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Thousands of seamounts—most of them undersea volcanoes—tower above the muddy seafloor. They provide something hard to come by in the deep ocean: a solid surface to cling to. Corals, sponges, and other marine animals...
Smithsonian curator of fossil marine mammals Nick Pyenson and a team of...
Using maps and graphics, Smithsonian geologist Dr. Liz Cottrell provides an...
These deep-sea sediment cores were drilled from beneath the seafloor, and hold...

LATEST CATCH

The ocean, which we often break into five large ocean basins, covers 71 percent of the Earth's surface and holds over 1.3 billion cubic km of water. This massive space also holds over 99 percent of the area that can be inhabited...
These star-shaped grains of sand, collected from southern Japan, look like...
If you want to explore the depths of the ocean, you may want to go to the...

DIVE DEEPER

Scientists from the Integrated Ocean Drilling Program (IODP) collect sediments drilled from Earth’s crust. This marine...
The United States Geological Survey (USGS) keeps track of earthquake locations and magnitudes, accessible on the USGS website . Modern recording equipment has been in use since about 1900. While this...
Geologist Charles Paull (Monterey Bay Aquarium Research Institute) investigates geologic features similar to pingos (Earth covered ice mounds found in the Arctic) on the Arctic Ocean floor where...
Thousands of seamounts—most of them undersea volcanoes—tower above the muddy seafloor. They provide something hard to come by in the deep ocean : a solid surface to cling to. This photo gallery shows...
It isn’t everyday that a magnitude 5.8 earthquake strikes the East Coast of the United States . But on August 23, 2011, people from Georgia to New England felt the rumble and shaking of an earthquake...
The United States Geological Survey (USGS) keeps track of earthquake locations and magnitudes, accessible on the USGS website . Modern recording equipment has been in use since about 1900. While this...
Imagine: You’re in a small submersible, and you gently settle on the soft muddy bottom at a depth of 12,000 feet. It’s absolutely dark. What will you see when the exterior lights are turned on? Will...
Scientists from the Integrated Ocean Drilling Program (IODP) collect sediments drilled from Earth’s crust. This marine research program supported by 24 countries is increasing our understanding of...
Alvin, a human occupied vehicle (HOV), returns to the ship after a deep ocean dive to a seamount .
The High Coast in Sweden and the Kvarken Archipelago in Finland were inscribed on the World Heritage List in 2000. The High Coast and the 5,600 islands of the archipelago have been shaped by the...
This 3-D colored map of Chapman’s Reef—a deep-sea coral reef near Florida—was produced in 2005 with multibeam sonar technology from an autonomous underwater vehicle (AUV). Explore more in the...
There can be catastrophic results when a large amount of oil is spilled into the ocean—as when the Deepwater Horizon rig exploded and spewed oil into the Gulf of Mexico in 2010. But did you know that...
Microscopic, single-celled organisms called foraminifera have a fossil record that extends from today to more than 500 million years ago. Although each foram is just a single cell, they build complex...
A variety of corals colonize the rocky surface of Manning Seamount, part of the New England Seamount Chain located in the Atlantic Ocean just off the coast of Cape Cod, Massachusetts. This photo was...
Smithsonian curator of fossil marine mammals Nick Pyenson and a team of collaborators are heading into Chile's Atacama Desert , shown here. They'll study a rich bonebed of fossil marine vertebrates...
These star-shaped grains of sand, collected from southern Japan, look like miniature works of art -- but they were not sculpted by an artist. They are the shells of microscopic organisms called...
Climb aboard the scientific ocean drilling vessel Chikyu for a tour of this state-of-the-art research ship.
An archaeologist arranges a deep-sea core from off the coast of Britain. These cores are long cylinders of the earth's crust, drilled up from beneath the seafloor. When the cores shown here are...
An underwater archaeological stratigraphy reveals the different levels of soil in Hare Harbor, Quebec. The stratigraphy – a process archeologists use to help date materials by identifying soil layers...
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