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.

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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

A Rutgers freshman Engineering student prepares the Scarlet Knight’s internal electronics for sea trials. Undergraduates worked on the project through the Coastal Ocean Observation Lab—known to students as the COOL room. Credit: Provided by...
A scalloped hammerhead (Sphyrna lewini) at Isla del Coco, Costa Rica.

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...
Illustration of Robotic Glider Evading Fishing Nets

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...
An algal bloom, also known as a red tide, has converted the ocean's surf to a red color

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...
The currents of the North Pacific gyre collect trash—mostly bits of microscopic plastic—into what are known as "garbage patches."

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

Mangrove Mystery – Where Did All the Pumice Come From? For years, scientists have found pumice, a porous volcanic rock, scattered on the beaches and mangroves of Belize, despite the lack of volcanoes in...

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...
A variety of plankton images from the Gulf Stream

STREAMCODE – Planktonic Diversity of the Gulf Stream

A powerful ocean current, the Gulf Stream, transports warm seawater, nutrients and organisms from the Gulf of Mexico northward along the U.S. East Coast and across the North Atlantic up towards Europe. The movement...

Rip Current Science

Rip currents are powerful, narrow channels of fast-moving water that are prevalent along the East, Gulf, and West coasts of the U.S., as well as along the shores of the Great Lakes. Moving at...
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A Microscopic Identity Crisis

Using DNA to identify larval species in the Gulf Stream When swimming in the water, the planktonic sea snail, Diacria trispinosa , flutters two wings much like a butterfly. When they retract their bodies...