Tag Archives: alvin

Gulf of Mexico Oil Spill’s Effects on Deep-Water Corals

*Damaged deep-sea corals discovered months after Deepwater Horizon spill*

Scientists are reporting new evidence that the Deepwater Horizon oil spill has affected marine life in the Gulf of Mexico, this time species that live in dark ocean depths–deepwater corals.

The research used a range of underwater vehicles, including the submarine Alvin, to investigate the corals. The findings are published this week in the journal Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences (PNAS). (more…)

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Hot Meets Cold at New Deep-Sea Ecosystem: “Hydrothermal Seep”

*Habitats overlap at Jaco Scar in depths off Costa Rica*

Decades ago, marine scientists made a startling discovery in the deep sea. They found environments known as hydrothermal vents, where hot water surges from the seafloor and life thrives without sunlight.

Then they found equally unique, sunless habitats in cold areas where methane rises from seeps on the ocean bottom.

Could vents and seeps co-exist in the deep, happily living side-by-side? (more…)

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NSF Announces Major Awards for Biodiversity Research, WHOI Scientists Selected

The 1977 discovery of deep-sea hydrothermal vent ecosystems that obtain energy through chemosynthesis rather than photosynthesis greatly expanded the perception of life on Earth. However, an understanding of their underlying microbiology and biogeochemistry still remains elusive.

A newly funded project, one of several major awards announced by the National Science Foundation’s (NSF) Dimensions in Biodiversity research program, stands to change that through a multi-disciplinary, international collaborative research effort led by Associate Scientist Stefan Sievert of the Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution. (more…)

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USGS Undertakes Additional Studies of Reef Damage in Gulf of Mexico to Assess Cause

Gainesville, Fla.— A team of U.S. Geological Survey (USGS) and academic scientists are analyzing samples of coral and surrounding sediments from an area damaged near the Deepwater Horizon site in the Gulf of Mexico.

These samples, collected in December, are being used to investigate how and why the corals on these reefs died. (more…)

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WHOI Website Will Take Viewers Deep into the Gulf

It may take years before scientists determine the full impact of the 2010 Deepwater Horizon oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico. But, utilizing the human-occupied submersible Alvin and the autonomous underwater vehicle (AUV) Sentry, researchers are about to investigate—and view first-hand—the possible effects of the spill at the bottom of the Gulf.

And, from Dec. 6-14, the mission will be relayed to the public as it happens on the Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution’s (WHOI) Dive and Discover website (https://divediscover.whoi.edu). (more…)

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