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Research Highlights

Oceanus Magazine

The Remarkable Diversity of Seafloor Vents

The Remarkable Diversity of Seafloor Vents

February 13, 2004

Since 1982, I had spent most of my waking hours examining pieces of seafloor vent deposits that had been recovered during a routine dredging operation along the Juan de Fuca Ridge off the Pacific Northwest coast.

When Seafloor Meets Ocean, the Chemistry Is Amazing

When Seafloor Meets Ocean, the Chemistry Is Amazing

February 13, 2004

Scientists are discovering that abundant quantities of methane gas are continually seeping from the seafloor throughout the oceans. This widespread but overlooked natural phenomenon has potentially dramatic implications on world energy supplies, life in the oceans, and Earth’s climate.

How to Build a Black Smoker Chimney

How to Build a Black Smoker Chimney

December 1, 1998

Diving along the mid-ocean ridge at 21°N on the East Pacific Rise, scientists within the deep submersible Alvin peered through their tiny portholes two decades ago to see an astonishing sight: Clouds of billowing black “smoke” rising rapidly from the tops of tall rocky “chimneys.”

The Cauldron Beneath the Seafloor

The Cauldron Beneath the Seafloor

December 1, 1998

Just over 20 years ago, scientists exploring the mid-ocean ridge system first made the spectacular discovery of black smokers—hydrothermal chimneys made of metal sulfide minerals that vigorously discharge hot, dark, particulate-laden fluids into the ocean.

A New Way to Catch the Rain

December 1, 1997

The carbon budget of the upper ocean includes an important loss to the deep ocean due to a very slowly falling rain of organic particles, usually called sediment. As this sediment falls through the upper water column it is consumed, mainly by bacteria, and the carbon is recycled into nonsinking forms (dissolved or colloidal organic carbon or inorganic forms). Thus the sediment rain decreases with increasing depth in the water column, and only a tiny fraction reaches the deep sea floor, less than about one percent.

News Releases

USVI Reef

WHOI Scientists ‘read’ the messages in chemical clues left by coral reef inhabitants

June 10, 2024

What species live in this coral reef, and are they healthy? Chemical clues emitted by marine organisms might hold that information

A Kids Book

Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution Marine Chemist Authors ‘A Kids Book About Being a Scientist’

May 21, 2024

In his new book, A Kids Book About Being a Scientist, award-winning author and WHOI chemist Chris Reddy encourages young people to explore the world around them

Sampling Rosette

Human Activity Is Causing Toxic Thallium to Enter the Baltic Sea, According to New Study

May 2, 2024

Human activities account for a substantial amount – anywhere from 20% to more than 60% – of toxic thallium that has entered the Baltic Sea over the past 80 years, according to new research by scientists affiliated with WHOI and other institutions.

Dr. Elizabeth B. Kujawinski

ASLO honors Elizabeth B. Kujawinski with the 2024 G. Evelyn Hutchinson Award

February 13, 2024

Woods Hole, Mass. — Each year, the Association for the Sciences of Limnology and Oceanography (ASLO) honors scientists for their outstanding achievements in aquatic science research, service, and education. The G. Evelyn Hutchinson Award recognizes a mid-career scientist who has […]

Deep Rover underwater

Researchers Studying Ocean Transform Faults, Describe a Previously Unknown Part of the Geological Carbon Cycle

February 12, 2024

Woods Hole, Mass. – Studying a rock is like reading a book. The rock has a story to tell, says Frieder Klein, an associate scientist in the Marine Chemistry & Geochemistry Department at the Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution (WHOI).

The rocks […]

News & Insights

Japan releases treated water from ruined nuclear plant

August 24, 2023

WHOI marine radiochemist Ken Buesseler weighs in on the discharge of wastewater from Fukushima

What happens to natural gas in the ocean?

October 6, 2022

WHOI marine chemist Chris Reddy weighs in on a methane leak in the Baltic Sea

Ocean Encounters: Ocean Pollution

March 2, 2022

In case you missed it… From plastic to oil spills, experts discuss ways to control ocean pollution in our last Ocean Encounters

The power of the ocean

December 23, 2021

An op-ed in the national news outlet The Hill by WHOI senior scientist Ken Buesseler reinforces the power and importance of the ocean in carbon dioxide removal strategies

Rapid microbial methanogenesis during CO2 storage in hydrocarbon reservoirs

December 22, 2021