Looking west from the
Point Reyes Lighthouse
you see the Pacific Ocean—waves
and, maybe, whales.
The map at the lighthouse visitor center (the YOU ARE HERE point in the
map) reveals a diversity of shelfscape features including banks, rocks
was a real island
over 15,000 years ago when the sea level was more than 300 feet below the
current level. Today, it is a seamount teeming with marine life above its
A multitude of interesting invertebrate species including corals and
sponges are found at Cordell Bank, Rittenburg
Bank and nearby seafloor spots.
The Fanny Shoals are underwater islands
of the Farallones—with
Noonday Rock “breaking
through the surface” at low tide.
Submarine canyons such as
Bodega Canyon (20 km long and over
1600 m deep) cut into the
This shelf-edge canyon world remains