Caribbean Sea

Campaign to characterise the environmental sensitivity of Belizean coastal waters

Coral Reef Belize

Scientists from the National Oceanography Centre (NOC) have begun a fieldwork campaign in Belizean coastal waters that will enhance understanding of the sensitivities of these fragile environments to the impacts of both human activities and climate change.

Mystery of heat loss from the Earth’s crust has been solved

Hydrothermal vent chimney at the Von Damm Vent site

The first discovery of a new type of hydrothermal vent system in a decade helps explain the long observed disconnect between the theoretical rate at which the Earth’s crust is cooling at seafloor spreading ridge flanks, and actual observations. It could also help scientists interpret the evidence for past global climates more accurately.

From vents to volcanoes – Cook moves on to Montserrat

Soufriere Hills volcano in Montserrat (image:

Helping assess volcanic hazards is the next task for National Oceanography Centre scientists working in the Caribbean Sea.

Final report from IODP leg 340

JOIDES Resolution, with Martinique in the background

We have just left the waters of Martinique at the start of our two day transit to our final port of Curacao - and so ends our six week sojourn in the sunny Caribbean.

Report number 5 from IODP leg 340

Easter at sea

We are now approaching the last week of the expedition and this time next week we will (hopefully!) be relaxing in the hotel bar in Curacao.

Report number 4 from IODP leg 340

End of core section on catwalk

There are a total of about 120 people on board the Joides Resolution, with scientists making up about a quarter of the crew. The scientific party is divided into two shifts – one half from midnight to midday, and the other covering the day shift – that are essentially mirror images of each other.

Report number 3 from IODP leg 340

The picture shows Pete Talling from NOC logging a section of hemipelagic sediment (pale layers), volcanic turbidites

We are now at the halfway point in the cruise and focused on the drill sites off of Martinique. However, Montserrat is still very much on our minds.

Latest blog from IODP leg 340

Martin Palmer with volcano in background

The second weekly update from IODP leg 340.

At about 5 o’clock this morning (local time) we finished drilling the final site around Montserrat and are preparing the ship for a 12 hour transit to our next site off the coast of Dominica.

Drilling expedition to the Ring of Fire

MV JOIDES Resolution

Scientists based at the National Oceanography Centre, NOC, are onboard the RV JOIDES Resolution as part of the Integrated Ocean Drilling Program, IODP. Expedition 340 will look at volcanism and landslides around the Lesser Antilles.

Imaging the molten rock beneath an active volcano

Island of Montserrat

University of Southampton researchers based the National Oceanography Centre, Southampton, with colleagues from Bristol and Penn State Universities, have produced the first image of the magma chamber (body of molten rock) beneath the active Soufrière Hills Volcano on the island of Montserrat in the Caribbean.