Professor Ivano Aiello collaborates with NOAA Fisheries on Butano Creek Restoration

For decades, sediment buildup in Butano Creek has caused a number of problems for fish and people alike. This sediment has blocked migrating steelhead and coho salmon, contributed to major fish die-offs, and flooded roads and local communities in San Mateo county.

In response to these many issues, the National Marine Fisheries Service, also known as NOAA Fisheries, assembled an expert panel to assess the situation and determine a path forward. SJSU/MLML Professor and Department Chair Ivano Aiello served on this panel and provided his expertise in sedimentology and geological oceanography to the group. Together, NOAA and partners developed the Butano Creek restoration plan which recently culminated in the removal of 70,000 cubic yards of sediment - enough to fill more than 20 Olympic-sized swimming pools! Looking to the future, NOAA now anticipates less flooding, fewer fish kills, and maybe even the return of the endangered coho salmon to the newly restored Butano Creek.

Learn more about the restoration project in the NOAA feature article.

Photo credit: San Mateo Resource Conservation District

Dr. Ivano Aiello published a new paper in Nature’s Scientific Reports

MLML/SJSU's geological oceanographer, Dr. Ivano Aiello and his colleagues recently published their study, "Characteristics and Evolution of sill-driven off-axis hydrothermalism in Guaymas Basin–the Ringvent site" in Nature's Scientific reports. To help science better understand the complex evolution of hydrothermal systems, the research team studied a young marginal seafloor spreading system, the Guayamas Basin, located in the Gulf of California.

MLML Students Win National Geographic Competition

Blogging their way to an ROV

Moss Landing Marine Lab's very own Miya Pavlock-McAuliffe and Marcel Peliks entered a contest with National Geographic's Open Explorers S.E.E Initiative and they won a remotely operated vehicle from Open ROV (here are the specs). Over the past few months they've been blogging about their mission to discover the shallow areas of the Monterey Submarine Canyon via multibeam sonar and scientific instrumentation to learn about the geologic processes that shape the Monterey Bay and understand how the features themselves influence the vibrant Monterey Bay ecosystem. The blog takes you on the journey of two scientists going through trial and error to seek new information. Their blog can be read here, and make sure to follow it too!

Several researchers at MLML will have the opportunity to use this ROV for their studies. These two Geological Oceanographers aim to study massive submarine landslides, or mass gravity flows, that periodically occur at the edges of the canyon and have been shown to move sand, mud, and rocks miles into the deep. We aren't sure why they happen as they aren't linked to earthquakes or storms. They plan to use the ROV to survey the head of the canyon frequently, in order to observe if the timing of mass gravity flows in the canyon are connected to the longshore sediment transport system: do build ups in sediment moved from the beach to offshore cause these flows?

Of course these students owe a huge thank you Ivano Aiello for support throughout this process and to QPS for donating the software to process their preliminary multibeam data, without which none of this would've been possible.