Iceland is full of beautiful landscapes. With its popularity continuing to grow and airlines making it easy for a quick stopover, we’ve decided to share some of the best day trips from Reykjavik and our favorite stops.
In recent decades, aquaculture has boomed in Andhra Pradesh. Aquaculture ponds appear dark green. The Indian government established the first aquaculture ponds in this area in the 1970s around Lake Kolleru. Despite the expansion, India’s aquaculture sector has faced challenges recently. The state of Andhra Pradesh accounts for about 70 percent of India’s shrimp production.
Deep-sea parasites are body snatchers, intestinal hitchhikers, and chest-bursters, but something about them is still alluring to Lauren Dykman. To date, not many deep-sea parasites have been studied as scrupulously as their hosts. What’s odd is that even in the most extreme conditions, marine parasites have found a way to survive—even thrive. While she’s not the first to study marine parasites, Dykman says it’s still a wild and under-researched frontier in marine science. As WHOI plots new expeditions to deep-sea vent sites along mountain ranges like the East Pacific Rise, only time will tell how many more she’ll find.
LIFE IN THE OCEAN’S TWILIGHT ZONE HAS LONG FASCINATED SCIENTISTS. But even though there are gigatons of fish in the twilight zone, surprisingly little is known about them. WHOI scientists are building the first long-term observation network focused on life in the twilight zone. “It’s going to be a huge advance.”Sound sources anchored at the network’s four corners will send out acoustic signals that can be “heard” by tiny receivers in tags attached to bigeye tuna and swordfish, two commercially important species known to dive into the twilight zone for prey. Their movements fast-track atmospheric carbon from surface waters to the deep ocean, helping to regulate global climate.
For decades, Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution (WHOI) has studied the ways large marine predators (LMPs), like sharks, use the mesopelagic zone or middle layer of the ocean, better known as the ocean’s twilight zone (TZ). There could be reasons other than food that marine animals visit the twilight zone. Unlike other large filter-feeders (like the basking shark), the whale shark actively vacuums up water by rapidly opening and closing its mouth and expelling water through its gills. Sharks have adapted to the conditions and environment of the twilight zone, using anatomical structures and physiological characteristics to access this region to forage. He and his team study the ocean’s top predators and how they use the ocean’s twilight zone.
In fact, the chemical soup—which includes traces of hydrogen sulfide and methane—isn’t a viable food source for most living things. But that’s precisely one of the main goals of the expedition: to get NUI to work—and think—autonomously in an unforgiving place that typically requires an experienced ROV pilot at the controls. The technology is being developed as part of NASA’s Planetary Science and Technology from Analog Research (PSTAR) interdisciplinary research program. Pachiadaki sees a small patch of microbial mat she’d like the robot to sample from Kolumbo’s mineral-rich seafloor. Machado surrenders her Xbox controller as Billings punches a few commands and the computer brain takes control of the arm.
Specifically, they were coring for ocean sediments, which contain various amounts of dust. “We can use the dust,” Murray says, “to tease out information about how climate changed in the Southern Hemisphere over millions of years.”A dusty oceanDust is not only found on land, though that is where it is most familiar to us. As a result, dust has a direct and important impact on climate. Scientists at WHOI are investigating the amount of dust blown into the Southern Ocean over tens of millions of years. She says looking at dust fluxes in the ocean over time enables her to understand the climatic history of the Southern Hemisphere and know, for example, at what point Australia became a dry and dusty place.
Extreme cold, depth, and pressure shroud a vast area of the ocean in mystery, withholding answers to such fundamental questions as what the Earth is made of—and how human activities are changing it. You may recall pictures of a sliced-open planet, revealing a layer cake of molten rock below our feet. Research has since revealed that when superhot seawater percolates through rocks below the ocean crust, the methane produced by that reaction might provide microbial life with a potent energy source. “These extreme environments tell us about the limits of life on Earth, but the only way to get to them is with a drill.”The next frontier in the search for life at the extremes is to go deeper—much deeper. Reaching 2,500 meters (8,200 feet) is a daunting task for even the most advanced ocean drilling technologies, not to mention an exorbitant expense.
