Current Seafloor News and Events

Current Seafloor News and Events, Seafloor News Articles.
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A dynamic forest floor
Walk along the beach after a winter storm and you'll see a shore littered with wracks of giant kelp, some 30 to 40 feet long -- evidence of the storm's impact on coastal kelp forests. (2021-02-22)

Giant predatory worms roamed the seafloor until 5.3 million years ago
An international study in which the University of Granada participated--recently published in the journal Scientific Reports--has identified a new fossil record of these mysterious animals in the northeast of Taiwan (China), in marine sediments from the Miocene Age (between 23 and 5.3 million years ago). These organisms, similar to today's Bobbit worm (Eunice aphroditois), were approximately 2 m long and 3 cm in diameter and lived in burrows. (2021-02-18)

Seismic surveys using fin whale songs
Fin whale song - one of the strongest animal calls in the ocean - can be used as a seismic source for probing the structure of Earth's crust at the seafloor, researchers report. (2021-02-11)

Geologists produce new timeline of Earth's Paleozoic climate changes
MIT geologists have produced a new timeline of Earth's Paleozoic climate changes. The record shows ancient temperature variations coinciding with shifts in planet's biodiversity. (2021-02-01)

Past river activity in northern Africa reveals multiple Sahara greenings
The analysis of sediment cores from the Mediterranean Sea combined with Earth system models tells the story of major environmental changes in North Africa over the last 160,000 years. (2021-01-29)

Palaeontology: Fossil burrows point to ancient seafloor colonization by giant marine worms
Giant ambush-predator worms, possible ancestors of the 'bobbit worm', may have colonized the seafloor of the Eurasian continent around 20 million years ago. The findings, based on the reconstruction of large, L-shaped burrows from layers of seafloor dating back to the Miocene (23 million to 5.3 million years ago) of northeast Taiwan, are reported in Scientific Reports this week. (2021-01-21)

A sea of rubbish: ocean floor landfills
The Messina Strait, a submarine bridge separating the island of Sicily from the Italian Peninsula, is the area with the largest marine litter density worldwide -more than a million objects per square kilometre in some parts-, as reported in a new review paper published in the journal Environmental Research Letters. (2021-01-19)

Changing resilience of oceans to climate change
Oxygen levels in the ancient oceans were surprisingly resilient to climate change, new research suggests. (2021-01-15)

Environment: Seagrass meadows may facilitate marine plastic removal from the sea
Underwater seagrass meadows may trap, extract and carry marine plastic debris to shore, thereby helping to remove plastic litter from the sea, according to a study published in Scientific Reports. (2021-01-14)

Study reveals jellyfish create a 'virtual wall' to enhance performance
New discovery finds that Jellyfish create a ''ground effect,'' similar to how air squeezes between an airplane and ground during take-off, which builds pressure and a force that boosts performance. Never before has it been proven that an animal can create this phenomenon away from a solid boundary, let alone the open ocean. (2021-01-08)

The moon controls the release of methane in Arctic Ocean
The moon controls one of the most formidable forces in nature - the tides that shape our coastlines. Tides, in turn, significantly affect the intensity of methane emissions from the Arctic Ocean seafloor. High tides may even counter the potential threat of submarine methane release from the warming Arctic. (2020-12-14)

Prehistoric 'sea dragon' discovered on English Channel Coast is identified as new species
A mysterious small marine reptile dating from 150 million years ago has been identified as a new species that may have been capable of diving very deeply. The well-preserved specimen was found in a Late Jurassic deep marine deposit along the English Channel coastline in Dorset, England. (2020-12-09)

Deep-sea volcanoes: Windows into the subsurface
New research at the Brothers submarine arc volcano sheds light on the complexity of microbial composition on the seafloor and provides insights into how past and the present subsurface process could be imprinted in microbial diversity. (2020-11-30)

An escape route for seafloor methane
An MIT study has solved the mystery of how and why columns of methane, a potent greenhouse gas, can stream out of solid sea-floor formations known as methane hydrates. (2020-11-30)

Study reveals true origin of oldest evidence of animals
Two teams of scientists have resolved a longstanding controversy surrounding the origins of complex life on Earth. The joint studies found molecular fossils extracted from 635-million-year-old rocks aren't the earliest evidence of animals, but instead common algae. (2020-11-23)

