A small fleet of ships and robotic submersibles are performing a kind of water ballet in northern Monterey Bay this month, observing and following the evolution and consequences of algal blooms as part of MBARI’s CANON (Controlled, Agile, and Novel Observing Network) project and the multi-institutional BloomEx field trials.
Experts hope to use sonar images of a sunken ship off California’s coast to determine whether the vessel is at risk of leaking oil. The Monterey Bay Aquarium Research Institute (MBARI) sent a robotic submersible down to the wreck of the S. S. Montebello last week in an effort to assess the condition of the ship.
For almost three decades, oceanographers have been puzzled by the ability of microscopic algae to grow in mid-ocean areas where there is very little nitrate, an essential algal nutrient. In this week’s issue of Nature, MBARI chemical oceanographer Ken Johnson, along with coauthors Stephen Riser at the University of Washington and David Karl at the University of Hawaii, show that mid-ocean algae obtain nitrate from deep water, as much as 250 meters below the surface.
A new video created by the San Francisco public television station KQED captures the elegance and mystery of jellies. The program was created as part of the award-winning multimedia science series, QUEST. It premiered on May 25, 2010 on public television stations in the San Francisco and Monterey Bay areas.
MBARI’s Division of Marine Operations, under an agreement with the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA), sent a high-tech robotic submersible to the oily waters of the Gulf of Mexico. The goal is to collect information about the oil plume from the Deepwater Horizon drilling rig accident for NOAA.