Marine Technology Reporter Blogs - image: noaa

Scientists Discover Deep-sea Corals off Barrier Reef

January 13, 2013

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Scientists conducting mapping surveys on the Great Barrier Reef have come across deep-sea corals at depths that surprise researchers. A team from the University of Queensland's Seaview Survey announced the unprecedented discovery 125 meters (410 feet) below the surface at Ribbon Reef, near the Torres Strait and at the edge of the Australian continental shelf. A new exploration by a remote-operated submersible has found the reef's deepest coral yet. Coral reefs are made of colonies of polyps which secret a rocklike exoskeleton. The polyps have a symbiotic relationship with algae that provide them nutrients using photosynthesis. Because this process requires light, coral reefs thrive in clear, relatively shallow water.

NASA’s NEEMO Project Trains Astronauts for Deep Space Mission

June 16, 2012

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Several aquanauts are conducting a 12-day mission beneath the sea off the Florida coast. The mission is designed to help train the four-person team for future space exploration. They will be spending their time on board the underwater research station Aquarius. Aquarius sits on the sea floor at a depth of 62 feet and is located over 3 miles off of Key Largo. The NASA program known as NEEMO for NASA Extreme Environment Mission Operations program is designed to put participants in extreme environments to prepare them for traveling to asteroids, planets or other space destinations. This simulates living on a spacecraft allowing the team to test techniques for future space missions.

Scientists Studying Ocean Wave Size Surprised by New Findings

June 5, 2012

Previously geologists studying ocean waves thought that there were two types of waves. large storm driven waves and small fair weather waves. Recently two geologists at the University of Wisconsin discovered a large size discrepancy between waves in different oceans. Understanding wave patterns, size and their effects on bottom composition has led these scientists to change their thoughts regarding the pervious theories on wave size. Researchers found that either storm driven or gentle waves they are all one type. Some researchers studying ancient environments are taking a close look and are beginning to interpret structures preserved in sedimentary rocks. Storm waves churn up sediment like sand, and leave a characteristic pattern known as hummocky cross-stratification.

USS Monitor Celebrates 150th Anniversary

January 31, 2012

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This year marks the 150 anniversary of the USS Monitor. The Monitors was launched on January 30 1862 and sunk on December 31, 1862. Although the Monitor would last less than a year it became one of Americas most prized warships and changed the evolution of naval architecture. During the Civil War both the north and south realized the importance of the sea for trade and supplies. This was particularly important in the southern states that depended on open lines of trade from the sea to compensate for the lack of industrial facilities. Knowing this weakness President Lincoln devised the “Anaconda Plan”, a plan meant to halt trade to the Confederates therefore crippling them into submission. During this time the Union destroyed any materials or facilities that would benefit the Confederates.