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Oceanus Archives


Forecasting Where Ocean Life Thrives

Forecasting Where Ocean Life Thrives

The ocean, like the atmosphere, has “fronts,” and it’s hardly quiet on them. In fact, that is where the plankton that provide the foundation of the ocean food web are most prolific.

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A Change Has Come in the Arctic

A Change Has Come in the Arctic

On a long voyage across the Arctic Ocean, an MIT-WHOI graduate students finds chemical clues that climate change has already had impacts on the region.

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Students Get Their Sea Legs

Students Get Their Sea Legs

Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution is known for its ocean-going research. But some incoming graduate students in the MIT-WHOI Joint Program may never have set foot a large research ship before. A new orientation cruise aboard the research vessel Neil Armstrong is introducing students to shipboard life and oceanographic research.

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Mission to the Ocean Twilight Zone

Mission to the Ocean Twilight Zone

The twilight zone is a part of the ocean 660 to 3,300 feet below the surface, where little sunlight can reach. It is deep and dark and cold, and the pressures there are enormous. Despite these challenging conditions, the twilight zone teems with life that helps support the ocean’s food web and is intertwined with Earth’s climate. Some countries are gearing up to exploit twilight zone fisheries, with unknown impacts for marine ecosystems and global climate. Scientists and engineers at Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution are poised to explore and investigate this hidden frontier.

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Industrial krill fishing

animation of industrial fishing

The twilight zone’s biological abundance makes it an attractive target for commercial fishing operations and a potential source of life-sustaining protein to support growing human populations and the demand for food. Factory ships are already harvesting twilight-zone organisms that migrate between surface waters and the twilight zone. Industry is on the brink of deepening the reach of those fisheries into the midwater, beyond national boundaries where relatively few laws or regulations apply.

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How Is the Seafloor Made?

How Is the Seafloor Made?

An ultrasound for the Earth? Using sound waves, a graduate student peers into the crystalline texture of the tectonic plates that cover our planet’s surface.

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Unearthing Long-Gone Hurricanes

Unearthing Long-Gone Hurricanes

A graduate student at Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution tracks a trail of clues left behind on the seafloor by hurricanes as they stream across the ocean.

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To Track an Oil Spill

To Track an Oil Spill

WHOI scientists are helping to develop a robotic underwater vehicle that can track oil spills and help responders mitigate damage in remote or ice-covered areas such as the Arctic Ocean and the Great Lakes.

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Tracking Unexploded Munitions

Tracking Unexploded Munitions

U.S. coastlines still have a lot of unexploded ordnance, or UXOs, left offshore by military exercises in the 1940s and 1950s. WHOI scientist Peter Traykovski is investigating where UXOs are and how they are moved and buried along the coast.

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Who Grows There?

Who Grows There?

Biofouling organisms—barnacles, tunicates, bryozoans, and other marine invertebrates—are a common sight on docks, ship hulls, rocks, and other hard underwater surfaces. WHOI postdoctoral scholar Kirstin Meyer has been studying the fouling community in coastal waters of Woods Hole, Mass., to assess how it develops and changes over time. Her preliminary results suggest that both water temperature and competition play a key role in driving community composition.

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Up in the Sky!

Up in the Sky!

Nope, it’s not a bird or a plane. It’s a drone on a scientific mission to restore a river long…

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Re-envisioning Underwater Imaging

Re-envisioning Underwater Imaging

A revolutionary new underwater imaging system developed at Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution can generate ultrahigh-definition television video, 2-D mosaic images, and…

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