American Geophysical Union News

Seafloor map showing pockmark and micro-depressions in the seafloor off Big Sur. Image: © 2019 MBARI

Researchers Find Mysterious Seafloor Holes

of mysterious holes or pits in the seafloor. Scientists and resource managers want to understand how these pits formed because this area is the site of a proposed wind-energy farm. Researchers Eve Lundsten and Charles Paull describe their discovery this week at the Fall 2019 meeting of the American Geophysical Union in San Francisco.The researchers found two different sizes of holes. The larger ones, known as pockmarks, average 175 meters (almost 600 feet) across and five meters (16 feet) deep, and are nearly circular and fairly evenly spaced. Some of these pockmarks were initially discovered by MBARI

Dr. Eric Lindstrom is the new Chief Scientist at Saildrone (Photo: Saildrone)

Saildrone Hires New Chief Scientist

of Technology (1977) and Physical Oceanography from the University of Washington (1983). His scientific interests include the circulation of the ocean and air-sea exchange processes and include extensive experience in both sea-going oceanography and remote sensing. In 2013, he received the American Geophysical Union Ocean Sciences Award for leadership and service to the ocean science community.“Saildrone is the best solution for many in-situ observing requirements. The global reach of the Saildrone fleet and its ability to collect high-quality data on air-sea interaction, gas transfer, biodiversity

The Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution's new Deputy Director & Vice President for Research Rick Murray (Photo: WHOI)

WHOI Names Murray Deputy Director & VP for Research

many research cruises in various capacities around the globe, and authored or co-authored approximately 100 peer-reviewed research papers. He is a Fellow of the Geological Society of America, a former councilor of The Oceanography Society, and currently serves on the Board of Directors of the American Geophysical Union.Murray received his undergraduate degree from Hamilton College, and also graduated from the Sea Education Association’s program in Woods Hole. After receiving his Ph.D. from the University of California, Berkeley, he was a post-doctoral scholar at the Graduate School of Oceanography

Dr. Nicklas Pisias, a professor emeritus at Oregon State University, is the 2018 recipient of the Maurice Ewing Medal, sponsored jointly by the U.S. Navy and the American Geophysical Union. (Photo courtesy of the AGU)

Oceanographer Pisias Honored by US Navy, AGU

A pioneering oceanographer has been awarded by the U.S. Navy and the American Geophysical Union (AGU) for his work to help establish a new scientific field.Dr. Nicklas Pisias, a professor emeritus at Oregon State University, accepted the Maurice Ewing Medal at the December 2018 Fall Meeting of the AGU, a not-for-profit, scientific organization with nearly 60,000 members in 139 countries.The medal, named after trailblazing geophysicist and oceanographer Dr. Maurice Ewing, is given yearly to one honoree in recognition of “significant original contributions to the ocean sciences.”In the late

Map of Southern California coastline showing cliff retreat forecasts using 6.6 feet of sea level rise. Orange and red circles indicate extreme erosion beyond 167 feet. (Image: USGS)

Sea Level Rise Could Speed Erosion in Southern California

Santa Barbara to San Diego might crumble at more than twice the historical rate. Why?U.S. Geological Survey scientists combined several computer models for the first time to forecast cliff erosion along the Southern California coast. Their peer-reviewed study published in a recent issue of the American Geophysical Union’s Journal of Geophysical Research - Earth Surface showed that for sea-level rise scenarios ranging from about 1.5 feet to 6.6 feet by 2100, bluff tops along nearly 300 miles of Southern California coasts could lose an average of 62 to 135 feet by 2100 – and much more in some

Image: Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution

The Quest for the Moho

of his that I have ever met. He imbued them with remarkable passion for the Earth, and in turn they passed this on to their own students, and I am one of them."   Dick, a scientific grandson of Hess, made these remarks in 2011 when he was awarded the Harry H. Hess Medal by the American Geophysical Union for “outstanding achievements in research on the constitution and evolution of Earth and other planets.”   “Scientists are fundamentally explorers. That’s what drives them,” Dick said. “Some people collect pre-Colombian art, some people collect

A 3D laser scan of the stern section of the German U-boat, U-166, that sunk in the Gulf of Mexico during World War II.  Credit: BOEM/C&C Technologies, Inc.

GoM Shipwrecks Unlock Ecosystem Mysteries

permanent loss of information that we can never get back.”   Members of the project team will be presenting their new research today at the 2016 Ocean Sciences Meeting co-sponsored by the Association for the Sciences of Limnology and Oceanography, The Oceanography Society and the American Geophysical Union.   The new findings show that deep-sea shipwrecks could be used for long-term monitoring of deep-sea ecosystems, according to the researchers. Understanding this unique ecosystem could aid in protecting and conserving it – both the animals that live on the shipwrecks, and the

Sand Tiger sharks congregate together in the shallow waters of the Delaware Bay in summertime. Researchers at the University of Delaware in Lewes use acoustic tags to track the movements of individual Sand Tigers in the open ocean throughout the rest of the year. (Credit: Danielle Haulsee)

Scientists Reveal Sharks’ Surprising Social Networks

group, and you might swim away from your group and go off on your own.”   Haulsee will be presenting initial data from the study today at the 2016 Ocean Sciences Meeting co-sponsored by the Association for the Sciences of Limnology and Oceanography, The Oceanography Society and the American Geophysical Union.   The researchers hope to use their results to answer questions about whether Sand Tigers form family groups or whether sharks of similar size and sex form distinct groupings. They also hope that defining critical locations where sharks congregate together will help build conservation

A black-belly dragonfish is just one of the small fish living in the mesopelagic zone. New research finds that there is a distinct sound associated with the daily migration of the fish and other animals that live in this layer to the surface. (Photo: David Checkley)

Scientists Discover Deepwater ‘Dinner Bell’

and that goes on for an hour to two hours, depending on the day,” said Baumann-Pickering, who will present the new research Monday February 22 at the 2016 Ocean Sciences Meeting cosponsored by the Association for the Sciences of Limnology and Oceanography, The Oceanography Society and the American Geophysical Union. It is well-known that dolphins, whales and other marine mammals use sound to communicate underwater, but acoustic communication among smaller animals, like those living in the mesopelagic area, is more difficult to hear and hasn’t been well studied by scientists. The sound

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