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Map sheds light on ocean floor
The first comprehensive map of Australia's known offshore mineral occurrences has been released. (2006-08-10)

Methane bubbling through seafloor creates undersea hills
According to a recent paper published by MBARI geologists and their colleagues, methane gas bubbling through seafloor sediments has created hundreds of low hills on the floor of the Arctic Ocean. These enigmatic features, which can grow up to 40 meters (130 feet) tall and several hundred meters across, have puzzled scientists ever since they were first discovered in the 1940s. (2007-02-06)

US scientific ocean drilling vessel sets sail for science sea trials
After a complete transformation to modernize and upgrade the research vessel JOIDES Resolution (JR, for short), the ship has set sail from the Singapore shipyard where the work was done, for science sea trials and transit to Honolulu. (2009-01-26)

Study shows that hydrothermal vents release mercury
Hydrothermal vents on the ocean floor release mercury into the sea, geologists from Canada have found while analysing samples from vents in New Zealand. This finding raises the question about whether this (1999-10-06)

Public to see live broadcast for first time of surreal seafloor off Washington
The first ever live video broadcasts from the Juan de Fuca Ridge on the seafloor 200 miles off the Washington and British Columbia coast are planned Sept. 28 and 29. (2005-09-26)

'Turbidity currents' are not just currents, but involve movement of the seafloor itself
A new paper shows that turbidity currents in submarine canyons often involve large-scale movement of the seafloor. This discovery could help ocean engineers avoid damage to pipelines, communications cables, and other seafloor structures. (2018-10-05)

Deep-sea ecosystems affected by climate change
The vast muddy expanses of the abyssal plains occupy about 60 percent of the Earth's surface and are important in global carbon cycling. Based on long-term studies of two such areas, a new paper in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences shows that animal communities on the abyssal seafloor are affected in a variety of ways by climate change. (2009-11-02)

Mysteries of the Atlantic
Cardiff University scientists will shortly set sail (March 5) to investigate a startling discovery in the depths of the Atlantic. Scientists have discovered a large area thousands of square kilometers in extent in the middle of the Atlantic where the Earth's crust appears to be missing. Instead, the mantle -- the deep interior of the Earth, normally covered by crust many kilometers thick -- is exposed on the seafloor, 3000m below the surface. (2007-03-01)

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)

MBARI's seafloor maps provide new information about 2015 eruption at Axial Seamount
Axial Seamount, a large underwater volcano off of the Oregon coast, is one of the most active volcanoes in the world, having last erupted in 2015. At the Fall 2016 meeting of the American Geophysical Union, MBARI researchers unveiled a new seafloor map that reveals previously undocumented lava flows from the 2015 eruption. (2016-12-15)

New study pinpoints stress factor of mega-earthquake off Japan
Scripps Institution of Oceanography, UC San Diego researchers published new findings on the role geological rock formations offshore of Japan played in producing the massive 2011 Tohoku-oki earthquake -- one of only two magnitude nine mega-earthquakes to occur in the last 50 years. The study, published in the journal Nature, offers new information about the hazard potential of large earthquakes at subduction zones, where tectonic plates converge. (2016-03-02)

Multi-year submarine-canyon study challenges textbook theories about turbidity currents
At the Fall 2017 meeting of the American Geophysical Union, scientists from around the world will present 19 talks and posters about the Coordinated Canyon Experiment -- the most extensive, long-term effort to monitor turbidity currents ever attempted. The results of this two-year project challenge existing paradigms about what causes turbidity currents, what they look like, and how they work. (2017-12-11)

NSF dispatches rapid response oceanographic expedition to Chile earthquake site
Scientists funded by the National Science Foundation and affiliated with the Scripps Institution of Oceanography at the University of California at San Diego are undertaking an expedition to explore the rupture site of the 8.8-magnitude Chilean earthquake. (2010-03-19)

