Tides & Currents

Tides and currents move large amounts of water around the world’s oceans, as well as nutrients, oxygen and heat. Currents influence weather patterns and tides are relied on for maritime safety due to their extremely reliable nature.

LATEST POSTS

The Gulf Oil Spill: Effects on Marine Life

The Deepwater Horizon disaster has imperiled the ecosystem along the U.S. Gulf Coast. Most oil spills have occurred at the ocean surface. This one, originating at the ocean floor and rising up through the...

Underwater Robots Explore the Ocean

The robotic underwater glider Scarlet Knight crossed the Atlantic over the course of several months in 2009. Credit: Map and Photo provided by Rutgers University A Rutgers freshman Engineering student prepares the Scarlet Knight’s...

Do Sharks Smell in Stereo?

A scalloped hammerhead shark at Isla del Coco, Costa Rica. Credit: © Terry Goss 2008/Marine Photobank Animals, on land and in the ocean, live in a 3-D world, and they depend on their sense...

Robotic Ocean Explorer

This is the world’s first unmanned, underwater robot—or “glider”—to cross an ocean basin, the pioneering Scarlet Knight . The robotic glider, also known as RU27, can dive to depths of 200 meters (660 feet)...

Ship Under a Bridge

Ocean conditions change every hour of every day. Tides, currents, and winds are constantly in flux. NOAA’s real-time data helps huge ships navigate safely under bridges and around obstacles. Explore other videos that capture...

Science in a Time of Crisis: Tracking the Currents

Part 5 of a 6-part series describing Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution's efforts to understand the scope and impact of the Deepwater Horizon oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico. "Tracking the Currents" follows work...

Scientists Work to Predict and Prevent Algae Blooms

Harmful algal blooms are dangerous, producing toxins that can kill marine organisms, taint shellfish, cause skin irritations, and even foul the air Credit: Flickr User AJC1 Algae, like all organisms, normally grow in balance...

Ocean Trash Plaguing Our Sea

Garbage patches in the ocean aren't piled-up islands of trash and debris, as is the common perception. But that doesn't mean the tiny, swirling plastic bits are nothing to worry about. The currents of...

Line W: A 10-Year Portrait of Our Planet

The Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution's "Line W" program is conducting research to better understand how the oceans and the atmosphere work together to cause, and are affected by, climate variability on the earth. Since...
Carrie Bow Cay field station sits in the blue and turquoise waters of Belize.

Tracking volcanic rock to the shores of Belize

For years, scientists have found pumice, a porous volcanic rock, scattered on the beaches and mangroves of Belize, despite the lack of volcanoes in the immediate area. Thanks to the persistence of one curious...
A map that shows wind and current patterns of Belize, Guatemala and Honduras.

Pumice: Just Scratching the Surface

Since 1902, more than 40 centimeters of mangrove peat could have accumulated at the Belize site, enough to entrap and bury small pieces of pumice. But Juan’s vexing questions persisted: Why hadn’t pumice been...
A map that shows wind and current patterns of Belize, Guatemala and Honduras.

Mapping the Pumice Journey

Finding pumice on the shores of Belize is a common occurrence based on a lot of anecdotal evidence, and may have figured prominently in Mayan life over the centuries. Maggie’s Mayan friend Doroteo Cho,...

Women in Oceanography

If you think only men can helm research vessels to get their hands dirty and study ocean currents, you're wrong. This short film follows the mostly-female scientists of the R/V Knorr research ship on...

Currents, Waves, and Tides: The Ocean in Motion

Credit: Yasmine Abulhab At the entrance of most beaches, there is a bulletin board with notices about water conditions: maybe a faded sign warning about rip currents and a list of this week's tide...

CARTHE Drifters: Where does oil go when it is spilled?

One-meter-tall plastic drifters are released into the Gulf of Mexico in 2012. Over 300 of these drifters were released and their location information was sent to researchers every five minutes through GPS satellite. Credit:...

Bob the Drifter

This video, produced by Waterlust, shows how the Consortium for Advanced Research on Transport of Hydrocarbon in the Environment (CARTHE) uses drifters to collect important data about the ocean. These data help researchers learn...

Ocean Currents: Motion in the Ocean

When you look underwater, what is making the seagrass wave in the water? The answer is ocean currents . Ocean currents are continuous movements of water in the ocean that follow set paths, kind...