Strange new finds
Some of the unusual finds Karl and Baichtal have uncovered include a maar lying 295 feet (90 meters) underwater near Cape Addington, about 40 miles (65 km) west of Craig, Alaska. Maars are bomblike craters blasted out when magma rising underground hits groundwater and explodes. The maar is about 13,800 years old, Baichtal said. Sea level was 394 feet (120 m) lower when the maar formed.
The latest find is an underwater volcano in Behm Canal, where hundreds of thousands of tourists on cruise ships have sailed by New Eddystone Rock, an eroded volcano. Behm Canal is dotted with cinder cones, both onshore and below the water.
East of Ketchikan, a basalt flow lapped onto a 42,000-year-old beach, preserving shells, pinecones, pine needles and pollen. Barnacle plates sitting on top of the lava are about 13,000 years old, Baichtal said. The whole package now sits about 260 feet (80 meters) above sea level, hinting at how much Earth's crust has bobbed up since the last ice age.
"It gave us how much isostatic rebound there is today. That's one of those really great days in geology. You couldn't have written a better script, and there's a lot of those kind of things coming out of there," Baichtal said.