exploration at sea

Robot fleet successfully completes pioneering mission

Autonaut under tow

The second phase of an ambitious project to gather valuable information on ocean processes and marine life using a fleet of innovative marine robots has just reached its conclusion.

Picturing the Deep – seeing climate change on the ocean floor

Autosub6000 onboard RRS Discovery

NOC scientist, Dr Henry Ruhl, is leading an expedition to the Porcupine Abyssal Plain, some 300 miles southwest of Lands End. He will be looking at how the shape of deep ocean floor and climate influence deep sea ecology, and he intends to do this by making a very large photographic map of the seafloor – 10km by 10km – an area roughly the size of Southampton.

Blogging from the Southern Ocean

Preparing the sub-surface profiler

The RRS James Cook is in the Southern Ocean on a 51-day expedition to look at deep water mixing in this turbulent ocean.

Two young scientists aboard, Alex Brearley and Katy Sheen, are running an expedition blog from the ship at dimesuk3.blogspot.com.

World's most extreme deep-sea vents revealed: deeper than any seen before, and teeming with new creatures

Beebe Vent Field shrimp

Scientists have revealed details of the world's most extreme deep-sea volcanic vents, five kilometres down in a rift in the Caribbean seafloor.

The undersea hot springs, which lie 0.8 kilometres deeper than any seen before, may be hotter than 450°C and are shooting a jet of mineral-laden water more than a kilometre into the ocean above.

Cruise JR269A, west of Svalbard – 4 September 2011

Launching DASI

The science marathon is arriving to its last stage. A marathon is not an explosive running in which you just think about running at fast as possible, it requires a complete control of the time and understanding of how your body is behaving and acting in every single new step.

Cruise JR269A, west of Svalbard – 1 September 2011

OBEM octopus

Another grey, cold and exciting day in the Arctic. Today, SYSIF (our deep towed sonar system) have a day off and it is now the turn for our air-gun (a bubbles powerful weapon) and our 60-metre streamer (a long tail with receivers) to come into action. Before that, two of our OBEM (seafloor electromagnetic receiver) which look like a four legs octopus are deployed.

Life in ‘Inner Space’ – Joint Mission to Film Marine Life at 3km Depth

The VENTure Team in front of the ROV Holland 1 in Galway Docks (courtesy of Marine Institute)

Undiscovered ‘alien’ life forms that thrive without sunlight in temperatures approaching boiling point may soon come to light thanks to a ground-breaking marine research mission aboard the Irish research vessel RV Celtic Explorer.

RRS Discovery cruise 366: 7 July 2011


This last blog entry is by Toby Tyrrell and Eric Achterberg.

RRS Discovery cruise 366: 4 July 2011


When we got up this morning we were met with a surprising and rather wonderful scene (see photo). It was as if we had suddenly been transported to a different climate overnight, or to a placid lake.

RRS Discovery cruise 366: 3 July 2011


We are steaming rapidly northwards parallel to the west coast of Norway. Soon we will reach our most northerly latitude, 60°N, and turn westwards for home.