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Seafloor & Below


A New Ship’s Mission: Let the Deep Sea Be Seen

New York Times

Mr. Dalio was thinking of buying the Alucia when a team of WHOI experts used the vessel and an undersea robot to find the shattered remains of Air France Flight 447, which in 2009 had vanished over the South Atlantic with 228 passengers. Other search teams had failed, and Mr. Dalio saw the 2011 success as an indication of the field’s exploratory promise.

Life on an Ocean World

One of the most enduring questions humans have been asking for millennia is, “Are we alone in the Universe?” Now, we may have the opportunity to answer that question within the lifetime of the current human generation.

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Why we explore deep-water canyons off our coast

deep water corals

WHOI biologist Tim Shank joins NOAA Fisheries, the National Centers for Coastal Ocean Science, the National Ocean Service, and the Mid-Atlantic Regional Council on the Ocean (MARCO) to study the ecological diversity and economic value laden in the 90 underwater canyons along the northeast U.S. continental shelf

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The Underwater United States – virtual event recording

A virtual journey hosted by Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution and the Mid-Atlantic Regional Council on the Ocean into the submarine canyons off the U.S. East Coast and how they play an important role in a healthy marine ecosystem in a critical part of U.S. territorial waters.

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One Small Step: From Life on the Seafloor to Life Beyond Earth

A team of WHOI researchers and colleagues use a decision-making robot to explore Kolumbo volcano—an ancient submarine volcano sitting 500 meters below the surface off Greece’s Santorini Island in the Aegean Sea. The expedition was part of a NASA-funded program that will attempt to answer a number of key questions: What can the organisms living in the extremes of this dark and chemical-laden underworld tell us about life on Earth and beyond?

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Scientists are trying to save coral reefs. Here’s what’s working.

National Geographic

Without a mix of long-term cuts in emissions and short-term innovation, there’s a not-so-far-off future where coral reefs as we know them simply cease to exist, says Anne Cohen, a coral expert at the Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution in Massachusetts.

ROV Jason captures underwater video during earthquake

In January and February 2020, scientists on R/V Atlantis explored hydrothermal vents on the Cayman Rise. They used the remotely operated vehicle Jason to get an up-close view of the vents and life around them. The vents lie on a seismically active part of the seafloor known as a mid-ocean ridge. Deep-sea shrimp swarm the vents, feeding on microbes that live on chemicals flowing from the vents. While they were there, a magnitude 4.7 earthquake struck just 100 miles away. Scientists will now be able to study how seismic activity affects hydrothermal vents and the life around them.

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Holiday Dive

Alvin

Happily working through the holidays: Alvin, shown here at the vent site more than 2000 meters (1.25 miles) below the surface being piloted by Alvin program manager Bruce Strickrott.

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Nereid Under Ice explores Aurora hydrothermal vent field

nereid under ice vehicle

The newly upgraded Nereid Under Ice, a hybrid remotely operated vehicle, is deployed from the Norwegian Icebreaker KronPrins Haakon to conduct its first deep ocean dives to 4,000 meters (over 13,000 feet) along the Gakkel Ridge in the Arctic Ocean.

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The Rise of Orpheus

orpheus

WHOI’s new deep-sea autonomous underwater vehicle moves one step closer to exploring the hadal zone—the deepest region of the ocean—to search for new clues about the limits of life on Earth, and possibly beyond.

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