Large predatory fish thrive on WWII shipwrecks off North Carolina coast
Results of an expedition to a sunken U-boat and Nicaraguan freighter, published this week in Ecosphere, offer a detailed glimpse into unexpected ''islands of habitat.'' (2020-11-17)

Love waves from the ocean floor
Supercomputer simulations of planetary-scale interactions show how ocean storms and the structure of Earth's upper layers together generate much of the world's seismic waves. Decoding the faint but ubiquitous vibrations known as Love waves could yield insights about Earth's storm history, changing climate and interior. (2020-11-13)

Coastal permafrost more susceptible to climate change than previously thought
Research led by Micaela Pedrazas, who earned her masters at The University of Texas at Austin Jackson School of Geosciences working with Professor Bayani Cardenas, has found permafrost to be mostly absent throughout the shallow seafloor along a coastal field site in northeastern Alaska. That means carbon can be released from coastline sources much more easily than previously thought. (2020-10-23)

Depths of the Weddell Sea are warming five times faster than elsewhere
Over the past three decades, the depths of the Antarctic Weddell Sea have warmed five times faster than the rest of the ocean at depths exceeding 2,000 metres. This was the main finding of an article just published by oceanographers from the Alfred Wegener Institute, Helmholtz Centre for Polar and Marine Research (AWI). (2020-10-20)

Microbial diversity below seafloor is as rich as on Earth's surface
For the first time, researchers have mapped the biological diversity of marine sediment, one of Earth's largest global biomes. The research team discovered that microbial diversity in the dark, energy-limited world beneath the seafloor is as diverse as in Earth's surface biomes. (2020-10-20)

Deep-seabed mining lastingly disrupts the seafloor food web
Deep-seabed mining is considered a way to address the increasing need of rare metals. However, the environmental impacts are considered to be substantial but remain largely unknown and clear regulatory standards are lacking. Researchers at the Max Planck Institute for Marine Microbiology in Bremen, Germany, together with colleagues from The Netherlands, Belgium, Portugal, Germany and the UK, now describe that mining-related disturbances have a long-term impact on carbon flow and the microbial loop at the deep seafloor. (2020-10-08)

Volcanic ash could help reduce CO2 associated with climate change
University of Southampton scientists investigating ways of removing carbon dioxide (CO2) and other greenhouse gases from our atmosphere believe volcanic ash could play an important role. (2020-09-29)

OBS deep seismic survey uncovered crustal structure mystery of NW sub-basin of the SCS
The formation and evolution history of Northwestern sub-basin has many different opinions due to its own short-period spreading and strong volcanic activities. This research has provided the evidences from deep velocity structures in the Northwestern sub-basin. (2020-09-15)

Shedding light on coral reefs
New research published in the journal Coral Reefs generates the largest characterization of coral reef spectral data to date. These data are an initial step in building a quantitative understanding of reef water clarity. With these data, coral reef scientists can begin to develop models to address fundamental questions about how reefs function, such as how much light reaches the various reef zones or how ecological zonation on reefs might be driven by light absorption. (2020-09-11)

'Wrong-way' migrations stop shellfish from escaping ocean warming
Ocean warming is paradoxically driving bottom-dwelling invertebrates -- including sea scallops, blue mussels, surfclams and quahogs that are valuable to the shellfish industry -- into warmer waters and threatening their survival, a Rutgers-led study shows. (2020-09-07)

There is at least 10 times more plastic in the Atlantic than previously thought
Scientists measured 12-21 million tonnes of three of the most common types of plastic in the top 200 metres of the Atlantic. By assuming the concentration of plastic in the whole Atlantic is the same as that measured at 200 metres deep, the scientists estimated there is around 200 million tonnes of three of the most common types of plastic alone. Compare this to the previously estimated figure of 17 million. (2020-08-18)

Reconstructing global climate through Earth's history
Accurate temperature estimates of ancient oceans are vital because they are the best tool for reconstructing global climate conditions in the past. While climate models provide scenarios of what the world could look like in the future, paleoclimate studies (study of past climates) provide insight into what the world did look like in the past. (2020-08-13)

Deep-sea misconceptions cause underestimation of seabed-mining impacts
A new publication on the impacts of deep-seabed mining by 13 prominent deep-sea biologists, led by University of Hawai'i at Mānoa, seeks to dispel scientific misconceptions that have led to miscalculations of the likely effects of commercial operations to extract minerals from the seabed. (2020-08-07)

