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Anne M. Hartwell

Anne M. Hartwell has written 41 posts for oceanbites

OceanTech: profiling the sub-surface via Argo floats

The final post of theme week introduces the Argo array, an international effort to understand the ocean’s sub-surface via technological floats that enable continuous, real-time temperature and salinity data collection. Data collected from the Argo array can be coupled with satellite and shipboard measurements to provide a more complete understanding of global ocean dynamics.

Benthic biology on a thermally boring deep-sea ridge

The deep ocean is vast and full of neat ocean dwellers, many of which scientists know little about. One way to investigate them is from images and videos captured during deep-sea exploration efforts using submersibles. A group of scientists did just that to quantify the benthic assemblages at different depths and a variety of substate types on a ridge in the Indian Ocean.

a Whale’s tale

Age estimations of marine mammals are traditionally made with a single tooth. A group of scientists from Australia think they can improve the traditionally method by adding more teeth into the equation.

Glaciers have big league role in silica budget.

Glaciers get a lot of attention because they’re expansive sheets of ice. They’re important to understand because they can impact sea level, circulation, climate, albedo, and they are homes to microbial organisms and large animals. A new reason they are getting attention is their recently realized importance to the global silica budget. Researchers found that melting glaciers deliver enough silica to the surface ocean that their contribution should not be ignored.

Working with the coast

The coast is very dynamic and at the constant mercy of wind and water energy. Often times, humans will try to control the coast by constructing seawalls and groins. Such projects have major impacts on sediment transport that can affect natural ecosystems and recreational beaches. Read here about a group of scientists who sought to quantify just how much of an impact seawall and groin development had on a section of coast in southeast India.

Sharkcano, a melting pot for biology

No, a Sharkcano is not a volcano that erupts sharks. IT IS WAY COOLER THAN THAT! It is a submarine volcano that hosts a diverse macro community in water that is much warmer and more acidic that the surrounding seawater. Read more to find out about this alien-esc ecosystem in the South Pacific Ocean.

Ocean mapping on a budget

The seafloor is complex and mapping it is difficult because direct observations are hindered because it is underwater. Scientists have developed field methods and remote sensing methods to model the geomorphology of the seafloor but they are either limited spatially or by resolution. A newer method being applied to seafloor mapping is called Structure from Motion, and its low cost and high resolution may play a big role in future projects regarding ocean exploration. Read more to find out how scientists used it to increase the accuracy of rugosity measurements on a Hawaiian coral reef.

From Wastewater to Seahorses to the Medicine Cabinet

Pollution of metals could be getting into the tissue of seahorses–the very tissues that are used to make a special Chinese medicine. Now scientists fear that the metal pollutants could harm the patients who take the medicine. Read more to find out what they learned about the accumulation of metals in seahorse tissues.

Dangerous Toxins Threaten Aquaculture on a Global Scale

Mycotoxins in fish feed threaten the health of fish, consumers, and the aquaculture market. The more we learn and understand about these toxins, the more effective regulations can be. Read more to find out how complicated mycotoxin science can be, and how its complexity plays into setting safety standards.

Unsuccessful Octo-cultures

Have you ever tried to farm something and had it not work? That is a definite trend for famers trying to culture octopuses. In this study scientists used wild Octopus vulgaris paralarvae as a blue print for what they should expect in farm cultures. Their findings are helpful for determining better ways for successful octopus aquacultures.

Killer whale pods: hunting dynamics

Killer whale pods spend almost all of their time together, with the exception of when they hunt. Why are they not social when they hunt? Could it be to ensure the survival of the newest and weakest pod members? Is it related to food availability? It is related to food preference? It is just a factor of physical abilities? Read more to find out what scientist have learned so far!

Cool Fact! Octopuses spawn with ease when temperatures are lower

Octopuses in the YP may experience temperature changes that do not bode well for reproduction. At what point will the influence of temperature be enough to inhibit the octopus population from growing? Consequences could be tough for octopus fisheries in the area. Read about how temperature stress that a mother experiences can influence her offsprings ability to cope.

Why Mom Cares.

Does mom care? If you are a skink from the wrong neighborhood she might, otherwise, you are on your own kid. Read about the evolution of paternal care traits in one skink population that is not observed in the others!

Room to Grow

When natural ecosystems are destroyed from anthropogenic development there exists a common notion that a replacement can be replanted somewhere else. One has to wonder though; what if the ecosystem destroyed cannot be replaced into the same role it once had. Scientists investigate if planted mangroves in the Philippines change the natural mangrove areas surrounding the restoration area, and to determine if there are differences in species diversity between planted and natural systems.

What’s up with Whiskers?

Whiskers are like finger tips for flipper-footed marine mammals, like seals, sea lions, and walruses. Learn more about how pinnipeds use their whiskers to track prey, and discriminate between different objects by size, shape, and surface structure.

Fueling Science with Science (& hydrothermal fluid)

Wouldn’t it be wicked cool if scientists could overcome the obstacle of power limitation by plugging their instruments directly into the sea floor? Now they can by using thermoelectric converters to take advantage of the Seebeck effect at hydrothermal vent fields!

Online Ocean Exploration

Anybody can explore the ocean as long as they can access the internet. Just because you can not be at sea does not mean you can not explore it! Learn more on how to explore the ocean through resources available at your fingertips!

Evaporating History

More is better, especially when it comes to dissecting the past. A single proxy may be sensitive to various factors that make it difficult to distinguish their history. However, when multiple proxies are paired it enables scientists to constrain their interpretations to be more accurate. For example, the co-variation of oxygen and carbon isotopic signatures due to evaporation has proven to be important when interpreting paleo-hydrologic cycles.

Mercury at elevated levels observed in only some elephant seals, but why?

Mercury: we know it from old-school thermometers and we know if from sushi; and now we know that the distribution in the ocean is reflected in the blood of northern elephant seals. N.B. No elephant seals were harmed during this research.

Making potable water safe for the seafloor

SWRO desalinization is a great way to get potable water. Unfortunately its production results in a high salinity low nutrient discharge that impacts the benthic communities. This study shows how a simple mitigation effort can reverse damage from discharge in just months!

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