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National Oceanography Center News

22 Jun 2020

Fast-moving Waterfalls in the Deep Sea

(Image: NOC)

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…

01 May 2020

SCIENCE: Seafloor Microplastic Hotspots Controlled by Deep-sea Currents

Simplified graphic showing how seafloor currents create microplastics hotspots in the deep-sea. Image Courtesy NOCS

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…

05 Feb 2019

C-Enduro Delivered to Royal Navy

Photo: L3 ASV

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…

05 Dec 2018

India Plans Deep Dive for Seabed Minerals

© Mykola Mazuryk / Adobe Stock

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…

08 Oct 2018

'Smart Boulders' Measure Seafloor Avalanches

The heavy 800 kg frame that was moved by the flow (© 2017 MBARI)

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…

05 Oct 2018

UK Spurs Autonomous Shipping Development

An example of an unmanned vessel, SEA-KIT’s Unmanned Surface Vessel USV Maxlimer Maldon, is capable of deploying and recovering an autonomous submersible craft. SEA-KIT are a finalist of the Shell Ocean Discovery X-Prize competition (Photo: MCA)

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…

16 Jan 2018

First Containership Receives LR Cyber Notation

COSCO Aries (Photo: COSCO Shipping)

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.

26 Jun 2015

A chat with John Murray, Chief Executive, Society of Maritime Industries

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.

22 Sep 2014

REL to Supply Deep Ocean Mooring Winch System to NOC

Photo courtesy of REL

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).

18 Apr 2013

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.

07 Mar 2013

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.

10 Jan 2013

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.

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