Wednesday, September 30, 2009

Carmel Canyon

The Monterey Canyon system is composed of Soquel, Monterey, and Carmel Canyons.

Further offshore and approximately 30 kilometers down canyon from its head, Monterey Canyon joins Carmel Canyon in 1,970 meters of water. The headward parts of Monterey Canyon and its tributaries (less than 2,000 meters deep) generally have steep walls and narrow floors.

West (down canyon) of Carmel Canyon, Monterey Canyon’s profile changes. The flat floor widens and becomes less v-shaped in profile. The canyon generally trends southwest from Carmel Canyon for approximately 18 kilometers to Point Lobos Canyon.
Carmel Canyon is another relatively straight arm of the Monterey Canyon system. It has three heads. Two heads are in Carmel Bay—one at the shoreline just opposite San Jose Creek and another offshore about 3 kilometers from the mouth of Carmel River. Both cut Cretaceous granitic rocks. The third head extends along trend with the north-south oriented main canyon form, about 3 kilometers past the intersection of the other two heads.
The morphology of the east and west flanks of Carmel Canyon differ. Relatively straight sloping drainage channels and slumps lightly dissect the upper eastern wall. However, the western side of the canyon is composed of steep cliffs. The eastern wall is composed of the more resistant Cretaceous granitic rocks. Based on one dredge sample, Cretaceous sandstone crops out along the western wall and apparently constitutes the bedrock ridge.
From: Monterey Bay Aquarium Research Institute

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