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Geology & Geophysics


Hydrothermal field discovered at the East Pacific Rise 9°54’N

A new high-temperature, off-axis hydrothermal vent field on Pacific seafloor at 2550 meters depth was discovered in 2021 by a team that included researchers from Lehigh University; Scripps Institution of Oceanography (SIO); the University of Bergen Norway; and Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution (WHOI).

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What makes the ocean salty?

ocean salty

Know your Ocean: Did you know? What makes the ocean salty? If you go swimming in a lake, the water is fresh; when you dive into the ocean, it tastes salty. But why? The water flowing into the ocean comes from freshwater streams and rivers. These bodies of water do contain salt. It dissolves from…

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A recent reversal in the response of western Greenland’s ice caps to climate change

New collaborative research from the WHOI and five partner institutions published today in Nature Geoscience, reveals that during past periods glaciers and ice caps in coastal west Greenland experienced climate conditions much different than the interior of Greenland. Over the past 2,000 years, these ice caps endured periods of warming during which they grew larger…

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Surviving extreme heat

A team led by Anne Cohen, a scientist at Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution, received $1.75M in funding from the National Science Foundation (NSF) to study how coral reefs survive extreme heat events caused by climate change. The multidisciplinary project taps into expertise across four WHOI departments to uncover the oceanographic and biological processes that enable…

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What Happens to Marine Life When There Isn’t Enough Oxygen?

In September of 2017, Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution postdoctoral scholar Maggie Johnson was conducting an experiment with a colleague in Bocas del Toro off the Caribbean coast of Panama. After sitting on a quiet, warm open ocean, they snorkeled down to find a peculiar layer of murky, foul-smelling water about 10 feet below the surface,…

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Study Examines the Role of Deep-Sea Microbial Predators at Hydrothermal Vents

Researchers Emphasize the Need for Baseline Information of Microbial Food Webs The hydrothermal vent fluids from the Gorda Ridge spreading center in the northeast Pacific Ocean create a biological hub of activity in the deep sea. There, in the dark ocean, a unique food web thrives not on photosynthesis but rather on chemical energy from…

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Icebergs drifting from Canada to Southern Florida

A newly developed iceberg computer model helped the researchers understand the timing and circulation of meltwater and icebergs through the global oceans during glacial periods, which is crucial for deciphering how past changes in high-latitude freshwater forcing influenced shifts in climate. 

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