Tuesday, November 23, 2004

Marine census skips Australian waters

Marine census skips Australian waters says ABC Science online, referring to the efforts of Cencus of Marine Life in recording marine life. Australian marine habitat mapping will require a huge effort. Who is up to the challenge?

Cameron on Ocean Exploration in Wired Magazine

"I was hooked, infected by the deep-sea-exploration virus. After the success of the movie, I found myself less interested in Hollywood filmmaking and more interested in the challenges of deep-ocean photography and exploration".

Scripps research vessel Roger Revelle probes seabed off Alaska

The ROV and sonar explorations revealed a complex set of environments on the Alaskan margin, including deep canyons, steep scarps (walls), sandy slopes and an unusual seamount. While exploring the area, the scientists also discovered previously unknown cold methane seeps and biological communities that exist in such environments. The seeps, found 3,300 meters below the water’s surface, were unlike others that have been studied on the Pacific margin.


New National Centre for Coasts & Oceans in New Zealand

Sustainable development of the coasts & oceans will be the focus of a new National Centre formed by the New Zealand National Institute for Water & Atmospheric Research (NIWA).

The Centre will be launched today (24 November 2004) on board NIWA’s deepwater research vessel, Tangaroa.

“The Centre’s activities will be diverse,” says its leader, Dr Ian Wright. “We can draw on the talents of over 80 NIWA staff and technology such as ocean-satellite receiving systems, our upgraded supercomputer, and coastal monitoring networks.”

The Centre’s capabilities, and their potential uses, include: Detailed seafloor mapping to support central government’s ocean policy, to determine where to lay submarine electricity cables or gas pipelines, or to ensure safe shipping in Antarctic waters. Hydrodynamic modelling of coastal waters to test the likely effects of run-off from proposed housing development, to identify sites of sustainable offshore sand mining, or to analyse the water flow through and around proposed marine farms.

Ecological studies and habitat mapping to distinguish the natural cycles of animal abundance in estuaries from changes caused by pollution, to minimise the impact of coastal engineering, or to help iwi with coastal management plans.
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