Mapping the Seafloor

Hi everyone, it is Adeline writing today! I've been active in Exploring our Oceans MOOC since November 2014 (when I did the course while I was applying for a PhD here at Southampton!). Today, I would like to give you an update on seafloor mapping. In his video, from the first week, Dr Tim Le Bas discussed the proportion of the ocean that has been mapped. Continue reading →

Spring in Sweden

Of all the things I love about my job, the opportunity to travel is fairly high up the list! Whether it’s living aboard a ship in the Iceland Basin or crawling around in saltmarshes on Cape Cod, every trip teaches me something new and opens my eyes to a breadth of knowledge and experience I never before realised existed.  I thought it might be nice to share a trip I took recently to a workshop - one of the lesser known activities scientists take part in. Continue reading →

Exploring the southwest Atlantic – RRS Discovery cruise DY087

Ocean research brings together scientists from all around the world from a variety of backgrounds. Earlier this year, scientists from the University of Southampton, British Antarctic Survey, University of Exeter, University of Birmingham, University of Nebraska Lincoln and University of Padova came together to participate in RRS Discovery cruise DY087 to the South Georgia Basin and Maurice Ewing Bank. Continue reading →

Week one of an Atlantic crossing aboard the RRS James Cook

It’s been about a week since the RRS James Cook departed from Rio De Janeiro on its expedition across the South Atlantic Ocean. As we waved goodbye to sugarloaf, I had not yet fully realised that next time I set foot on land would in Cape Town in 6 weeks’ time. This will be my longest expedition yet and if each week is as exciting as this first, then its setting out to be an incredible journey. Continue reading →

Forty years of vent exploration – Four weeks of sampling

Four weeks at sea and we’ve got into the steady rhythm of the ship; we log the time passed from the menu in the galley (fish-Friday, curry-Saturday) and the weekly linen change. I have studied this hydrothermal site called TAG, nearly 4km below us on the seafloor, for nearly 30 years. First for my PhD, then on and off over the years. TAG is now one of the most well studied, deep-sea vent sites anywhere on the seafloor. Continue reading →

Fair winds and following seas

In many ways the work of an oceanographer hasn’t changed since the early days of the discipline when a team of scientists sailed for several years across ocean basins making spot measurements of depth and salinity; hauling up strange creatures from the depths. We still ‘sail’ in rather larger science teams for much shorter periods of time. The rhythm of work on a ship and the lowering and hauling of wires is very familiar. Continue reading →

Five things we’ve learnt about the oceans in the last 25 years

It’s early 1993 and I am sailing across the Atlantic Ocean aboard the Royal Research Ship Charles Darwin on my first deep-sea adventure. The late Harry Elderfield is our chief scientist and we are mapping out the newly discovered hydrothermal vents along the Mid-Atlantic Ridge and sampling the plumes that waft upwards from the hot seafloor vents. We tow our sensors on frames hanging from conducting wires that are kilometres long, gradually building up a picture of the plumes. Continue reading →