Alderice Bank is located about 52.5 km (32.5 mi) southeast of Sonnier Bank, about 60 km (37 mi) west northwest of McGrail Bank, and 157 km (97 mi) east northeast of East Flower Garden Bank. The bank is an oval lying in an east-west direction, and covers an area of about 16 km2 (10 mi2).
Three spectacular basalt spires are found at Alderdice Bank. These are unique geologic features for this region.
One of three basalt spires at Alderdice Bank.
The largest of the other outcroppings is an elongated narrow ridge that extends vertically from the 76 m (249 ft) surrounding depth to a 55 m (180 ft) depth at the crest.
Rich fish assemblages swarm around the outcroppings. Benthic invertebrates, such as basket stars, are conspicuous inhabitants of the basalt blocks, in addition to coralline algae, sponges, and bryozoans.
Bed spring corals (Stichopathes sp.) and other deep coral biota are noticeable at the base of the basalt outcroppings. Two species of scleractinian(hard) coral have also been documented at the bank: Agaricia sp. and Stephanocoenia intersepta.
The video below shows footage of Alderdice Bank taken during ROV (remotely operated vehicle) explorations. It shows a variety of habitats and fish species seen at this bank. A full description of this video is available at our Northwest Banks Videos page. (3:10)