Alaska News

Photo: McLane Research Laboratories

McLane Research Announces New WTS-LV Deep Option

. GEOTRACES GP15 cruise. WTS-LV samplers with dual Vertical Intake filter holders are specified by the GEOTRACES program, a global effort to better understand the world’s oceans through their trace elements. Cruise GP15 was the first meridional section of GEOTRACES through the Pacific Ocean between Alaska and Tahiti.WTS-LV samplers collect a single water sample onto 142mm filter media. The Dual Filter model features separately metered, modular 142mm vertical intake filter holders for parallel filtration. In addition to the new Deep feature, other options for this single event sampler include 4L/min

The research vessel Neil Armstrong arrived to recover a surface mooring that is part of the OOI Global Array in the Irminger Sea south of Greenland in 2016. (Photo by James Kuo, Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution)

NSF Awards Contract to Continue Ocean Observatories Initiative

online.Each institution will continue to operate and maintain the portion of OOI assets for which it is currently responsible: WHOI will operate the Pioneer Array off the Northeast U.S. coast and the Global Arrays in the Irminger Sea off the southern tip of Greenland and at Station Papa in the Gulf of Alaska; UW will operate the Regional Cabled Array that extends across the Juan de Fuca tectonic plate and overlying ocean; OSU will operate the Endurance Array off the coast of Washington and Oregon; and Rutgers will operate the cyberinfrastructure system that ingests and delivers data for the initiative

Photo: Phoenix

Phoenix SRDRS Receives Operational Readiness Certification

command (Submarine Squadron ELEVEN) to maintain certification of the operators and equipment for independent operations. This periodic evaluation specifically certified URC and Phoenix to participate in the eighth iteration of the CHILEMAR exercise in San Diego waters and the SSN RESCUEX this fall in Alaska. The SSN RESCUEX will be the first time that the Submarine Rescue Diving and Recompression System (SRDRS) will mate with a U.S. submarine.Following the ORE certification and a brief in port period, the Phoenix team proceeded back to sea with URC to participate in the CHILEMAR VIII rescue exercise

(Photo: ASV Global)

Autonomous Vehicle Completes Survey Mission off Alaska

An autonomous surface vessel recently went the distance for a hydrographic survey mission along a remote stretch of Alaskan coastline.ASV Global and TerraSond said they recently completed a hydrographic survey for charting off the coast of Alaska. The 10,649km survey was carried out by an ASV Global C-Worker 5 unmanned vessel alongside the Q105 survey ship acting as the mother vessel. Fitted with a multibeam echosounder, the C-Worker 5 carried out 53 percent of the survey.Throughout the operation the C-Worker 5 was remotely monitored using ASV Global’s ASView control system from a station on

A dive team investigates sonar targets collected via the REMUS 100 AUV,  with RV Norseman II sailing in the background (Photo: NOAA)

US Destroyer Wreckage Discovered off Remote Alaskan Island

, Ph.D., acting under secretary of commerce for oceans and atmosphere and acting NOAA administrator. “It’s important to honor these U.S. Navy Sailors who made the ultimate sacrifice for our nation.”  Mapping an underwater battlefieldAbner Read was on patrol at about 1:50 a.m. Alaska time when the massive explosion – presumed to be from a Japanese mine – ripped the destroyer apart. Somehow the crew kept the main part of Abner Read’s hull watertight, and two nearby Navy ships towed it back to port. “This was catastrophic damage that by all rights should

(Photo: NOAA)

Scientists Map Fast-moving Fault off Alaska

Researchers from NOAA, U.S. Geological Survey and their partners have completed the first high-resolution, comprehensive mapping of one of the fastest moving underwater tectonic faults in the world, located in southeastern Alaska. This information will help communities in coastal Alaska and Canada better understand and prepare for the risks from earthquakes and tsunamis that can occur when faults suddenly move.Since 2015, scientists have been gathering data on the Queen Charlotte-Fairweather fault system, a 746-mile long strike-slip fault line that extends from offshore of Vancouver Island, Canada

The William B Morgan Large Cavitation Channel (LCC) is a large variable-pressure closed-loop water tunnel that has been operated by the U.S. Navy in Memphis since 1991. This facility is well designed for a wide variety of hydrodynamic and hydroacoustic tests. Its overall size and capabilities allow test-model Reynolds numbers to approach, or even achieve, those of full-scale air- or water-borne transportation systems. (Photo: U.S. Navy)

Navy Tests Scale Models in Big Facilities

for propulsor evaluations in turns and captive model stability and control experiments. The center also has access to a reservoir in Maryland where scaled models of both ships and submarines are tested.But some of Carderock’s most impressive capabilities reside far away, at facilities from the Alaska to the Bahamas, and from Tennessee to Idaho.Carderock’s Combat Craft division in Little Creek, Va., manages a number of small craft projects to include design, construction, acquisition and sustainment.The South Tongue of the Ocean Acoustic Measurement Facility (STAFAC) in the Bahamas and the

(Source: NOAA Climate.gov, Data: Mark Tschudi)

Old Sea Ice is Disappearing from the Arctic Ocean

the 1981–2010 average, but not a record setter.Sea ice generally exits the Arctic through the Fram Strait east of Greenland, and NSIDC reported that the low extent of multiyear ice may have been driven by a vigorous transport of sea ice during the 2017–2018 winter. The Beaufort Gyre north of Alaska has traditionally acted as a nursery for growing sea ice, but warmer conditions have impeded the gyre's ability to preserve older ice since the start of the 21st century.ReferencesArctic winter warms up to a low summer ice season. (2018, May 3). National Snow and Ice Data Center. Accessed May

(Photo: NOAA)

