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Biogeochemistry


Plate Tectonics Fuels a Vast Underground Ecosystem

The subsurface is among Earth’s largest biomes, but the extent to which microbial communities vary across tectonic plate boundaries or interact with subduction-scale geological processes remains unknown. In a recently published study, scientists compare bacterial community composition with deep-subsurface geochemistry from 21 hot springs across the Costa Rican convergent margin.

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Putting the ‘nuclear coffin’ in perspective

WHOI geochemist Ken Buesseler discusses marine radioactivity monitoring in the Marshall Islands atop Runit Dome

WHOI chemist and marine radioactivity expert shares his thoughts about radioactivity waste leaking from Runit Dome—a bomb crater filled with radioactive soil in the Marshall Islands that is now being penetrated by rising sea levels

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Falling in love with foraminifera

WHOI Senior Scientist Joan Bernhard holds a synthetic model of a foram species known as Astrammina

A marine geobiologist falls for the ‘brains’ and beauty of an ancient single-celled creature that can change its shell into a variety of geometric shapes.

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Putting the ‘nuclear coffin’ in perspective

WHOI geochemist Ken Buesseler discusses marine radioactivity monitoring in the Marshall Islands atop Runit Dome

WHOI chemist and marine radioactivity expert shares his thoughts about radioactivity waste leaking from Runit Dome—a bomb crater filled with radioactive soil in the Marshall Islands that is now being penetrated by rising sea levels

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Chasing Ocean ‘Snowflakes’

Chasing Ocean ‘Snowflakes’

Scientists envision putting a flotilla of devices in the ocean to act as “eyes” that can track the “marine snow” that drifts down into the ocean.

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Biogeochemistry

What is Biogeochemistry? Biogeochemistry is a relatively new scientific discipline that explores the physical, chemical, biological, and geological processes and…

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Life at the Edge

What makes the shelf break front such a productive and diverse part of the Northwest Atlantic Ocean? A group of scientists on the research vessel Neil Armstrong spent two weeks at sea in 2018 as part of a three-year, NSF-funded project to find out.

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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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What Happened to Deepwater Horizon Oil?

What Happened to Deepwater Horizon Oil?

Officials pumped a huge amount of chemicals into the deep ocean during the 2010 Deepwater Horizon oil spill in an effort to disperse the oil. A study published this week in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences offers evidence that the dispersant may helped microbes break down the oil.

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Minerals Made by Microbes

Minerals Made by Microbes

Some minerals actually don’t form without a little help from microscopic organisms, using chemical processes that scientists are only beginning to reveal.

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