Seafloor Current Events

Seafloor Current Events, Seafloor News Articles.
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Seafloor currents may direct microplastics to biodiversity hotspots of the deep
Microplastic particles entering the sea surface were thought to settle to the seafloor directly below them, but now, a new study reveals that slow-moving currents near the bottom of the ocean direct the flow of plastics, creating microplastic hotpots in sediments of the deep sea. (2020-04-30)

Scientists find highest ever level of microplastics on seafloor
An international research project has revealed the highest levels of microplastic ever recorded on the seafloor, with up to 1.9 million pieces in a thin layer covering just 1 square meter. (2020-04-30)

Understanding patterns of seafloor biomass
Analysis of a comprehensive database has revealed strong links between biological productivity in the surface oceans and patterns of biomass and abundance at the seafloor, helping to explain large regional differences. The research was conducted by an international, multi-institutional research team including scientists from the National Oceanography Centre, and incorporated data from the Census of Marine Life. (2011-02-09)

What vision do we have for the deep sea?
The ocean hosts an inconceivable wealth of marine life, most of which remains unknown. International plans to mine minerals from the deep seafloor threaten this biodiversity hotspot. States are currently seeking to develop a legal framework for deep seabed mining. An international team of researchers from the Institute for Advanced Sustainability Studies has published a study warning against a rush to exploit deep seafloor resources and calling for coordinated efforts to develop alternative approaches. (2019-11-14)

Why did gas hydrates melt at the end of the last ice age?
Large amounts of the greenhouse gas methane are locked up as solid gas hydrates in the continental slopes of ocean margins. Their stability depends on low temperatures and high pressure. However, other factors that influence gas hydrate stability are not as well understood. A German-Norwegian research team has found evidence off the coast of Norway that the amount of sediment deposited on the seafloor can play a crucial role. The study has been published today in the international journal Nature Communications. (2018-02-12)

Reconstruction of Grand Banks event sheds light on geohazard threats to seafloor infrastructure
As part of an international team, a researcher from the University of Liverpool reconstructed the 1929 Grand Banks underwater avalanche to better understand these common geohazards, which threaten critical seafloor infrastructure. (2018-07-05)

Delicate seafloor ridges reveal the rapid retreat of past Antarctic ice
Detailed seafloor mapping of submerged glacial landforms finds that Antarctic ice sheets in the past retreated far faster than the most rapid pace of retreat observed today, exceeding even the most extreme modern rates by at least an order of magnitude, according to a new study. (2020-05-28)

Port Valdez invertebrates stabilized 26 years after quake
It took 26 years for marine invertebrates living on the Port Valdez seafloor to stabilize after Alaska's Great Earthquake of 1964, according to a scientist at the University of Alaska Fairbanks. (2011-04-25)

Scientists Witness Creation of New Hydrothermal Vents on Seafloor
During a recent National Science Foundation (NSF)-funded research expedition aboard the scientific drill ship JOIDES Resolution, two new hot springs were created on the seafloor. This event reactivated an ancient hydrothermal system which produced extensive mineral deposits on or just below the ocean floor (1996-10-04)

Big data maps world's ocean floor
Scientists from the University of Sydney's School of Geosciences have led the creation of the world's first digital map of the seafloor's geology. (2015-08-09)

World-first uses satellites and ocean models to explain Antarctic seafloor biodiversity
In a world-first, a research team of Australian and international scientists has used data collected by satellites and an ocean model to explain and predict biodiversity on the Antarctic seafloor. (2017-12-11)

Human impacts on the deep seafloor
Scientists have for the first time estimated the physical footprint of human activities on the deep seafloor of the Northeast Atlantic. The findings published in the journal PLoS ONE reveal that the area disturbed by bottom trawling commercial fishing fleets exceeds the combined physical footprint of other major human activities considered. (2010-09-14)

California seafloor mapping reveals hidden treasures
Science and technology have peeled back a veil of water just offshore of California, revealing the hidden seafloor in unprecedented detail. New imagery, specialized undersea maps, and a wealth of data from along the California coast are now available. Three new products in an ongoing series were released today by the US Geological Survey. (2013-08-09)

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)

Variations in seafloor create freak ocean waves
Florida State University researchers have found that abrupt variations in the seafloor can cause dangerous ocean waves known as rogue or freak waves -- waves so catastrophic that they were once thought to be the figments of seafarers' imaginations. (2019-02-01)

Methane Deep In Ocean Crust Could Feed Chemical-Hungry Microorganisms
Tiny bubbles full of brine may be creating a storehouse of nutrients needed by microorganisms living at the seafloor and, possibly, deep within the earth's crust. A UW oceanographer presents evidence at this week's AGU meeting that a significant reservoir of methane may be found in rock beneath the seafloor (1996-12-15)

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)

Abundant and diverse ecosystem found in area targeted for deep-sea mining
In a study published in Scientific Reports, scientists discovered impressive abundance and diversity among the creatures living on the seafloor in the Clarion-Clipperton Zone -- an area in the equatorial Pacific Ocean being targeted for deep-sea mining. The study found that more than half of the species they collected were new to science, reiterating how little is known about life on the seafloor in this region.  (2016-07-29)

Reversal of fortunes
Scientists have discovered that the seafloor from the Mississippi River Delta to the Gulf of Mexico is eroding like the land loss that is occurring on the Louisiana coast. This research was published recently in the journal Marine Geology. (2018-04-03)

ROV discovers Antarctic seafloor fauna
Remotely Operated Vehicles (ROV) remain an efficient technology to uncover the secrets of Antarctic seafloor fauna. As a precursor to the International Polar Year 2007/2008, the current Polarstern expedition conducted by the Alfred Wegener Institute for Polar and Marine research releases short seafloor video clips taken by ROV only a few hours after the robot has been recovered. (2007-01-18)

