Open Ocean Kelp Forest?

Talk about serendipitous discoveries! Superuser artman40 recently posted an image on the discussion boards with a question, is this kelp out in the middle of the ocean?

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The answer is YES! There is a kelp forest located about 100 miles off the coast of San Diego, CA, on a seamount known as the Cortez Banks. Many of you may have already heard about this place as it is one of the premier sites for big wave surfing in the world, with waves over 80 ft high! Check out this video:

While this was a surprise for us, spear fishers and sea lions have known about this spot for years! Check out this video where you can clearly see giant kelp:

With this new information we can begin to look more closely at this very unique kelp forest and ask interesting questions like: How often is this forest present? How does kelp get there? How are ocean circulation patterns affecting kelp’s presence and growth?

And we couldn’t have done it without YOU, our awesome citizen scientists! Great job FloatingForests team!

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One response to “Open Ocean Kelp Forest?”

  1. Art says :

    Very interesting insight. Are there other similar locations?

    By the way, I think Floating Forest project needs “Inland with no clouds on the edges” button so you could tag locations where living kelp won’t appear at all due to lack of saltwater. This means that through filtering algorithms, it is possible to omit a large amount of images with no chance of kelp appearing, thus making the project go much quicker.

    Like

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