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News Releases


Rerouting of Major Rivers in Asia Provides Clues to Mountains of the Past

Scientists have long recognized that the collision of the earth’s great crustal plates generates mountain ranges and other features of the Earth’s surface. Yet the link between mountain uplift and river drainage patterns has been uncertain.  Now scientists have used laboratory techniques and sediment cores from the ocean to help explain the how rivers have…

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WHOI Seeks to Raise $200 Million in Comprehensive Campaign

The Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution (WHOI) has announced a $200-million comprehensive campaign to raise endowment and unrestricted operating funds to support staff and ongoing research and education activities.  The campaign is the largest the Institution has conducted, with nearly $133 million of the campaign goal committed to date. “Depth of Leadership: A Campaign to Advance…

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Noah’s Flood: New Evidence of Catastrophic Flooding in the Black Sea

Results from a July 2005 cruise in the Black Sea may settle a longstanding debate over evidence of a megaflood in the Black Sea, the so-called “Noah’s Flood.” Multibeam bathymetry and sub-bottom profiling reveals ridges, some more than 12 meters (40 feet) high, and channels formed by erosion of the seafloor. The channels and ridges…

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Fine-tuning the Steps in the Intricate Climate Change Dance

New scientific findings are strengthening the case that the oceans and climate are linked in an intricate dance, and that rapid climate change may be related to how vigorously ocean currents move heat between low and high latitudes. The research, by Candace Major, an investigator at Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution, was presented today at a…

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New Technology for New Exploration of Hydrothermal Vents

Advances in undersea imaging systems, the development of new vehicles and instruments, and improved seafloor mapping capabilities have enabled scientists to explore areas of the deep sea in unprecedented detail.  One such area is the TAG hydrothermal mound in the North Atlantic Ocean, one of the largest known mineral deposits on the seafloor. Rob Reves-Sohn…

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Dual Vehicle Operations a Sign of the Future in Seafloor Exploration

Deploying two or more underwater vehicles from a single vessel makes better use of ship time and personnel, but requires specific technical capabilities and careful scheduling.  In the past, one vehicle has been recovered before the other was deployed, and they used different navigation systems.  During the VISONS’05 cruise on the Juan de Fuca Ridge…

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Insight into Freshwater Input to the North Atlantic Ocean

The strongest climate cooling event in the last 10,000 years occurred about 8,200 years ago. Known as the 8.2 ka event, it was an abrupt release of freshwater to the ocean as the superlake Agassiz drained through Hudson Strait into the Labrador Sea. Numerical modeling studies have suggested that the large volume of freshwater from…

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WHOI Blog from AGU

Check the WHOI blog for news updates from the American Geophysical Union (AGU) fall meeting. More than 10,000 Earth, space and ocean scientists are converging on San Francisco this week for the premier annual meeting in their field.  Hundreds of presentations and poster sessions each day will cover such topics as hydrothermal vents, ocean ridges,…

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Deep-sea Light Post Transforms the Ocean Floor into a Photography Studio

Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution scientists (WHOI) and engineers have designed a portable deep-sea light post to illuminate the dark ocean floor.  Up to now, scientists have been able to see only a few yards, like shining a flashlight on a specific spot and not seeing much around it. The lightpost significantly expands what is visible,…

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How Squid Swim: The Difference Between Theory and Observation

For years, some engineers believed squid likely propelled themselves through water by creating vortex rings, forcing fluid out of their pipe shaped funnels to create smoke-ring-like structures. But the experience of WHOI researchers suggested otherwise, so they set up experiments to check the theories against observational evidence.  They put live squid into a flume at…

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Bouncing Among the Arctic Ice: The Ultimate Arctic Machine?

WHOI scientists exploring the largely unknown currents beneath the polar sea ice have designed and successfully tested a new float that drifts at various depths through the oceans measuring water temperature and salinity. The float is programmed to rise to the surface periodically, find a lead or opening in the ice cover, and transmit its…

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WHOI Announces New Vice President for Academic Programs and Dean

James Yoder, a professor of oceanography and former associate dean at the University of Rhode Island Graduate School of Oceanography, has been chosen Vice President for Academic Programs and Dean at the Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution (WHOI).  Yoder was elected at the Board of Trustees meeting at the Institution October 14 and will assume his…

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Boston Globe, Canadian Broadcasting Corporation Journalists To be Honored by WHOI

Two journalists from The Boston Globe and a radio host/producer for Canadian Broadcasting Corporation will receive the 2005 Ocean Science Journalism Award  from the Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution (WHOI) for excellence in communicating ocean science to the public. Beth Daley and Gareth Cook of The Boston Globe are being recognized for their four-part newspaper series…

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Marine Organisms Threatened By Increasingly Acidic Ocean

Every day, the average person on the planet burns enough fossil fuel to emit 24 pounds of carbon dioxide to the atmosphere, out of which about nine pounds is then taken up by the ocean.  As this CO2 combines with seawater, it forms an acid in a process known as ocean acidification. A new study…

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WHOI Holds Commencement Ceremonies as Part of 75th Anniversary Celebration

Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution (WHOI) held commencement ceremonies September 24, awarding 34 master’s and doctoral degrees in ocean sciences and engineering as part of the Institution’s Joint Graduate Program with the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT). Commencement ceremonies for the MIT/WHOI Joint Program in Oceanography and Applied Ocean Science and Engineering  are normally held annually…

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Alvin Is Going to Pieces…Again

The Deep Submergence Vehicle Alvin will return home to Woods Hole in mid-October after two years and be taken apart right down to its titanium frame. The scheduled refit and overhaul occurs every three years or so and takes about six months. This may be the last for the 40-year-old sub, which is scheduled to…

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A Trip for the Record Books

Research Vessel Knorr will pass another milestone in its long career when it reaches one million miles traveled for ocean science this month. The 279-foot ship is working in the Southern Pacific off Chile on climate studies in the Southern Ocean around Antarctica. It is due at Puerto Montt, Chile, October 6. The milestone will…

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Studies at the Top of the World

Two Institution scientists spent the past six weeks crossing the Arctic Ocean from Barrow, Alaska, to Svalbard, Norway, onboard the Swedish icebreaker Oden, which has been working with the U.S. Coast Guard icebreaker Healy to collect data about the stratigraphy of Arctic Ocean water masses, dominant physical and chemical processes, and response to change of…

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New Images Reveal Different Magma Pools Form the Ocean’s Crust

For the first time, scientists have produced images of the oceanic crust and found that the upper and lower layers of the crust are likely formed from different magma pools. The images begin to answer some lingering questions about where new ocean crust comes from and whether it is all formed the same way. Geophysicists…

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Earth’s Ability to Absorb Increased Carbon Emissions May Be Limited

The ability of both land and sea to absorb increased emissions of carbon dioxide is limited, according to a recent study using a new computer model of Earth’s climate that takes into account the planet’s carbon cycle.  The new generation climate model indicates land and ocean will absorb less carbon, much of it from the…

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Scientists Use New Methods to Track and Protect Threatened Species

There are fish in the sea, but many species are over-exploited, aren’t evenly distributed and some, like the clownfish of “Finding Nemo” fame, are in high demand for tropical aquariums.  Understanding how marine populations grow and spread is essential to protect threatened species, yet tracking fish movements has posed an enormous challenge to science. An…

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