Hot Topics

Hydrothermal Vents

vent namesGodzilla, Sasquatch, and Homer Simpson:
The Curious Names of Deep-sea Features

From Expedition 8: Hydrothermal vent fields and their individual chimneys may be places for serious scientific research, but some of their names come straight from science fiction.
Learn more »

bacteriaBacteria at Hydrothermal Vents
From Expedition 4: Small but mighty, bacteria live everywhere at hydrothermal vents.
Learn more about bacteria »

sulfide allvinellidsLooking for Microbes
From Expedition 2: Prof. Rachel Haymon and Dr. Patricia Holden, from the University of California - Santa Barbara, have an idea about how to look for microbes in active hydrothermal vent chimneys. Read about their experiment »

biogeographyBiogeography of Hydrothermal Vents
From Expedition 4: Biogeography is the study of distribution patterns of organisms and what causes those patterns to exist.
Learn more »

Seafloor Geology

gravitySeafloor Gravity
From Expedition 2: Learn about what gravity is and why using a gravimeter in Alvin can help geophysicists learn about the ocean crust. Learn about seafloor gravity »

magneticsSeafloor Magnetics
From Expedition 2: Learn about the Earth’s magnetic field and why measuring it near the seafloor can help geophysicists understand how the ocean crust forms.
Learn about magnetics »

lava flowsLava Flows
From Expedition 5: When a volcano erupts, the molten rock (or magma) that comes out of the Earth is called lava. Lava is the most common form of material erupted from volcanoes that form oceanic islands.
Learn more about Lava Flows »

mr1What Does a Young Submarine Lava Flow Look Like?
From Expedition 5: As we investigate the submarine slopes of Galápagos volcanoes we see life that no one has photographed before. Learn more about our camera tow survey »

seamountsHotspots & Cool Volcanoes: The New England Seamounts
From Expedition 7: If you drained the water from the ocean basins, some of the most dramatic features you would see are groups or lines of underwater volcanoes called "seamounts." Learn more »

Extreme Creatures

deep sea biologyDeep Sea Biology
From Expedition 5: As we investigate the submarine slopes of Galápagos volcanoes we see life that no one has photographed before. The creatures that live at these depths have adapted to a way of life in one of the world's most challenging environments. Learn more »

galapagos wildlifeGalápagos Animal and Marine Life
From Expedition 5: The words “Galápagos Islands” bring to mind images of fantastic animals and plants, ranging from dragon-like iguanas and comical blue-footed boobies to incredibly slow moving giant tortoises lumbering through arid lava fields dotted with cacti.
Learn more about the Galápagos’ wildlife »

seabirdsSeabird Observations in the Western Galápagos Islands
From Expedition 5: One of the investigations complementing the geologic studies the scientists on board RV Revelle are carrying out, is a survey of the seabirds inhabiting the Galápagos. 
Learn more about Galápagos Seabirds »

coralDeep-Sea Corals
From Expedition 7: When most people think of corals, they think big. Big, interconnected structures such as the Great Barrier Reef off Australia, which can be seen from the Space Shuttle. Expedition 7 is going after much smaller coral formations that lie deep within the ocean, past the point where light penetrates.
Learn more »

watery world of salpsThe Watery World of Salps
From Expedition 10: Around Antarctica, one species of salp are the second most abundant kind of plankton in the oceans, after krill. Learn more »


Oceanographic Tools

wiresKeeping the “Big O” Out of Alvin
From Expedition 1: Alvin pilot BLee Williams explains the dangers of using electricity in the ocean. Read the article »

AHAAutonomous Hydrophone Array (AHA)
From Expedition 3: Hydrophones “hear” and record sound waves in the ocean.
Learn how hydrophones are helping scientists hear in the ocean »

Bob CollierThe Hydrothermal Vent Prospecting Team
From Expedition 4: CTD (Conductivity-Temperature-Depth) sensors are used to detect hydrothermal plumes in the deep ocean.
Learn more about CTDs »

ICLT-probeMeasuring Temperature At Hydrothermal Vents—Al Bradley’s Ingenuity
From Expedition 4: ICLs (Inductively Coupled Links) transmit data through water without a cable.
Learn more about ICLs »

maprFinding Telltale Hydrothermal Plumes With MAPRs
From Expedition 3: MAPRs (Miniature Autonomous Plume Recorders) are small instruments that measure ocean pressure and how warm and clear the ocean water is.
Learn more about MAPRs »

fiber opticFiber Optics
From Expedition 4: Fiber optic technology uses light to transmit information.
Learn more about how ROV Jason uses Fiber Optics »

mr1 The Hawaii MR1 Side-Scan Sonar Mapping System
From Expedition 5: The MR1 side-scan sonar is a special type of seafloor imaging system that creates maps of seafloor terrain over wide swaths.
Learn more about MR1 »

abeABE: the Autonomous Benthic Explorer
From Expedition 6: Because ABE is autonomous, it can stay at the bottom for long periods of time. Traveling slowly, ABE can create a finely textured map of seafloor that covers about 1 by 2 kilometers during one dive.
Learn more »

cold divingAntarctic Water Wear: Cold-Water Diving and Drysuits
Water conducts heat away from your body 25 times faster than air does, so you cool much more rapidly in water. Learn more »

History of the Earth

volcanoHow Old is That Volcano?
From Expedition 5: One of the most common questions that scientists and nature lovers ask when they see an interesting rock is: how old is it? Learn more about determine the age of a volcano »

islandThe Galápagos Islands
From Expedition 5: The Galápagos is a group of volcanic islands, each of the 13 major islands is made up of at least one volcano. Learn more about the Galápagos Islands »

coralDating corals, knowing the ocean
From Expedition 7: Coral skeletons record the age of the coral, as well as the age of the water in which they grow. Using radioactive decay dating techniques on fossil, scientists can tease this information apart. Learn more »

gauging ocean overturn ratesGoing vertical: Gauging ocean overturn rates
Water in the ocean has different ages at different depths. Scientists can determine these ages, and find out how long water takes to circulate through the entire ocean and then come back to the surface.
Learn more »

What's it Like to go on an Oceanographic Cruise?

watery world of salpsLife at Palmer Station
From Expedition 10: Palmer Station, on the Western Antarctic Peninsula is the smallest of three research stations the U. S. maintains in Antarctica. Learn more »

watery world of salpsDeception Island: Fire and Ice, History and Humans
From Expedition 10: Deception Island is an active volcano. The island is a “submerged caldera,” a circle of craggy hills around an almost-enclosed seawater lagoon, known as Port Foster. Learn more »

garyTo: The Paul Revere Science Club
On February 2, Gary Comer, Bob James, and Alvin pilot BLee Williams journeyed to the bottom of the sea. Gary wrote of this amazing experience to the members of the The Paul Revere Science Club at Paul Revere Elementary School in Chicago, Illinois. Read the email »

alvinWhat Is It Like To Go Down In Alvin?
From Expedition 2: So you want to dive to the bottom of the ocean in a submarine? Better bring your wool hat, because it is cold down there.
Begin your dive »

From Expedition 6: It’s a fact of life on ships, but nobody talks about it much. Why should they? It’s not a pretty picture. Yep, I’m talking about the green scourge, Neptune’s revenge—seasickness.
Learn about what causes seasickness »

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