Ice Age Geology of the Great Barrier Reef

The upper continental slope and shelf edge of the southern Great Barrier Reef is largely unknown and poorly mapped. After a successful expedition mapping the northern Great Barrier Reef, R/V Falkor will traverse to the southern reaches of the Great Barrier Reef World Heritage Area. The goal of the expedition is to explore ancient undersea … Continued

Northern Depths of the Great Barrier Reef

The Cape York Peninsula lies in the far northern Great Barrier Reef (GBR) Marine Park. The peninsula is one of the most isolated regions of the Australian continent and little is known about what lies in the offshore deeper waters. Scientists consider these deeper waters to be a frontier area of the GBR. Sparse information … Continued

Going with the Flow: Targeted Autonomous Drifting

There are three major issues that limit widespread and frequent seafloor imaging: cost, personnel to operate platforms, and the technical complexity of long-duration vehicles. The engineering team working on this project aim to increase researchers' ability to gather scientifically useful seafloor imagery in coastal and shelf environments with technologies that can increase ease of use while … Continued

The Seeping Cascadia Margin

As the R/V Falkor transits from San Diego, California to Astoria, Oregon, Schmidt Ocean Institute will take advantage of this route, collecting valuable mapping data for unsurveyed areas over the active Cascadia Margin while hosting a unique group of Artist-at-Sea and Student Opportunities participants. Over the past two years, researchers from Oregon State University have … Continued

Solving Microbial Mysteries with Autonomous Technology

Phytoplankton form the base of the marine food web. These microscopic, single-celled organisms float in seawater, taking in carbon dioxide and using light energy to make carbohydrates. Like land plants, phytoplankton need other elements and compounds (fertilizer) to perform photosynthesis in order to survive and thrive: Nitrogen is one of these key ingredients for phytoplankton … Continued

Exploring Fronts with Multiple Robots

When you build a house, you do not use only a hammer, but a variety of specialized tools in an organized and collaborative manner to construct a complex structure. The same idea holds true in oceanography, and as such, Principal Investigator João Tasso de Figueiredo Borges de Sousa of the Laboratório de Sistemas e Tecnologias … Continued

Voyage to the White Shark Café

The Mariana region is home to the Mariana subduction system. This November, scientists shed light on the Mariana back-arc spreading center looking for new sites of hydrothermal activity.

Eddy Exploration and Ecosystem Dynamics

If you have ever flown over the Pacific and looked down from the window seat, the water seems still. Viewed from this distance, the water appears stagnant with unmoving dashes of waves. This picture strikes discordantly with the imagination - it fails to capture the flux of ocean dynamics, giving little evidence to the diverse … Continued

Coordinated Robotics Part 2: ʻAuʻAu Channel

There is a great need to increase the efficiency of marine research. Building global ocean mapping infrastructure is difficult given the financial costs and human effort required in traditional oceanographic technology. Remote sensing technology (such as multibeam sonar and satellite imagery) is insufficient on its own as it cannot penetrate past the ocean surface. Robotics … Continued

Searching for Life in the Mariana Back-Arc

The Mariana region is home to the Mariana subduction system. This November, scientists shed light on the Mariana back-arc spreading center looking for new sites of hydrothermal activity.