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News Releases


May 2008 Earthquake in China Could Be Followed by Another Significant Rupture

Researchers analyzing the May 2008 Wenchuan earthquake in China?s Sichuan province have found that geological stress has significantly increased on three major fault systems in the region. The magnitude 7.9 quake on May 12 has brought several nearby faults closer to failure and could trigger another major earthquake in the region.

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James R. Luyten Named Director of Red Sea Science and Engineering Research Center

King Abdullah University of Science and Technology (KAUST) today announced that Dr. James R. Luyten, one of the world’s most respected and accomplished oceanographic researchers, will become Director of the University’s Red Sea Science and Engineering Research Center (RSSERC).  He will assume his responsibilities at the Center this month. Dr. Luyten, 66, is currently the…

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WHOI VP for Marine Operations Bob Detrick Appointed to NSF Post

The National Science Foundation (NSF) Directorate for Geosciences has appointed Robert Detrick of the Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution (WHOI) as its new director of the Division of Earth Sciences. Detrick is currently a senior scientist and vice president for Marine Facilities and Operations at WHOI, and will begin his NSF position on Nov. 3, 2008.…

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New Robot Sub Surveys the Deep off the Pacific Northwest

Scientists and engineers from WHOI and the University of Washington have successfully completed the first scientific mission with Sentry, a newly developed robot capable of diving as deep as 5,000 meters into the ocean. The vehicle surveyed and helped pinpoint several proposed deep-water sites for seafloor instruments that will be deployed in the Ocean Observatories…

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Geophysical Fluid Dynamics Program Receives AGU Award

GFDP AGU Award 2008

The founders of the Geophysical Fluid Dynamics Program at the Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution (WHOI) have been selected by their peers as the 2008 recipients of the American Geophysical Union?s Excellence in Geophysical Education Award.

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Geologists Discover Signs of Volcanoes Blowing their Tops in the Deep Ocean

A WHOI research team has uncovered evidence of explosive volcanic eruptions deep beneath the ice-covered surface of the Arctic Ocean. Such violent eruptions of splintered, fragmented rock?known as pyroclastic deposits?were not thought possible at great ocean depths because of the intense weight and pressure of water and because of the composition of seafloor magma and…

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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. According to a study published May 28 in the journal Nature, scientists have found bacteria growing on oceanic crust in concentrations that are thousands- to ten-thousand times (three to…

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Marine Chemist Says “Not So Fast” to Quick Oil Detection Method

A new method for assessing environmental contamination after oil spills is in danger of being applied in situations where it doesn’t work and might produce false conclusions, a scientist at Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution (WHOI) has warned. Private firms and government agencies have recently started using long strands of absorbent polypropylene snares, also called “pom-poms,”…

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Cheetahs of the Deep

A new study has revealed that pilot whales are “the cheetahs of the deep sea,” making high-speed, all-or-nothing dives to chase and catch large prey before surfacing to catch their breath. Such sprinter-like dives stand in stark contrast to the longer, slower, and more conservative dives of other whale species that have been studied. Marine…

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Hal Caswell Receives First Per Brinck Oikos Award

Hal Caswell

The Per Brinck Foundation has selected biologist Hal Caswell of the Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution (WHOI), as the first recipient of the Per Brinck Oikos Award, which recognizes extraordinary and important contributions to the science of ecology.

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Scientists Prepare for a Risky Mission Under the Arctic Ice

Bone-chilling temperatures, biting winds, and rapidly changing sea ice conditions make the Chukchi Sea off Point Barrow, Alaska, a particularly challenging place to work. And then there are the curious neighbors – towering polar bears that periodically stop by camp unannounced. These are just a few of the challenges researchers from the Woods Hole Oceanographic…

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Making Sure the Wonder Materials Don’t Become the Wonder Pollutant

Carbon nanotubes are 10,000 times thinner than a human hair, yet stronger than steel and more durable than diamonds. They conduct heat and electricity with efficiency that rivals copper wires and silicon chips, with possible uses in everything from concrete and clothes to bicycle parts and electronics. They have been hailed as the next “wonder…

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Butterflyfish May Face Extinction

A beautiful black, white and yellow butterflyfish, much admired by eco-tourists, divers and aquarium keepers alike, may be at risk of extinction, scientists have warned.

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Researchers Give New Hybrid Vehicle Its First Test-Drive in the Ocean

Researchers from the Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution (WHOI) and Webb Research Corporation (Falmouth, Mass.) have successfully flown the first environmentally powered robotic vehicle through the ocean. The new robotic ?glider? harvests heat energy from the ocean to propel itself across thousands of kilometers of water.

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Dennis McGillicuddy Receives 27th Annual Rosenstiel Award

Dennis_McGillicuddy

The University of Miami?s Rosenstiel School of Marine and Atmospheric Science has selected Dennis J. McGillicuddy, Jr., Ph.D., as recipient of the 2008 Rosenstiel Award. McGillicuddy, a senior scientist in the Department of Applied Ocean Physics and Engineering at WHOI is a pioneer in the study of physical-biological interactions in the ocean.

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Lost City pumps life-essential chemicals at rates unseen at typical black smokers

Hydrocarbons?molecules critical to life?are routinely generated by the simple interaction of seawater with the rocks under the Lost City hydrothermal vent field in the Atlantic Ocean. The production of such building blocks of life makes Lost City-like vents strong contenders as places where life might have originated on Earth, according to research led by the…

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WHOI Geochemist Awarded for Contributions to Studies of the Physics of the Earth

Stan

The U.S. National Academy of Sciences has selected Stanley Hart of the Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution as the 13th recipient of the Arthur L. Day Prize and Lectureship. Hart, a scientist emeritus in the WHOI Department of Geology and Geophysics, was recognized for making lasting contributions to the study of the physics of the Earth.

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Earth’s Moving Crust May Occasionally Stop

The motion, formation, and recycling of Earth?s crust?commonly known as the theory of plate tectonics?have long been thought to be continuous processes. But new research by geophysicists suggests that plate tectonic motions have occasionally stopped in Earth?s geologic history, and may do so again.

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