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Featured Project Volcanoes

Spock versus the volcano

Five hundred meters below the calm surface waters of the Aegean Sea off Santorini Island, Greece, lies an active submarine volcano. There, a decision-making robot equipped with artificial intelligence searches for life and danger.

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Hydrothermal vents on the seafloor support a rich diversity of life, and they contain deposits of valuable metals used in the manufacture of lithium ion batteries. A new research paper looks at what is known about the vital microscopic life in these locations to evaluate the possible impacts of mining these and other deep-sea locations. Photo courtesy of Geoff Wheat, University of Alaska Fairbanks, U.S. National Science Foundation, HOV <i>Alvin</i>, 2014, © Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution
Arctic ice loss—Summertime ice melt along the Greenland Ice Sheet has sped up in recent decades, with more fresh water flowing into the surrounding ocean. Photo by Matt Osman, WHOI.
A new class of astronauts will graduate basic training on Jan. 10, 2020. They will join the active astronaut corps, beginning careers in exploration that may take them to the International Space Station, on missions to the Moon under the Artemis program, or someday, Mars. The 2017 class includes (top row) Matthew Dominick of NASA, Kayla Barron of NASA, Warren Hoburg of NASA, and Joshua Kutryk of CSA, (middle row) Bob Hines of NASA, Frank Rubio of NASA, Jennifer Sidey-Gibbons of CSA, Jasmin Moghbeli of NASA, and Jessica Watkins of NASA, (bottom row) Raja Chari of NASA, Jonny Kim of NASA, Zena Cardman of NASA, and Loral O’Hara of NASA. (Photo courtesy of © NASA)
Paul Caiger descends to the ocean twilight zone on the OceanX submersible, <em>Nadir</em>, with pilot Alan Scott at the controls. (Photo by © OceanX Media)
A large tidewater glacier meets the coast in west Greenland, spilling ice and meltwater into the ocean. The Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) special report on the ocean and cryosphere in Sept. 2019 highlighted how climate change is affecting the planet’s ice and oceans. 
Photo by Sarah Das,
© Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution
Mark Abbott speaking at the Exploring Ocean Worlds event with National Geographic in Washington, D.C. (Photo by Taylor Mickal, © National Geographic Society)
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Warm ocean temperatures caused large-scale ecological disruption that affected different species, including lobster. (© AP Photo / Robert F. Bukaty as seen in Oceanus magazine Vol. 54, No. 2)
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WHOI’s robot, Nereid Under Ice (NUI), samples a patch of sediment from the mineral-rich floor of Kolumbo volcano off Santorini Island, Greece. This is the first known automated sample taken by a robot in the ocean. (Video courtesy of Richard Camilli, © Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution)
Alvin operations in Florida showing R/V Lulu in background. (Photo courtesy of WHOI Archives © Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution)