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THE BIG ONE

Deep-Sea Tremors May Provide Early Warning

Predicting when large earthquakes might occur may be a step closer to reality, thanks to a new study of undersea earthquakes in the eastern Pacific Ocean. The study, reported in today’s Nature, is the first to suggest that small seismic shocks or foreshocks preceding a major earthquake can be used in some cases to predict the main tremors. Scientists from the Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution (WHOI) and the University of Southern California (USC) report that some types of large undersea earthquakes may be predictable on time scales of hours or less. Earthquakes on land are generally not preceded by systematic immediate foreshocks and hence cannot be predicted as easily with the same methods. The research team, led by Jeffrey McGuire of WHOI, studied past earthquakes along five transform faults on the East Pacific Rise, where tectonic plates are spreading apart at a rate of more than ten centimeters or five inches a year. The team used data from sensors deployed by the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration’s Pacific Marine Environmental Laboratory that pinpointed the time and location of foreshocks and the mainshocks or larger earthquakes. "This is the first demonstration of good short-term predictability for big earthquakes," study coauthor Thomas Jordan of the USC Southern California Earthquake Center said. "Some scientists believe that earthquakes come on suddenly with no warning signs, and the big ones are therefore unpredictable


SENESCO Performs Facelift on NOAA’s Albatross IV

Most research ships don’t live to see their 40’s, and to approach 50 is almost unheard-of. But the Albatross IV is quite an exception to this maritime rule. Today, thanks to a recent overhaul at SENESCO’s repair facility in Quonset Point, Rhode Island, she is back at her home base in Woods Hole, Massachusetts preparing to head back out to sea for another 5-7 years of ocean exploration. The Southeastern New England Shipbuilding Corporation (SENESCO) began its a major overhaul on the


Iran Makes $100 B Oil Find, Major Companies Compete For Big Deals

Iran Makes $100 B Oil Find, Major Companies Compete For Big Deals Iran announced its biggest oil find in 30 years last week, a 26-billion barrel field discovered just as the country drives to revive exploration activities and foreign firms compete for big deals. Oil Minister Bijan Zanganeh said the oilfield in the prolific southwest Khuzestan province has the potential to produce up to 400,000 bpd. He said that development on the field, which is close to the Iraqi border


New Chinese Shipbuilder Unveiled

A new, bigger shipbuilder was unveiled in Dalian recently, as part of the restructuring of the city's shipbuilding industry, ShanghaiDaily.com reported. Dalian Shipbuilding Industry Co was formed by the merger of Dalian Shipyard Co and Dalian New Shipbuilding Heavy Industry Co. Dalian Shipyard, with more than a 100-year history, used to be one of China's big military shipbuilders. Dalian New Shipbuilding, established 15 years ago, was one of the country's biggest shipbuilders


New Barges for Short Sea City

Tug Vivian L. Roehrig watches-over DBL 23, one of the companys new 28,000 BBL JAK-equipped barges. K-Sea has acquired two new tugs so far this year, but still calls-in independents when things get busy. (Photo: Don Sutherland.)

The term short-sea shipping comes up aplenty these days, as the powers-that-be rediscover the practicalities and the economies of waterborne transport. The thinking is renewed and the interest revitalized, but for a lot of harbors nationwide it's deja vu. Take the island city of New York, and the multitudes of communities near and far that are joined to it by inland waters—the rivers, sounds, creeks, streams—all the way up to Albany, to Waterford and the Canal system


CMA CGM Enters Agreements with CSCL, UASC

The CMA CGM Group announced the signature of three major agreements on the biggest worldwide maritime trades with China Shipping Container Lines (CSCL) and United Arab Shipping Company (UASC). Under the name of Ocean Three, the agreements; which include a combination of vessel sharings, slot exchanges and slot charters; concern the following maritime trades:  Asia-Europe, Asia-Mediterranean, Transpacific and Asia-United States East Coast.


Argentine Grains Strike Delays Ships

According to a Reuters report, at least 45 ships delayed in Argentina, unable to load, due to a week-old strike that is delaying shipments from one of the world's biggest food suppliers. Argentina is a leading exporter of soy, corn and wheat. The pay dispute has reportedly brought soy-processing plants to a near standstill and dozens of boats and ships have been unable to load their cargoes at ports near the central city of Rosario.   (Source: Reuters)


Ship Rechristened to Honor Former Congressman Oberstar

Image courtesy The Interlake Steamship Company

In his 47-year Congressional career, former Congressman Jim Oberstar has received many honors. But few are as big – literally – as the announcement that The Interlake Steamship Company will rename and rechristen one of its massive ships the MV Hon. James L. Oberstar this spring. The vessel will sail from layup in March as the MV Hon. James L. Oberstar, and will be rechristened in a ceremony at Duluth later this spring.  


