Monterey Bay Aquarium Research Institute
Press Room
News from MBARI — 2015

This page summarizes recent discoveries, achievements, publications, and events at MBARI. Some of these are documented in news releases or full-length feature stories. Others are simply short news briefs that appeared on the MBARI home page.

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View MBARI research stories and researcher web pages grouped by topic.
News Release — 17 March 2015:
Deep-sea robot, caught in underwater avalanche, yields new scientific insights

Exploring the deep sea, and especially submarine canyons, is a risky business. The floors of many submarine canyons are scoured by fast-moving underwater avalanches known as "turbidity currents." In 2013, MBARI’s remotely operated vehicle Doc Ricketts was engulfed by a turbidity current, giving researchers their first close-up view of one of these enigmatic events. The resulting video and data suggest that conceptual models and textbook descriptions of turbidity currents may need to be revised.
^These two images, taken just a few minutes apart, show the early stages of a fast-moving turbidity flow that engulfed MBARI's remotely operated vehicle Doc Ricketts.

Feature Story — 4 February 2015:
Experimental wave-power buoy survives winter in Monterey Bay

In early January 2015, a team of MBARI engineers, led by Andy Hamilton, set out to sea to recover an experimental buoy that creates electrical energy from ocean waves. This power buoy had been deployed six miles southwest of Moss Landing Harbor for 131 days, while engineers tested the system’s ability to handle storms.
^Researchers recover the wave-power buoy in Monterey Bay.

Feature Story — 12 January 2015:
New SeeStar camera system allows researchers to monitor the depths without sinking the budget

To build equipment that can operate reliably in the deep sea, MBARI engineers must often use expensive, high-tech materials and complex electronic-control systems. This makes it difficult for researchers at other institutions to build similar equipment, and thus for MBARI to fulfill its goal of sharing its technology with researchers around the world. However, MBARI engineers recently designed a new underwater camera and lighting system which they hope will be simple and inexpensive enough so that almost any researcher could build one.
^SeeStar camera system mounted on a tripod beneath the Antarctic ice.

Last updated: Mar. 17, 2015