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Ocean chemistry

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 →

Tracing Metals

Tracing metals I love the ocean, studying it, and before joining the University of Southampton as a Research fellow, I had put much thought into the particular role of shelf seas in the global marine system. In previous years I have put my focus on the deep ocean. I have been analysing trace metals in seawater to look at the big picture – how water masses with billions of liters per second are distributed along the ocean conveyor belt. Continue reading →

The Treacle Ocean

When you think of ocean oceanography you probably think of people diving with corals or boats deploying brightly coloured equipment. I myself am a physical oceanographer and personally don’t get my feet wet very often. So what do I do? Well, I model the ocean using a computer… a big one!   The ocean is very complex and understanding the whole ocean to predict how it will respond to changing climate is very difficult. Continue reading →