Ocean BioGeosciences (OBG)

Fastest underwater flow on Earth created by the most explosive volcanic eruption ever recorded

The Hunga volcano eruption the day before the main explosions. Image: Taaniela Kula, Tonga Geological Services
  • New research led by NOC has shown how the massive Hunga volcano eruption in 2022 triggered the fastest underwater flows ever recorded.

Scientist Spotlight – Studying Volcanic Eruptions with Dr Izzy Yeo

Dr Izzy Yeo in Tongariro National Park in Aotearoa, New Zealand.

Volcanic eruptions are one of the major natural hazards on our planet. Not only do they pose risks to people and property in surrounding communities, but they can damage critical infrastructure including the subsea telecommunications cables that support 99% of our digital communications globally.

Scientist Spotlight – Dr Alice Horton

Dr Alice Horton

The visible effects of plastic entering the ocean are unfortunately all too clear to us. But what happens to it under the surface? And what is the impact on delicate ocean ecosystems?

Faunal boundary line discovered across the deep Pacific Ocean

Image from the SMARTEX (Seabed Mining And Resilience To EXperimental impact) project
  • A study led by the National Oceanography Centre (NOC) has revealed a biogeographical boundary at the bottom of the Pacific Ocean.
  • High biodiversity is maintained in deeper areas of the abyssal north Pacific seabed by phylum-level species shifts across this region.

New study shows effect of climate change on ocean colour

Image: NASA and Joshua Stevens, using Landsat data from the U.S. Geological Survey and MODIS data from LANCE/EOSDIS Rapid Response.

NOC x Lucy Hawking announce new children’s book this World Ocean Day

  • This World Ocean Day bestselling author Lucy Hawking announces collaboration with National Oceanography Centre (NOC).
  • The book brings to life the science research from world leading NOC scientists Dr Chelsey Baker, Dr Sara Fowell, Prof. Steph Henson, Dr Alice Marzocchi and Dr Katsia Pabortsava.

Best practices for understanding and protecting life on the ocean’s vast seafloor

Large purple sea cucumber on the deep-sea floor (Psychropotes longicauda Théel, 1882; Porcupine Abyssal Plain Sustained Observatory).
  • A new study co-authored by the National Oceanography Centre (NOC) has standardised collection of vital seafloor data.
  • Reliable and robust seafloor data is essential to inform policy makers and protect the ocean.

New EU project launched to evaluate mechanisms for using the ocean to remove atmospheric CO2

  • Four-year project will investigate whether storing CO2 in the ocean is environmentally safe, socially acceptable and economically viable
  • Oceans offer huge potential to act as enhanced sinks for atmospheric CO2 and support global climate targets

Ocean microplastics found to be rife by teams sailing around the world

Katsiaryna Pabortsava from NOC & Victoria Fulfer from University of Rhode Island analysing microplastic samples. Photo: Cherie Bridges – The Ocean Race
  • Up to nearly 1,900 microplastics per cubic metre (particles m−3)* of water have been found in samples collected by teams during the initial legs of The Ocean Race
  • Samples were analysed at the National Oceanography Centre (NOC) under the supervision of Dr Katsiaryna Pabortsava

Scientists observe real-time impacts of industrial activity on deep-sea sponges

  • Offshore oil well drilling impacting deep-sea habitats are photographed in real-time.
  • Impacted sponges have been photographed potentially partially recovering from sedimentation over 40 days.
  • Partnering with industry allows us to make real-time observations to better understand impacts.