Elvers Bank

Color bathymetric map of Elvers Bank
Elvers Bank sits at the edge of the continental shelf

Bottom Depth Range: 230-675 feet (70-206 meters)

Elvers Bank sits at the very edge of the continental shelf and reaches a depth of about 206 m (675 ft). This site habors a variety of habitats.

Mesophotic communities are dominated by black corals, gorgonians, fish, sponges, algae and invertebrates.

A flat, oval creature with ruffled edges sitting on the mud bottom. Body color is white with brown blotches.
A large (~15 cm or 6 in) unidentified nudibranch at Elvers Bank

An algal nodule field visited during ROV operations was dominated by a small orange/red sponge that provided habitat for at least one dwarf frogfish – a species rarely seen in this part of the Gulf of Mexico.

An algal nodule field with large brown leafy algae and a bright orange sponge
Bright orange/red sponges tend to dominate the algal nodule habitats at Elvers Bank

Interesting fields of sea pens and yellow stalked crinoids have been documented here, as well as outcroppings covered in glass sponges. These are long-lived animals and are rare throughout the region.

Elvers Bank was named after Douglas J. Elvers, a Minerals Management Service geophysicist.

Delicate looking white, vase-shaped sponges attached to hard substrate
Glass Sponges at Elvers Bank