Microbes in the seafloor: Little nutrients, lots of oxygen
About one-quarter of the global seafloor is extremely nutrient poor. Contrary to previous assumptions, it contains oxygen not just in the thin surface layer, but also throughout its entire thickness. (2015-03-16)

URI scientists study life buried deep beneath the ocean floor
URI oceanographers Steven D'Hondt, Scott Rutherford, and Arthur J. Spivack are studying the activity of bacterial life deep in the sediments at the bottom of the ocean. The most recent issue of Science reports that they use the chemistry of the water in deep-sea sediments to show that these abundant organisms respire at far slower rates than organisms living at Earth's surface. (2002-03-19)

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)

Cold production of new seafloor
Magma steadily emerges between oceanic plates. It pushes the plates apart, builds large underwater mountains and forms new seafloor. This is one of the fundamental processes that constantly change the face of the Earth. But there are also times when new seabed is created without any volcanism, by un-roofing mantle material directly at the seafloor. Scientists led by GEOMAR, Germany have published the first estimation based on seismic data on how much seafloor is produced this way. (2018-05-24)

CSIRO points the way to seafloor riches
CSIRO expeditions uncovered surprisingly rich deposits on the seafloor which were subsequently pegged by the Australian-managed company, Nautilus Minerals Limited. This has led to the possible utilisation of an exciting and valuable new resource by Placer Dome. (2004-12-20)

Marine microbiology -- Successful extremists
In nutrient-poor deep-sea sediments, microbes belonging to the Archaea have outcompeted bacterial microorganisms for millions of years. Their ability to efficiently scavenge dead cells makes them the basal producers in the food chain. (2019-06-19)

New map uncovers thousands of unseen seamounts on ocean floor
Scientists have created a new map of the world's seafloor, offering a more vivid picture of the structures that make up the deepest, least-explored parts of the ocean. (2014-10-02)

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)

EARTH: Seeing the seafloor in high definition
As the US celebrates National Oceans Month in June, scientists who study the seafloor are excited because they believe that humans will end this century with a far better view of our seafloor than at any other time in human history. (2016-06-03)

King crabs threaten seafloor life near Antarctica
King crabs and other crushing predators are thought to have been absent from cold Antarctic shelf waters for millions of years. Scientists speculate that the long absence of crushing predators has allowed the evolution of a unique Antarctic seafloor fauna with little resistance to predatory crabs. A recent study indicates that one species of king crab has moved 120 km across the continental shelf in West Antarctica and established a large, reproductive population in the Palmer Deep along the west Antarctic Peninsula. (2011-09-07)

Rice researchers solve longstanding tectonic mystery
Geologists at Rice University have located the oceanic portion, off the southern African coast, of a boundary between the west African (Nubian) plate and the east African (Somalian) plate, solving a decades-old tectonic mystery. Comparing records of magnetic variations in the seafloor of the southern Indian Ocean, the geologists located the intersection of the African and Antarctic plates within a 100-kilometer-wide region known as the Andrew Bain Fracture Zone Complex. (2002-03-18)

Antarctic fjords are climate-sensitive hotspots of diversity in a rapidly warming region
In the first significant study of seafloor communities in the glacier-dominated fjords along the west Antarctic Peninsula, scientists expected to find an impoverished seafloor highly disturbed by glacial sedimentation, similar to what has been documented in well-studied Arctic regions. Instead, they found high levels of diversity and abundance in megafauna. The difference can be explained by the fact that the subpolar Antarctic is in an earlier stage of climate warming than the Arctic. (2013-12-03)

'Ultrasound' of Earth's crust reveals inner workings of a tsunami factory
Research announced this week by US and Japanese geoscientists may explain why part of the seafloor near the southwest coast of Japan generates devastating tsunamis, such as the 1944 Tonankai event, which killed at least 1,200 people. The findings will help assess the risk of giant tsunamis in other regions of the world. (2007-11-15)

Evidence for a giant flood in the central Mediterranean Sea
Marine scientists have uncovered evidence of one of the largest floods in Earth's history in the central Mediterranean seafloor. The flood, known as the Zanclean flood, is thought to have ended the Messinian Salinity Crisis (MSC), a period during which the Mediterranean Sea became partially dried up. (2018-03-21)

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)

Unexplored Arctic region to be mapped
A scientific expedition this fall will map the unexplored Arctic seafloor where the US and Canada may have sovereign rights over natural resources such as oil and gas and control over activities such as mining. Both countries will use the resulting data to establish the outer limits of the continental shelf, according to the criteria set out in the Convention on the Law of the Sea. (2008-09-02)

Deep sea fish remove 1 million tonnes of CO2 every year from UK and Irish waters
Deep sea fishes remove and store more than one million tonnes of CO2 from UK and Irish surface waters every year, according to a new study led by the University of Southampton. (2014-06-03)

Survey of supposed deep-sea chemical munitions dump off Southern California
At this week's meeting of the American Geophysical Union in San Francisco, researchers from the Monterey Bay Aquarium Research Institute describe a preliminary seafloor survey of an area off the Southern California coast marked on charts as a chemical munitions site. The preliminary survey turned up trash and 55-gallon drums, but no chemical munitions. (2013-12-09)

Subseafloor sediment in South Pacific Gyre
An international oceanographic research expedition to the middle of the South Pacific Gyre found so few organisms beneath the seafloor that it may be the least inhabited sediment ever explored for evidence of life. (2009-06-22)

New research into the deep ocean floor yields promising results for microbiologists
Research by a small group of microbiologists is revealing how marine microbes live in a mysterious area of the Earth: the realm just beneath the deep ocean floor. The ocean crust may be the largest biological reservoir on our planet. (2010-06-14)

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