Coastal Biology

Cataloging the Inhabitants of Coastal Environments

The Juan de Fuca plate is home to many forms of biology living at coastal sites along the OOI Cabled Array. Sites like Southern Hydrate Ridge at a water depth of 770 to 780 meters host abundant deposits of frozen methane (methane hydrates) that are buried beneath and exposed on the seafloor. The deposits vent methane-rich fluids and bubbles that escape through seeps on the seafloor. Dense and fascinating communities of microbes and animals are fueled by these escaping gases. The Slope Base study site at a water depth of 2800 to 3000 meters is located near the foot of the continental slope about 60 miles (100 km) west of Newport, Oregon, and is coupled with other Cabled and Endurance Array installations off the central Oregon coast. View the information, images and video related to the many different biological organisms that have been observed over the years of Cabled Array expedition cruises.

This catalog is designed as a growing archive. We hope that knowledgeable individuals will help to improve the quality of the information presented here. Have an addition or revision? Get in touch via our Contact Page.

Special thanks to all those who contributed their time and knowledge to this endeavor.
View the Contributors.

Coastal Arthropods

Crustaceans like spider crabs, squat lobsters, shrimp and sea spiders all belong to Phylum Arthropoda. Scroll down to learn of the most common crustaceans at Southern Hydrate Ridge coastal community.


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Coastal Cnidaria

Phylum Cnidaria includes jellies, anemones and coral, all of which may be found at coastal communities like Southern Hydrate Ridge, Slope Base, and the 600 m Oregon Offshore site.

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Coastal Echinoderms

Sea cucumbers (Class Holothuroidea) belong to Phylum Echinodermata. Echinoderms are common at coastal communities. These species of echinoderm were documented at Slope Base site.

Unknown Sea Cucumber 

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Coastal Mollusks

The phylum mollusca contains the classes bivalvia, gastropods, and cephalopods. Several species have been documented at coastal communities. These species were documented at Southern Hydrate Ridge and the Endurance Offshore site. Scr

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