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Seafloor & Below


Natural Oil Seeps

As much as one half of the oil that enters the coastal environment comes from natural seeps of oil and natural gas.

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Seamounts

Mountains rising from the ocean seafloor that do not reach to the water’s surface.

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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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Hydrothermal Vents

What are Hydrothermal Vents? In 1977, scientists made a stunning discovery on the bottom of the Pacific Ocean: vents pouring hot, mineral-rich fluids from beneath the seafloor.

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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