Salish seafloor mapping identifies earthquake and tsunami risks
The central Salish Sea of the Pacific Northwest is bounded by two active fault zones that could trigger rockfalls and slumps of sediment that might lead to tsunamis, according to a presentation at the 2019 SSA Annual Meeting. (2019-04-24)

New map exposes previously unseen details of seafloor
Scientists at Scripps Institution of Oceanography at UC San Diego and their colleagues have created a new map of the world's seafloor. Twice as accurate as the previous version, the new map features a much more vivid picture of seafloor structures, including thousands of previously uncharted mountains. (2014-10-02)

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)

Study rules out ancient 'bursts' of methane from seafloor deposits
A dramatic increase about 12,000 years ago in levels of atmospheric methane, a potent greenhouse gas, was most likely caused by higher emissions from tropical wetlands or from plant production, rather than a release from seafloor methane deposits, a new study concludes. (2006-08-24)

Largest mapping of breathing ocean floor key to understanding global carbon cycle
The largest open-access database of the sediment community oxygen consumption and CO2 respiration is now available. (2019-10-29)

First-ever study describes deep-sea animal communities around a sunken shipping container
Thousands of shipping containers are lost from cargo vessels each year. In 2004, scientists at the Monterey Bay Aquarium Research Institute (MBARI) discovered a lost shipping container almost 1,300 meters below the surface of the Monterey Bay National Marine Sanctuary. In the first-ever survey of its kind, researchers from MBARI and the sanctuary recently described how deep-sea animal communities on and around the container differed from those in surrounding areas. (2014-05-07)

Naval Research Laboratory scientists investigate acoustics in Gulf of Mexico
Scientists from the Naval Research Laboratory at Stennis Space Center, MS, and Washington, D.C., recently completed an investigation of the acoustic properties of the deep seafloor in the Gulf of Mexico. (2010-05-12)

Scientists will assess health of New York-Long Island barrier protection in wake of Sandy
A rapid response science team from the University of Texas at Austin's Institute for Geophysics will help map the impact of Hurricane Sandy on the beach/barrier systems off the south shore of Long Island. The team will collaborate with researchers from Stony Brook University, Adelphi University, the City University of New York and other New York metro area institutions to assess the health of the offshore barrier system that protects damage from future storms. (2013-01-09)

Study rules out ancient bursts of seafloor methane emissions
Measurements made from the largest Greenland ice sample ever analyzed have confirmed that an unusual rise in atmospheric methane levels about 12,000 years ago was not the result of a catastrophic release of seafloor (2009-04-23)

Seafloor recovery from fishing gear impacts in Stellwagen Bank Marine Sanctuary slow, unstable
The University of Connecticut and California State University researchers found that seafloor communities in a restricted fishing area in NOAA's Stellwagen Bank National Marine Sanctuary showed indications of recovery from chronic fishing gear impacts but is not fully stable. (2011-04-22)

Volcanic seamounts siphon ocean water through the seafloor
Researchers have discovered a pair of seamounts on the ocean floor that serve as inflow and outflow points for a vast plumbing system that circulates water through the seafloor. The seamounts are separated by more than 30 miles (52 kilometers). (2003-02-05)

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)

Scientists find bacteria thriving on a feast of seafloor rock
On the deep ocean floor, microbial life is feeding on fresh volcanic rock and flourishing with greater abundance than even the most optimistic scientists thought possible. (2008-05-28)

Microbes may consume far more oil-spill waste than earlier thought
Microbes living at the bottom of the Gulf of Mexico may consume far more of the gaseous waste from the Deepwater Horizon oil spill than previously thought, according to research carried out within 100 miles of the spill site. (2010-10-20)

Powering the seafloor
Bugs living on the seafloor may soon be powering equipment such as sensors and sonar beacons. Different reactions from microorganisms living in seawater create an electrical potential difference that can be harnessed in a fuel cell to provide a never-ending source of electricity. (2000-02-01)

