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deep-sea

Understanding cold-water corals

This post is a contribution from our guest Dr Katleen Robert, at the Fisheries and Marine Institute of Memorial University, St John’s, NL, Canada. From May 15th to June 8th, I was lucky enough to participate in my 10th expedition at sea.  As part of the TOSCA Expedition composed of an international team of scientists, I boarded the RV Celtic Explorer in Galway, Ireland, and we left for the Charlie-Gibbs Fracture Zone, approximately 1,500 km away in the middle of the Norther Atlantic. Continue reading →

ROV dives for dummies!

With the collaboration of the ROV Holland 1, the scientific expedition TOSCA, the Research Vessel Celtic Explorer, from the Irish Marine Institute (http://scientistsatsea.blogspot.com/) , and some notes from Dr. Katleen Robert (Memorial University of Newfoundland, Canada).  Everything you always wanted to know – from A to Z about how to succeed a ROV (remotely operated vehicle) dive. Continue reading →

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 →

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 →

Blue Planet 2 | Episode 2 | The Deep

It amazes me that a programme that has immortalised lecture content from my degree has become the most-watched British television programme of the year. Two years after being totally captivated by Dr Jon Copley’s lecture about the ecology of deep sea hydrothermal vents, whale falls and trenches, he was directly involved in helping the BBC bring these same environments to the public’s attention. Continue reading →

Deep-sea corals

When we think of corals, for most people this brings up colorful views of clear blue waters and colorful tropical reefs around which swim a multitude of exotic fish.  However, these are not the only coral reefs present in our ocean, there are highly productive and extensive reefs in the colder and deeper waters of our oceans. Continue reading →