Fast-moving Waterfalls in the Deep Sea
New research led by the National Oceanography Center (NOC) has discovered how fast-moving waterfalls under the sea control the shape and behavior of submarine channels. These underwater channels are the offshore equivalents of rivers, but can be much larger. Submarine channels can extend for tens to thousands of kilometers offshore, providing an important conduit for the transfer of sediment, nutrients and pollutants, such as microplastics, to the deep-sea. Avalanches of sediment…
SCIENCE: Seafloor Microplastic Hotspots Controlled by Deep-sea Currents
New research has revealed the highest levels of microplastic yet recorded on the seafloor, with up to 1.9 million pieces in an area of just one square metre.Published this week in the journal Science, this study shows how deep-sea currents act as conveyor belts, transporting tiny plastic fragments and fibers across the seafloor. These currents can concentrate microplastics within huge sediment accumulations, which the authors of the research term ‘microplastic hotspots’. These…
C-Enduro Delivered to Royal Navy
L3 ASV has announced the successful delivery of a long-endurance autonomous vessel known as the C-Enduro to the Royal Navy. The C-Enduro will be used for military data gathering trials by the Mine countermeasures and Hydrographic Capability (MHC) program as the Navy seeks to exploit autonomous technology.The 4.8-meter autonomous vessel is equipped with 10 sensors combining scientific and hydrographic survey equipment. The vessel operates using L3 ASV’s proprietary control system…
India Plans Deep Dive for Seabed Minerals
In the 1870 Jules Verne classic "20,000 Leagues Under the Sea", underwater explorer Captain Nemo predicted the mining of the ocean floor's mineral bounty - zinc, iron, silver and gold.India is catching up with that only now, as it prepares to unearth treasures down below, aiming to boost its economy.The floor of the world's seas is scattered with vast beds of black potato-shaped polymetallic nodules comprising copper, nickel, cobalt, manganese, iron and rare earth elements.These natural goodies are key to making modern gadgets…
'Smart Boulders' Measure Seafloor Avalanches
Researchers have deployed high-tech robotic sensors disguised as boulders for the first time to measure the initiation and evolution of the huge, hard-to-measure seafloor avalanches that regularly damage global networks of seafloor telecommunication cables.The so-called "smart boulders" revealed some surprising findings that will help inform where best to lay the seafloor cables that keep the internet running. Published this week in the journal Nature Communications, this research shows that submarine avalanches of rock and sand…
UK Spurs Autonomous Shipping Development
The autonomous and smart shipping industry is set to receive a boost, after the Maritime & Coastguard Agency (MCA) and the Department for Transport (DfT), in collaboration with the National Oceanography Center’s (NOC) Marine Robotics Innovation Center, successfully secured £1 million in a bid to accelerate the U.K. into a world-leading position in this area.The funding, awarded by the U.K. Government’s Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy’s Regulators’ Pioneer Fund…
First Containership Receives LR Cyber Notation
The newly built containership MV COSCO Shipping Aries, recently delivered to COSCO Shipping Lines, is the first ever containership to receive Lloyd’s Register’s (LR) cyber-enabled ship (CES) descriptive note “Cyber AL3 SECURE PERFORM” for its energy management system. The 20,000 TEU ship was built by Nantong COSCOS KHI Ship Engineering Co., Ltd (NACKS). “MV COSCO Shipping Aries is the first 20K TEU level ultra large containership built in Chinese shipyard owned by COSCO Shipping Container Lines.
A chat with John Murray, Chief Executive, Society of Maritime Industries
The Society of Maritime Industries is the voice of the U.K. maritime engineering sector, and its Chief Executive John Murray is the very public and indelible face of the organization. SMI promotes and supports the interests of organizations with activities and interests in this sector both to its membership and the wider world. In total it is a trade association of more than 150 organizations across the maritime, offshore energy, subsea, naval and academic sectors, and the society has been busier than ever, as a number of drivers have buoyed the prospects of all matters maritime in the U.K.
REL to Supply Deep Ocean Mooring Winch System to NOC
Romica Engineering Ltd (REL) have signed a contract with the U.K.’s National Oceanography Center (NOC) to provide a containerized deep ocean mooring winch system. This 4,000m capacity winch system, with a hydraulic power unit, will be used at sea for various large mooring operations. This winch system will be freighted worldwide in an ISO 20’open topped container. An electrically driven hydraulic power unit is also to be supplied in a 10’ ISO certified container. This self-contained unit will also contain all peripherals for the winch system (spares / remote / cables and hoses).
U.K.'s Liverpool Bay Dredging Secret Discovered
New research tracking the movement of dredged sediment around Liverpool Bay could save millions of pounds in dredging costs. Each year, sediment must be dredged from the port and deposited elsewhere to maintain access for commercial vessels. But according to the new study by scientists at the National Oceanography Center in Liverpool, the dredged material appears back in the port again within just a few weeks of its removal, carried by sea currents. The team used computer models to predict the movement of a particle of dredged material once it had been deposited in the bay. “It's just like the computer models they use to predict the weather,” said Dr. Alex Souza of the Natural Environment Research Council’s (NERC) National Oceanography Centre.
Advances in Sea-State Forecasting
Marine operations such as offshore oil and gas operations, renewable energy projects and shipping depend on high quality information on sea-state (wave height, period, direction, steepness) for economic and safety decision making. The information currently available is based on atmospheric/ocean models and lacks sufficient temporal and spatial resolution. “Wave conditions are always changing and can vary tremendously over a period of a few hours”, said Chelsea’s Technical Manager, Paul Bolton.
Offshore Survey Program Reflects a Bright Future
Offshore Survey, which takes place from 10 - 11 April 2013 alongside Ocean Business at the National Oceanography Center in Southampton UK, has just launched a conference program which promises to be the most varied and exciting yet. ‘Offshore’ is rapidly becoming a far broader industry than just ‘oil and gas’ and the program for Offshore Survey 2013 truly reflects this vibrant industry. The offshore industry responded to an open call for papers this year; previous conferences accepted papers by invitation only. As a result, the technical committee was overwhelmed by the quantity and outstanding quality of abstracts sent in for review, which came from all corners of the industry.