The human-occupied vehicle (HOV) Alvin is midway through the final phase of an overhaul that will allow the submersible to dive to 6,500 meters (21,325 feet). “There is an arc we can follow with Alvin as an iconic tool for exploring the ocean,” says Andrew Bowen, director of the National Deep Submergence Facility (NDSF). “With a submarine that can dive to 6,500 meters, we will have an integrated system that allows the ocean to be explored to the fullest extent. Alvin will soon be able to deliver humans into this harsh environment.”Located at WHOI, NDSF is funded by the National Science Foundation, U.S. Navy, and National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration and operates Alvin, remotely operated vehicle (ROV) Jason, and autonomous underwater vehicle (AUV) Sentry for the ocean science community. Although Alvin has been operating since 1964, the vehicle was significantly rebuilt in 2013 during an overhaul that included forging a larger titanium personnel sphere and rebuilding much of the sub from scratch.
A view of the Apollo Vent Field at the northern Gorda Ridge, where samples were collected by the ROV Hercules for studying microbial predators. “Our findings provide a first estimate of protistan grazing pressure within hydrothermal vent food webs, highlighting the important role that diverse deep-sea protistan communities play in deep-sea carbon cycling,” according to the paper, Protistan grazing impacts microbial communities and carbon cycling ad deep-sea hydrothermal vents published in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences (PNAS). Obtaining baseline measurements “is increasingly important as these habitats are being looked at for deep-sea mining or carbon sequestration. About Woods Hole Oceanographic InstitutionThe Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution (WHOI) is a private, non-profit organization on Cape Cod, Massachusetts, dedicated to marine research, engineering, and higher education. For more information, please visit www.whoi.eduAuthors :Sarah K. Hu1*, Erica L. Herrera1, Amy R. Smith1, Maria G. Pachiadaki2, Virginia P. Edgcomb3, Sean P. Sylva1, Eric W. Chan4, Jeffrey S. Seewald1, Christopher R. German3, and Julie A. Huber1Affiliations :1 Department of Marine Chemistry and Geochemistry, Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution, Woods Hole, MA, USA2 Department of Biology, Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution, Woods Hole MA, USA3 Department of Geology & Geophysics, Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution, Woods Hole, MA, USA4 School of Earth, Environment & Marine Sciences, UT-RGV, Edinburg, TX, USA*corresponding author
Daniel P. ZitterbartAssistant Scientist, Applied Ocean Physics and EngineeringIn my group, we use remote sensing of animal behavior to understand more about ocean and ecosystem health. We are continuously monitoring several penguin colonies around Antarctica and the sub-Antarctic islands. One way that emperor penguins cope with the extreme climate is by huddling together for warmth. This provides a way to estimate the average energy/fat reserves of the colony, the equivalent of weighing 25,000 penguins, without ruffling a feather. Tracking energy reserves of such a penguin colony over time helps us to better understand the health of the species as well as the food resources in the ocean, a proxy for ocean health.
Robert Ballard, Ocean ExplorerRobert D. Ballard is Founder and President of the Ocean Exploration Trust; Director of the Center for Ocean Exploration and Professor of Oceanography at the University of Rhode Island Graduate School of Oceanography. He is an Explorer-At-Large at the National Geographic Society, Commissioner for the U.S. Commission on Ocean Policy, and a Research Scholar at the Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution. He served in the U.S. Navy for more than 30 years and continues to work with the Office of Naval Research. He has also discovered hydrothermal vents and “black smokers” in the Galapagos Rift and East Pacific Rise in 1977 and 1979. His honors include 22 Honorary Doctorates, National Geographic’s highest award, the Hubbard Medal, and a National Endowment for the Humanities Medal.
If you could merge all known underwater mountains and active underwater volcanoes, their total area would be roughly equivalent to that of Europe and Russia combined. And the threats these habitats face, from warming oceans to commercial fishing to a controversial, nascent deep-sea mining industry, are mounting. Underwater volcanoes are “absolutely everywhere,” says Julie Huber, a marine microbiologist at the Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution. But what happens in international waters is another story, explains Matthew Gianni, cofounder of the Deep Sea Conservation Coalition. But most of the world’s seamounts, active volcanoes, hydrothermal vents, and oceanic plains are in international waters, which could, theoretically, be regulated through new international treaties.
