Seeking Space Rocks

On March 7, 2018 at 8:05 PM local time, a meteorite broke up over the coast of Washington state, raining extraterrestrial rocks down into the ocean. This meteorite fall was detected by weather radars from the nationwide NEXRAD radar network, which recorded images of the falling rocks and data showing that they were composed of an unusually tough meteorite of unknown composition. … Continued

Observing Seafloor Methane Seeps at the Edge of Hydrate Stability

Methane is a more potent greenhouse gas than carbon dioxide, but exists at far lower concentrations in the atmosphere. Many think of methane as a free-floating gas so it can be a surprise to learn that nearly one-fifth of the Earth’s methane is stored beneath the ocean’s waters in marine sediments in the form of … Continued

Microbial Mysteries: Linking Microbial Communities and Environmental Drivers

The Gulf of California is a young ocean undergoing changes including active seafloor spreading, early rifting, and large-scale hydrothermal activity. The rare combination of geological dynamics present in the Gulf of California makes it an ideal place to advance our understanding of deep ocean hydrothermal ecosystems. The basin offers a natural laboratory for investigating changes … 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

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

Underwater Fire: Studying the Submarine Volcanoes of Tonga

Aboard R/V Falkor, Dr. Ken Rubin and his research team will visit one of the most active underwater volcano sites in the world, the Meta Volcano group. There they will work to obtain a detailed geological understanding of up to 12 different submarine volcanoes, attempting to do this across a suite of volcanos for the very first time.

Discovering Deep Sea Corals of the Phoenix Islands

The Phoenix Islands Protected Area (PIPA) is the largest and deepest UNESCO World Heritage Site on Earth. Approximately the size of California, PIPA was the first Marine Protected Area (MPA) of its kind. In October, Dr. Erik Cordes (Temple University) and his team will explore never seen before seamounts and atolls within PIPA with R/V Falkor and ROV SuBastian.