Monterey Bay Aquarium Research Institute
Press Room
11 Dec 2006            For immediate release

MBARI research highlights—AGU 2006 Fall Meeting

SAN FRANCISCO—Researchers from the Monterey Bay Aquarium Research Institute (MBARI) will present 20 different talks and posters at the American Geophysical Union 2006 Fall Meeting in San Francisco this week. Most of these talks fall into one of three subject areas: Marine Geology, Marine Biology, and Marine Instrumentation and Data Management. In addition, three presentations at this year’s AGU conference describe unique observations and measurements of methane hydrate deposits on the seafloor made by MBARI researchers during a recent oceanographic cruise off the coast of British Columbia.

Note: To read the abstract for any presentation listed below, click on the presentation number in the table column on the far right.

MARINE GEOLOGY
MBARI marine geologists use remotely operated vehicles to map and analyze geologic features on the seafloor, as well as to collect samples for analysis on shore. This “undersea fieldwork” provides new and unique perspectives on geologic processes that are occur miles below the sea surface, and sometimes below the seafloor as well. Such processes include undersea landslides and turbidity currents, the formation of methane in seafloor sediments, and the eruption of undersea volcanoes.

Title

Researcher

Day

Time

Number

The extent and recurrence of holocene turbidity currents in Monterey Canyon and fan channel, offshore California (talk)

Joel Johnson

Mon

17:15

OS14A-06

The potential of silent tsunamis along the Central California margin (talk)

Gary Greene

Wed

16:30

OS34C-03

Assessing methane release from the colossal Storegga submarine landslide (poster)

Charles Paull

Thurs

13:40

OS43C-0682

Rates of anaerobic oxidation of methane and authigenic carbonate mineralization in methane-rich deep-sea sediments inferred from models and field data (talk)

William Ussler

Tues

11:20

B22A-05

Vertical motions of oceanic volcanoes (talk)

David Clague

Wed

8:05

V31E-01

Caldera formation on the Vance Seamounts  (poster)

David Clague

Mon

13:40

V13A-0644

Erratic continental rocks on volcanic seamounts off California and Oregon (poster)

Jenny Paduan

Mon

13:40

V13A-0640

Mapping AUV survey of axial seamount (poster)

Hans Thomas

Tues

13:40

V23B-0615

Similarities in chemistry of North Gorda Ridge basalts with ultra-slow spreading ridge lavas due to decreasing magma supply (poster)

Alicé Davis

Tues

13:40

V23E-0687

METHANE HYDRATES
In August 2006, MBARI researchers spent several weeks studying methane hydrates exposed at the seafloor in Barkley Submarine Canyon, off the coast of British Columbia. They first mapped these outcrops using multibeam and seafloor-penetrating sonar systems carried by a unique autonomous underwater vehicle. Then they performed experiments on the hydrates using the remotely operated vehicle Tiburon and an underwater laser Raman spectrometer. This work resulted in new discoveries that have implications for global warming and climate change, as well as for future energy supplies.

Title

Researcher

Day

Time

Number

Novel observations on the massive Barkley Canyon hydrates (talk)

Peter Brewer

Wed

8:30

MR31A-03

An experimental determination of natural clathrate hydrate dissolution rates in the deep sea (poster)

Edward Peltzer

Thurs

13:40

MR43A-1067

An autonomous multibeam, sidescan, and subbottom survey of a methane hydrate outcrop in Barkley Canyon, offshore Vancouver Island (poster)

Dave Caress

Thurs

13:40

MR43A-1063

MARINE BIOLOGY
Three MBARI biologists will describe newly discovered characteristics of phytoplankton that help these tiny marine algae survive in the ever-changing ocean environment. A fourth biologist will discuss new findings on the forests of large, deep-water corals that thrive on seamounts off the California coast.




Title

Researcher

Day

Time

Number

Diatom vertical migration to acquire iron (talk)

Ken Johnson

Mon

9:25

OS11D-05

A characterization of the megafauna on Davidson Seamount (poster)

Lonny Lundsten

Mon

13:40

V13A-0650

Functional relationship between phytoplankton and aerobic anoxygenic photosynthetic bacteria: modes of coexistence (poster)

Zbigniew Kolber

Mon

13:40

OS13C-1571

Carbon cycle dynamics in the Labrador Sea during the spring to summer phytoplankton bloom (poster)

Todd Martz

Fri

13:40

OS53A-1088

MARINE INSTRUMENTATION AND DATA PROCESSING
MBARI researchers are at the forefront of a movement that will help oceanographers collect, process, and distribute their data more efficiently. Modern oceanographic instruments and ocean observatories yield huge volumes of data that are often shared between literally dozens of researchers. MBARI engineers are developing software to make this process faster and easier. They are also spearheading the “marine metadata initiative,” which aims to make more oceanographic instruments “plug-and-play,” so that they can more easily be hooked up to tomorrow’s ocean observatories.

Title

Researcher

Day

Time

Number

Distributed observatory management (talk)

Michael Godin

Thurs

9:30

IN41C-07

Visualization tools for model/data comparisons and decision making during the Monterey Bay 2006 experiment. (poster)

Lionel Pawlowski

Mon

8:00

OS11C-1507

The marine metadata initiative: the next 3 years (poster)

Luis Bermudez

Thurs

8:00

IN41B-0885

Error analysis and sampling design for ocean flux estimation (poster)

Yanwu Zhang

Wed

13:40

OS33A-1683

MBARI media contact:
Kim Fulton-Bennett — kfb@mbari.org, 831-775-1835

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