An estimated 4.9 million barrels of oil gushed into the Gulf of Mexico during the Deepwater Horizon spill of 2010. AdvertisementNatural “marine snow” also came into contact with the spilled oil. Marine snow is falling bits of matter, including poop and decaying bits of sea creatures and plants, but in this case the scientists had to describe it as “marine oil snow,” the accumulation of which led to “marine oil snow sedimentation” on the seafloor. AdvertisementIn terms of future research, the scientists said a deeper understanding of photooxidation and marine oil snow is needed, in addition to an improved understanding of how oil spills affect ecosystems. They also advocated for new and better ways of cleaning up oil spills and new methods to track oil spills over time.
Credit: U.S. National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, Public DomainA new study demonstrates that lobsters can detect low-frequency sound and suggests that anthropogenic noise could affect lobsters. \"We found that the lobsters' frequency of sound detection overlaps the frequency of the buzzing sounds that they produce. Jézéquel said this \"raises clear concerns\" about the potential impact of anthropogenic noise on these lobsters because anthropogenic noise overlaps with the frequency range of lobster sound detection, which is in the range of 100-200 hertz. \"This study is a preliminary step to understanding the impact of anthropogenic noise on lobster behavior,\" he said. Among anthropogenic noise sources, pile driving is a major concern because of the high intensity of sound that it releases underwater.
New sea creatures just dropped. In early June, a team of marine scientists with the Schmidt Ocean Institute boarded a research vessel called R/V Falkor and sailed out to the remote Phoenix Islands Archipelago in the west-central Pacific Ocean. For 34 days, they mapped out over 11,500 square miles (30,000 square kilometers) of the ocean floor with high-resolution underwater cameras, and also got video of five additional underwater mountains. The researchers arrived safely back ashore on Thursday, ready to share these discoveries. Here are some highlights.
TAKE PART • WIN $100 Upload Your PicturePicture StoryForests abound near my home in central Pennsylvania. One of my favorite places to photograph in the forests is a stretch of Kettle Road, a dirt road on a nearby area of mountains called Seven Mountains. This road has a sinuous segment that creates a nice leading line from foreground to background. One foggy October morning, as leaves were starting to turn their autumn colors, I captured this image on Kettle Road. Create your Personal Portfolio Page and let us share it monthly to over 300,000 members and followers.
A Mashpee Middle-High School teacher and a Woods Hole scientist will both be among the women serving on panels in September when the Nantucket Maria Mitchell Association hosts a second Maria Mitchell Women of Science Symposium in Wellesley. The symposium is designed to help promote and support women and girls in the Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics (STEM) fields, according to an announcement of the event, and will address persisting issues that hinder women in science. Women continue to be under-represented in the sciences, the announcement said, citing a 2014 Science and Engineering Indicators report by the National Science Foundation that said women comprised just 28% of workers in science and engineering occupations in 2010. “This under-representation shortchanges the students, the field of science, and the public that benefits from scientific advancement,” organizers said. The nonprofit Maria Mitchell Association on Nantucket operates two observatories there as well as a natural science museum, an aquarium, a research center and Mitchell’s preserved historic birthplace.
Such is this spot on the Big Hole River about 21 miles north of Wisdom, Mt just off HW 43. For a number of years my wife and I owned a cabin in the Big Hole Valley. The valley itself with the Big Hole River, a world class fly fishing river, rests at approximately 6,000 ft. I just loved these times in the Big Hole. Create your Personal Portfolio Page and let us share it monthly to over 300,000 members and followers.
TAKE PART • WIN $100 Upload Your PicturePicture StoryFar out at the world’s largest baymouth barrier dune formation there was a forest. A hundred years ago, maybe longer, the ecosystem supporting the forest changed, and this White Cedar bog became dry. A bank of scudding clouds were coming in off of Lake Ontario from the south, and with the rising sun to the east the alignment for a long exposure was ideal. I wanted to get a fairly long exposure and so I stacked a 10, and 6 stop ND filter, along with a circular polarizer to achieve a 4 minute exposure. Create your Personal Portfolio Page and let us share it monthly to over 300,000 members and followers.