New Members Join NOAA’s Hydrographic Services Advisory Panel

advice for improving a range of services and products that support safe navigation and coastal resilience.   The new members of the panel are: Sean M. Duffy Sr., executive director, Big River Coalition, New Orleans, La. Retired USCG Capt. Ed Page, executive director, Marine Exchange of Alaska, Juneau, Alaska Julie Thomas, senior advisor, Southern California, Coastal Ocean Observing System, Scripps Institution of Oceanography, La Jolla, Calif.   Two members of the panel were reappointed: Ed Kelly, executive director, Maritime Association of the Port of New York/New

Photo: US Navy

US Navy Submarines Surface in the Arctic Circle

 A pair of U.S. Navy submarines recently surfaced in the Arctic Circle as part of multinational maritime exercise north of Alaska.   Los Angeles-class fast attack submarine USS Hartford (SSN 768) and Seawolf-class fast attack submarine, USS Connecticut (SSN 22) surfaced in the Arctic Circle March 10 during the multinational maritime Ice Exercise (ICEX) 2018.   Both submarines, as well the UK Royal Navy submarine HMS Trenchant (S91), are participating in the biennial exercise in the Arctic to train and validate the warfighting capabilities of submarines in extreme cold-water conditions

© Georg Lehnerer / Adobe Stock

US States Slow Trump Offshore Oil Drilling Expansion Plan

look at," Zinke told Reuters at the CERAWeek energy conference in Houston. Governors from across the West Coast and much of the East Coast are meeting with the Interior and objecting to areas off their states for drilling. State discussions could last through year end.   So far, officials in Alaska, Maine, Georgia and U.S Gulf Coast states other than Florida have said they were open to expanding drilling. California and other states have said they would deny needed permits for onshore services or transport.   "You can't bring energy ashore unless you have access to state waters

File photo: NOAA Ship Fairweather underway in Alaska (Photo: NOAA)

NOAA Releases 2018 Hydrographic Survey Plans

ships – Thomas Jefferson, Ferdinand Hassler, Rainier and Fairweather – will set out along with private contractors to tackle their assigned survey projects over the course of the 2018 field season.   Below are NOAA’s priority areas for planned survey projects 2018:   Alaska North Coast of Kodiak Island – Last surveyed in 1932, this survey project focuses on areas inadequate for safe navigation, particularly along the corridor of vessel traffic transiting from Kodiak.   West of Prince of Wales Island – These complex waterways are critical

© eqroy / Adobe Stock

Alaska Requests Limits on US Offshore Drilling

Alaska Governor Bill Walker said on Tuesday he has asked U.S. Interior Secretary Ryan Zinke to pare back a Trump administration plan for oil and gas leasing off the state's coast.   While Walker supports offshore oil development, he said the Interior Department should focus on the most prospective areas off Alaska – the Beaufort and Chukchi seas in the Arctic and Cook Inlet in southern Alaska – and drop all others from the leasing plan.   In asking for proposed lease sales to be dropped, Walker, an independent, joins governors of several other coastal states after Zinke's

© Daniel Gillies / Adobe Stock

US Senators from 12 States Seek Offshore Drilling Exemptions like Florida's

, a process that could take a year.   Democrats are not alone in pressuring Zinke to exempt their states from drilling. South Carolina's Republican Governor Henry McMaster asked Zinke for an exemption, citing the value of his state's coastal tourist economy.   Maine Governor Paul LePage and Alaska Governor Bill Walker are the only coastal state governors who support the expansion of offshore drilling, with many of the rest seeking exemptions in the wake of the Florida decision.   Zinke's abrupt announcement on Florida also took industry groups by surprise.   National Ocean Industries

© Steven Frame / Adobe Stock

After Florida, more States Press US for Offshore Drilling Exemptions

, hours after the Interior Department granted Florida's request to opt out.   The backlash could complicate President Donald Trump's efforts to expand oil and gas production offshore. A proposed leasing plan unveiled last week aims to open up all U.S. coasts to drillers over the next five years. Alaska and Maine are the only two U.S. states whose governors have expressed support for the plan.   The governors of Delaware, North Carolina, and South Carolina on Tuesday were seeking meetings with Interior Secretary Ryan Zinke to press their case that drilling would pose significant risks to

Permafrost forms a grid-like pattern in the National Petroleum Reserve-Alaska, a 22.8 million acre region managed by the Bureau of Land Management on Alaska's North Slope. USGS has periodically assessed oil and gas resource potential there. (Credit: David Houseknecht, USGS.)

Reassessing Alaska's Energy Frontier

United States Geological Survey (USGS) releases petroleum assessment of the National Petroleum Reserve-Alaska   Less than 80 miles from Prudhoe Bay, home to the giant oil fields that feed the Trans-Alaska Pipeline, lies the site of USGS’ latest oil and gas assessment: the National Petroleum Reserve-Alaska and adjacent areas. Managed by the Bureau of Land Management, the NPR-A covers 22.8 million acres, more than the entire state of South Carolina.   The new USGS assessment estimates 8.7 billion barrels of oil and 25 trillion cubic feet of natural gas resources. This is a more than

© xmentoys / Adobe Stock

As US Opens Up Offshore Waters, Eastern GoM Beckons

U.S. acreage in 2017, compared with 4.5 percent in 2013. But for oil companies, the option of exploring new areas is nice to have, and one they might exploit if oil prices rise.   "We'd like an opportunity to look at all of the areas (including the Eastern Seaboard and Alaska)," said Tracy Krohn, the chief executive of W&T Offshore Inc, which currently produces oil in the Gulf of Mexico. "I don't know that we would exclude any areas."   The API said some of its members could be interested in looking at parts of the mid- and

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