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Seafloor & Below


Seafloor & Below

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From plate tectonics to underwater mountain ranges spanning the globe, the seafloor and below encompasses a large field.

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Postdoctoral Scholar Program

Eighteen-month Postdoctoral Scholar awards are offered to recipients of new or recent doctorates in the fields of chemistry, engineering, geology, geophysics, mathematics, meteorology, physics, and biology as well as oceanography. The awards are designed to further the education and training of the applicant with primary emphasis placed on the individual’s research promise.

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Sentry Completes Its 500th Dive

Sentry Completes Its 500th Dive

WHOI’s free-swimming robot Sentry completed its 500th dive on October 16, 2018, off the Pacific Coast of Costa Rica. The autonomous underwater vehicle has used its sonar systems to help scientists map the seafloor, track the Deepwater Horizon oil spill, locate the voyage data recorder on the sunken El Faro cargo ship, and carry out advanced research on many other missions to help us better understand our ocean and our planet.

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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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A Close-up Look at a Rare Underwater Eruption

A Close-up Look at a Rare Underwater Eruption

A new paper published January 10, 2018, in the journal Science Advances describes the first up-close investigation of the largest underwater volcanic eruption of the past century. The international research team led by the University of Tasmania and the Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution (WHOI) used the autonomous underwater vehicle (AUV) Sentry and the remotely operated vehicle (ROV) Jason to explore, map, and collect erupted materials from the Havre volcano during a 2015 expedition. They found that the eruption was surprising in many ways.

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Life Without Guts

The Atlantic

Piece and accompanying video highlights the Alvin sub and the discovery of hydrothermal vent life

Pop Goes the Seafloor Rock

Pop Goes the Seafloor Rock

WHOI scientists used the human-occupied submersible Alvin and the autonomous underwater vehicle Sentry to explore a surprising discovery: gas-filled volcanic rocks on the seafloor that “pop” when brought up to the surface.

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The Hot Spot Below Yellowstone Park

The Hot Spot Below Yellowstone Park

WHOI scientist Rob Sohn brought an arsenal of deep-sea technology normally used to explore the seafloor to the bottom of Yellowstone Lake, where a team of researchers investigated the subsurface geothermal activity hidden from view in the national park.

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Fresh Water Below the Seafloor?

Fresh Water Below the Seafloor?

Using a new method to distinguish fresh water from oil or salt water, scientists are exploring beneath the continental shelf off New England to look for large pockets of trapped fresh water. This water may be continually filling from groundwater flowing from land or, alternatively, may have been left behind by ice ages glaciers.

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