Planet Ocean

Despite the names "Atlantic" and "Pacific," the ocean is one giant interconnected ecosystem. Learn about the systems that hold it together, from sea ice and volcanoes to currents and chemistry.

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Wavechasers and the Samoan Passage

Watch as a team of wave chasers heads to Somoa where they search for an undersea river five kilometers beneath the ocean's surface. There they measured skyscraper-sized internal gravity waves, which break and produce...

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...

Climate Change Effects on Glaciers and Ice Sheets

How will changes in temperature affect glaciers and ice sheets? Dr. Sarah Das from the Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution explores this phenomenon first hand in Greenland, where she studies how the melted ice travels...

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...

Tsunami Science

A tsunami is a series of ocean waves generated by sudden displacements in the sea floor, landslides, or volcanic activity. In the deep ocean, the tsunami wave may only be a few inches high...

Where Do Hurricanes Get Their Strength?

Hurricanes are one of the most powerful and destructive forces on Earth. But did you ever wonder where they get their strength? The formation of a hurricane is complicated, but basically, it depends on...
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Teams of Robots Can Help Us Build 3D Maps of the Ocean

One of ten robots that examined an area of 800 cubic kilometers in northern Monterey Bay, over the course of 24 days, in 2006. Credit: Dr. Naomi Ehrich Leonard By Kalila Morsink One of...

Just How Big Is the Ocean?

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...
Dr. Robert Ballard with an ROV

Five Questions for Robert Ballard

Oceanographer Dr. Robert Ballard used Remotely Operated Vehicles like the one pictured above to discover many of the world’s most famous shipwrecks, including the Titanic, the Bismarck, and John F. Kennedy Jr.’s PT 109...
Aerial image of Hurricane Bill

The Ingredients for a Hurricane

Dr. Isaac Ginis' presentation, "Eye on the Storm: Predicting a Hurricane's Path of Destruction."You can also read his " Ingredients of a Hurricane " post on our blog. I became interested in weather phenomena...

Hydrothermal Vent Creatures

Travel to a world of perpetual night--the deep ocean hydrothermal vents near the Galapagos Rift where life thrives around superheated water spewing from deep inside the Earth. Discovered only in 1977, hydrothermal vents are...
a colored shakemap from the M5.8 Virginia Earthquake depicts the shake range and epicenter of the earthquake

A Guide to Earthquake Lesson Plans

On August 23, 2011 a 5.8 earthquake emanated from the little-known Central Virginia Seismic Zone. The epicenter was near Mineral, VA, but the tremor shook homes, schools, and office buildings in Washington, DC and...

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