Around forty years ago, mounds on the NE corner of Orphan Knoll were discovered. The theories as to what the mounds were comprised of are various (authigenic carbonate, hydro-thermal activity, up-turned blocks, etc.) but unconfirmed. Dive 3 on Orphan Knoll will hopefully help clear-up the mystery of the mound composition.
A hard Scleractinian coral, Desmophyllum dianthus, was found in 1978 by the Geological Society of Canada (GSC), lead by Dr. C. Keen. The fossilized and alive coral suggests that these mounds could be adequate substrate for deep-sea coral growth.
Determining the marine biology of these mounds and the geological composition of these mounds will hopefully end the debate on the origin of these mysterious mounds.
The dive plan attempts to traverse 3 mounds where the 1978 dredge locations were taken.