Shipbuilding – China Hopeful to Double Output

Shipbuilding industry in China has growth potential, may double in 4-years China's shipbuilding industry may double its scale in the next four years on growth potential in sea transport and marine economy, and Shanghai is expected to play a big role toward meeting the goal. By the end of 2015, the market size of shipbuilders and marine equipment makers may hit 1.2 trillion yuan (US$190 billion) with the value of exports touching US$80 billion


Giant Ships to Rule World Seas

CSCL (Image: China Shipping Container Lines)

Megaships and large container ships are going to dominate the oceans calling for bigger changes in the shipping and port industry.   Reflect on recent news: Evergreen Group, one of Taiwan’s leading transport conglomerates, has agreed to charter 11 large ships as part of its efforts to expand capacity and raise the efficiency and economy of scale of its fleet.   Maersk Line is in early talks with Asian shipbuilders for an order of up to 10 container ships that would have


Asia-Europe Box Rates Fall Almost 6 pct

File image: a Maersk Line Box ship.

Shipping freight rates for transporting containers from ports in Asia to Northern Europe fell 5.5 percent to $586 per 20-foot container (TEU) in the week ended on Friday, a source with access to data from the Shanghai Containerized Freight Index told Reuters.


Plans in Place to Test Intermodal River Transport

Ken Canter

The Paducah-McCracken County Riverport Authority and Ingram Barge Company has announced plans to assess the viability of Intermodal River Transportation, utilizing the largest flat-top crane in North America owned by the Paducah Riverport Authority and Ingram’s towboats and barges.


Advanced Drillships a Burden for Owners as Business Slows

Not so long ago, advanced drillships costing more than half a billion dollars each and capable of operating in ever-deeper waters practically guaranteed big profits for oil-rig operators.   Now, with oil prices down by half since June


Is China Building a Naval Base in Africa?

Image: The China Africa Project

 Recently, The Namibian reported the existence of a "confidential letter from Namibia's ambassador to China, Ringo Abed, to Namibia's foreign minister stating that 'a Chinese delegation will visit Namibia ... for discussions ... on the way forward regarding plans for the proposed naval


The (Welding) Tools of the Trade

Photo courtesy of The Lincoln Electric Company

Automated welding equipment helps aluminum boat designer and builder navigate to increased productivity; advanced machines speed the fabrication process while maintaining high weld quality at MetalCraft Marine    The fast-paced marine industry faces constant demands for efficiency and


EU Braces for Flood of Mediterranean Migrants

Boat arrivals up more than 40 pct this year; this year 600 dead vs 100 in same period last year. With migration across the Mediterranean surging, the European Union's largest border operation is bracing for a record year of arrivals by sea


French Coast Braced for Giant Tide

Photo by France’s National Hydrographic Service

  Towns on France's North Atlantic coast braced for their first giant tide of the millennium on Saturday as the full moon and this week's solar eclipse combined to create an ocean surge not seen since 1997. At the picturesque Mont Saint Michel island where some of the biggest tides in the


Nexen Closing Crude Oil Trading Division

Nexen Energy, a wholly owned subsidiary of China's CNOOC Ltd, is closing its crude oil trading division following a round of job cuts announced last week, four market sources said on Monday.   The Calgary-based company, which was acquired by state-controlled CNOOC in 2013 for $15


Mega Ships and Cyber Attacks Pose New Threats

allianz_logo.png

Shipping losses continued their long-term downward trend with 75 reported worldwide in 2014, making it the safest year in shipping for 10 years, according to Allianz Global Corporate & Specialty SE’s (AGCS)  third annual Safety and Shipping Review 2015


Xin Yue Feng: Growth with a Range of Vessels

The Cummins Swissco Garnet powered by a pair of Cummins a pair of Cummins KTA50-M2 mains producing a total of 3,200 HP.

From the four-story office tower, housing 100 technical engineers and administration staff, to the 65,000-square-meter yard with extensive fabrication and machine shops and a huge dry dock, the Xin Yue Feng Shipyard has been building every more sophisticated vessels


Broadband Bandwidth Battles

Maritime Broadband 2 WEB.jpg

As Satellite providers battle for market share, the onboard struggle to efficiently maximize bandwidth allocation is also being solved.   The requirement to monitoring critical equipment and at the same time satisfy the increasingly sophisticated demands of today’s seafarers all need


Cruise Industry Seeks Fortune in China

Quantum of the Seas under construction at Meyer Werft shipyard. Credit: Meyer Werft

Builders, Operators Teaming to Fill Voids In Rapidly Growing Chinese Market After an uneven couple of years punctuated by struggling economic factors worldwide, maturing markets and some highly publicized accidents and illnesses, the cruise industry is hoping to find a little “double


Expanded Panama Canal to be Operational by April 2016

Panama Canal Expansion (Photo credit: Canal de Panamá)

The widened Panama Canal is expected to finally be up and running in April 2016, after months of delays and cost overruns, AFP reports. The expansion project area will allow bigger ships to transit, with two new sets of locks, one on the Pacific side and one on the Atlantic side.  


Panama Canal Sets Sight on Another Expansion

Photo: Panama Canal Authority

As it enters the final stretch of a massive expansion, the Panama Canal Authority is setting its sights on an even more ambitious project worth up to $17 billion that would allow it to handle the world's biggest ships.   Workers are now installing giant


Statoil: Polarled Pipe-Laying Kicks Off

The Polarled pipe-laying operation is scheduled  to be completed by the end of August. (Photo: Lillian Aasheim/Shell)

On 26 March, the Solitaire pipe-laying vessel started on the first stage of the Polarled installation project. The 482-kilometre long pipeline will transport gas from the Aasta Hansteen field in the Norwegian Sea to Nyhamna in western Norway.






 
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