Mix of contaminants in Fukushima wastewater, risks of ocean dumping
Nearly 10 years after the Tohoku-oki earthquake and tsunami devastated Japan's Fukushima Dai-ichi Nuclear Power, radiation levels have fallen to safe levels in all but the waters closest to the shuttered power plant. An article published August 8 in the journal Science looks at the many radioactive elements contained in the tanks and suggests that more needs to be done to understand the potential risks of releasing wastewater from the tanks into the ocean. (2020-08-06)

Identifying and contending with radioisotopes of concern at Fukushima
In this Perspective, Ken Buesseler describes the enormous challenges that remain in doing clean-up on land in Japan following the Fukushima Daiichi Nuclear Power Plant disaster in 2011, even as some progress has been made offshore. (2020-08-06)

How the seafloor of the Antarctic Ocean is changing - and the climate is following suit
Experts have reconstructed the depth of the Southern Ocean at key phases in the last 34 million years of the Antarctic's climate history (2020-08-04)

Coastal cities leave up to 75% of seafloor exposed to harmful light pollution
New research is the first in the world to quantify the extent to which biologically important artificial light is prevalent on the seafloor and could, in turn, be having a detrimental effect on marine species. (2020-07-30)

New study confirms extensive gas leaks in the North Sea
At abandoned oil & gas wells in the North Sea, considerable quantities of the potent greenhouse gas methane escape uncontrolled into the water. These leaks account for the dominant part of the total methane budget of the North Sea. This is shown in a new study recently published by researchers from GEOMAR, Kiel, Germany in the International Journal of Greenhouse Gas Control. It confirms earlier studies based on a greatly extended data basis. (2020-07-30)

Deep sea microbes dormant for 100 million years are hungry and ready to multiply
In a new study published in Nature Communications, researchers reveal that given the right food in the right laboratory conditions, microbes collected from subseafloor sediment as old as 100 million years can revive and multiply, even after laying dormant since large dinosaurs prowled the planet. (2020-07-28)

Marine microorganisms: How to survive below the seafloor
Foraminifera, an ancient and ecologically highly successful group of marine organisms, are found on and below the seafloor. Geobiologists at Ludwig-Maximilians-Universitaet (LMU) in Munich report that several species not only survive, but thrive, in these oxygen-free sediments. (2020-07-20)

Evolution after Chicxulub asteroid impact: Rapid response of life to end-cretaceous mass
The impact event that formed the Chicxulub crater (Yucatán Peninsula, México) caused the extinction of 75% of species on Earth 66 million years ago, including non-avian dinosaurs. One place that did not experience much extinction was the deep, as organisms living in the abyss made it through the mass extinction event with just some changes to community structure. (2020-07-14)

Scientists urge caution, further assessment of ecological impacts above deep sea mining
A new study, led by University of Hawai'i at Mānoa researchers, argues that deep-sea mining poses significant risks, not only to the area immediately surrounding mining operations but also to the water hundreds to thousands of feet above the seafloor, threatening vast midwater ecosystems. Further, the scientists suggest how these risks could be evaluated more comprehensively to enable society and managers to decide if and how deep-sea mining should proceed. (2020-07-09)

Four new species of giant single-celled organisms discovered on Pacific seafloor
Two new genera and four new species of giant, single-celled xenophyophores (protozoans belonging to a group called the foraminifera) were discovered in the deep Pacific Ocean during a joint project between scientists at the National Oceanography Centre, UK; the University of Hawai'i and the University of Geneva. (2020-06-24)

16 new papers describe discoveries at long-term deep-sea research site off California
A recent special issue of the journal Deep-Sea Research II features 16 new papers about MBARI's long-term, deep-sea research site Station M. (2020-06-16)

Plastic in the deep sea: Virtually unaltered after a quarter of a century
Even in the most remote regions of the oceans plastic debris can be found. Usually it is impossible to determine how long they have been lying on the seabed. Up to now, this has also hampered attempts to estimate how long plastic degradation might take. Scientists have now examined plastic items that have verifiably been at the abyssal seabed for more than 20 years. They could not find any traces of fragmentation or even degradation. (2020-06-11)

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