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The Ocean Blog

This autonomous operated vehicle, known as an ABE (autonomous benthic explorer), will map sites where seafloor earthquakes have occurred—enhancing our understanding of these catastrophic events.
The world beneath the Arctic ice is magical, but cold. Divers have to tolerate temperatures of 30 degrees Fahrenheit (about -2° Celsius.) To stay warm they wear thermal undergarments and use special...
At Carrie Bow Cay in Belize , Dr. Candy Feller explains her research on the effect of excess nutrients on mangrove swamps. Feller runs the Animal-Plant Interaction Lab at the Smithsonian...
Ice divers use a quadrat to study the density of creatures living on the underside of Arctic ice floes. A quadrat is a standardized square used to take sample measurements that allow researchers to...
Picture this: clear, warm water bathing spectacular coral reefs , clouds of fish, circling sharks, and 17 scientists intent on studying the pristine tropical marine ecosystems of the Southern Line...
Researcher Aimee Ellison tests samples for DNA barcoding at the Gump Field Station on Moorea.
Off the coast of North Carolina, Dr. Martha Nizinski and Johnson Sea Link pilot Phil Santos descend through the water column toward the target site. During this dive, Nizinski will observe and record...
Diving to survey, sample, and manage marine life takes a great deal of skill and knowledge. This diver is sampling the seafloor, also known as the benthic zone. This kind of sampling is important for...
Hermit crabs, like this one collected in Moorea, usually protect their soft, vulnerable abdomens from predators by reusing empty snail shells. They are picky home owners and they will trade shells...
At the Ocean Portal, we love the back-to-school season. There’s excitement in the air—new classes, new teachers, new friends, and new subjects to explore. We like to think of a new school year as a...
The Chikyu allows scientists to gather and study data about seafloor sediments as soon as they are collected. After a powerful 9.0 earthquake triggered a devestating tsunami in Japan in March 2011 ,...
Expedition data went to the Arctic Ocean Diversity database of the Census of Marine Life to establish a baseline that will help to document change in the poorly known Arctic Ocean. Scientist Kevin...
Starksia blennies, small coral reef fish, have been well-studied for more than 100 years. But Smithsonian scientists discovered that what were thought to be three species of the fish are actually 10...
Diving can be a wild ride that evokes more than a little trepidation, especially in the Pacific Ocean's famously big, cold waves. Waves that are otherwise fun for my weekend surfing can turn a...
White abalones are slow-moving, algae-eating mollusks. Rapid overharvesting since the 1970s has resulted in white abalones becoming the first marine invertebrate listed as endangered on the...
On May 31, 2009, this one-of-a-kind hybrid robotic vehicle reached the deepest part of the ocean—the Marianas Trench, located in the western Pacific Ocean, 10,902 meters (6.8 miles) below the surface...
The remotely operated vehicle ROPOS recovers a volcano monitor from NOAA’s New Millennium Observatory on the Juan de Fuca Ridge, off the coast of the Northwest United States. The station was set up...
An estimated 1.8 billion people will suffer from water scarcity by 2025. Looking for sources of water is becoming important and with oceans containing around 97% of Earth’s water, it would be nice if...
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