Bottom Depth Range: 190-387 feet (58-118 meters)
Distance from Land: 99 miles (159 km)
Area: 7.0 square miles (18.1 sq km)
Parker Bank includes significant mesophotic habitat that is dominated by black corals, octocorals, fish, sponges, algae and invertebrates. A large field of abundant Hypnogorgia/Muricea octocorals was encountered during ROV surveys, as well as high relief ridges providing plenty of habitat for fish and invertebrates.
Parker Bank is named after Frances L. Parker, an oceanographer from Scripps. This is the only significant bank in the region that is named after a woman.
Who Was Frances L. Parker?
Frances Lawrence Parker (1906-2002) was a paleogeologist who studied and classified benthic and planktonic foraminifera, publishing numerous papers on the subject. Much of her work received global recognition and proved crucial to understanding ocean core samples and their significance in locating oil and gas reserves.
While most of her career was spent working with Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution and Scripps Institution of Oceanography, she also worked as a paleontologist with Shell Oil in Houston, TX for a brief time in the 1940s. In the 1950s, she published a series of studies on foraminifera from the Gulf of Mexico.