and how

  • it's changing over time and the maps are the first step to

  • beginning understanding those processes. We map at a meter scale or meter

  • resolution. We fly the AUVs at a 50 meter altitude

  • and we're using this multi-beam sonar that

  • pings three times a second and every time it pings it gets a

  • set of soundings a set of depth measurements. Every one of those

  • soundings has a footprint that's just about a meter across

  • and that's why we say it's it's meter scale mapping, if we have a feature

  • that's about a meter in size we will actually see it in our map.

  • So when we can map the sea floor at this one meter resolution

  • we can start to see and understand faults, unique biological

  • habitat, we can start to begin to understand what

  • processes are occurring in the canyons and how

  • sediment is being transported across our globe.

  • With this fly through you're seeing the data from the

  • AUVs, you come here and we'll just stop it right there and you see those

  • those bands there this is a glacier of sand that actually

  • moves really fast and really suddenly and then stops

  • and leaves behind these these features.

  • Submarine canyons like Monterey canyon form the the most important conduits

  • of material from the continents to the abyss.

  • Moving material from land to the abyss you're moving carbon

  • all around the world it's a huge part of the carbon cycle.

  • And so here we have an opportunity to study these active

  • processes, but they're globally important they're not just important here

  • in coastal California.

Monterey canyon is really one of the the great submarine

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