Deep-sea study reveals cause of 2011 tsunami
The devastating tsunami that struck Japan's Tohoku region in March 2011 was touched off by a submarine earthquake far more massive than anything geologists had expected in that zone. Now, an international scientific team has published a set of studies in the journal Science that shed light on what caused the dramatic displacement of the seafloor off Japan's coast. The findings also suggest that other zones may be at risk of similar huge earthquakes. (2013-12-05)

Earth's breathable atmosphere a result of continents taking control of the carbon cycle
Scientists investigating one of the greatest riddles of the Earth's past may have discovered a mechanism to help determine how oxygen levels in the atmosphere expanded to allow life to evolve. (2014-06-09)

Artificial intelligence guides rapid data-driven exploration of underwater habitats
Researchers aboard Schmidt Ocean Institute's research vessel Falkor used autonomous underwater robots, along with the Institute's remotely operated vehicle (ROV) SuBastian, to acquire 1.3 million high resolution images of the seafloor at Hydrate Ridge, composing them into the largest known high resolution color 3D model of the seafloor. Using unsupervised clustering algorithms, they identified dynamic biological hotspots in the image data for more detailed surveys and sampling by a remotely operated vehicle. (2018-08-29)

MU researcher to study volcanism with under-ocean sensors
Earthquakes and volcanic activity occur when the tectonic plates that make up Earth's surface move apart or converge. While this activity is relatively easy to observe on land, it's more difficult to observe under the ocean, where most of it occurs. A University of Missouri-Columbia researcher will soon undertake a study to learn more about this process by placing sensors on a mid-ocean ridge called the East Pacific Rise. (2007-02-05)

UNH technology helps map the way to solve mystery of pilot Amelia Earhart
Researchers from the University of New Hampshire's Marine School are part of the crew, led by National Geographic Explorer-at-Large Robert Ballard, that is setting out to find answers to disappearance of famed pilot Amelia Earhart. UNH has developed an autonomous surface vehicle (ASV), or robot, that can explore the seafloor in waters that may be too deep for divers. (2019-08-14)

First direct measurements of Pacific seabed sediments reveal strong methane source
Researchers from Queen Mary University of London (QMUL) have discovered a major source of an important greenhouse gas in the Tropical Pacific Ocean for the first time. (2017-02-28)

Simulated deep-sea mining affects ecosystem functions at the seafloor
The environmental impact of deep-sea mining is only partially known. Also, there is a lack of standards to regulate mining and set binding thresholds for the impact on the local organisms. Researchers at the Max Planck Institute for Marine Microbiology with colleagues at the Alfred Wegener Institute, the GEOMAR and others describe that deep-sea mining-related disturbances have a long-term impact on the natural ecosystem functions and microbial communities at the seafloor. (2020-04-29)

Bombs Away
Robot submarines that can sniff out unexploded bombs on the ocean floor may soon be clearing up live explosives in wartime wrecks and old naval practice grounds. Researchers in California have developed a system that can detect trace amounts of TNT in seafloor sludge. (1998-06-10)

Deep-sea sediments could safely store man-made carbon dioxide
An innovative solution for the man-made carbon dioxide fouling our skies could rest far beneath the surface of the ocean, say scientists at Harvard University. They've found that deep-sea sediments could provide a virtually unlimited and permanent reservoir for this gas that has been a primary driver of global climate change in recent decades, and estimate that seafloor sediments within U.S. territory are vast enough to store the nation's carbon dioxide emissions for thousands of years to come. (2006-08-07)

Panel to discuss deep-sea mining at AAAS Meeting
A panel of scholars including Stace Beaulieu, a deep-sea biologist at Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution (WHOI), will discuss the pros and cons of deep-sea mining during the symposium, (2017-02-17)

A close-up look at an uncommon underwater eruption
A new paper published Jan. 10, 2018, in the journal Science Advances describes the first up-close investigation of the largest underwater volcanic eruption of the past century. (2018-01-10)

Scientists explore large gas hydrate field off Oregon coast
Ocean Drilling Program (ODP) scientists have completed a two-month expedition off the coast of Oregon to investigate the origin and distribution of frozen deposits of natural gas known as (2002-09-10)

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