AGU Oceans

AGU Oceans AGU Oceans highlights research and information related marine sciences, and includes research from JGR-Oceans and topics from AGU's Ocean Sciences Section.
Home to nearly 60,000 scientists from 139 countries, AGU provides a dynamic forum for Earth & Space scientists to advance research and collaborate with colleagues across disciplines. Through top-ranked scientific journals, award-winning books,, scientific meetings and conferences, and other activities, AGU offers opportunities to spark scientific innovation and freely exchange knowledge. AGU Members include scientists, researchers, teachers, students, policy makers, and community leaders.

Charged with exploring three fourths of the planet, Ocean Sciences a large and inclusive field. The oceans are important for our quality of life, its fisheries and mineral resources, for transport, and its role in the climate system. Some of the exciting research emerging is related to the role of the oceans in the climate system. Researchers are studying the ocean’s involvement in the exchange of heat, water vapor, and momentum; sequestering heat at depth; and exchange and cycling of greenhouse gases and other biogeochemically important compounds. Because of its broad focus—and because the ocean is such a vital part of the Earth system—this page encourages dialogue with scientists, engineers, policy-makers, educators, and others interested in science. The focus of this page is marine-related science, including the study processes in environments ranging from the coast through the open ocean, and they develop and use a wide range of highly technical instrumentation ranging from remote sensors to autonomous devices to ship-related sampling gear. It will include highlighted research and information from the AGU journal JGR-Oceans and information that would interest AGU’s section Ocean Sciences, among others.

Mission: AGU promotes discovery in Earth and space science for the benefit of humanity.

“We have constructed a new global ocean sediment thickness map, GlobSed, from previously published maps and new data c...
07/05/2019

“We have constructed a new global ocean sediment thickness map, GlobSed, from previously published maps and new data compiled in this study,” Straume et al. explain in a Plain Language Summary of their research. “GlobSed is used together with a new map of lithospheric ages developed for this study to analyze how sediment thickness changes with respect to the age of the underlying oceanic crust and latitude. The results show a clear age‐latitude dependence where sediment thickness increases with age of the oceanic crust, toward high southern and northern latitudes and toward the equator. In addition, we calculate the total volume of sediments in the oceans, which shows an increase of 29.7%, compared to previously published global maps. Further, we develop a mathematical formula for sediment thickness as a function of age and latitude that describes the sediment thickness pattern in the oceans within reasonable error, and we suggest that this is a good approximation for estimating sediment thickness in oceanic basins through time.”

This week, Geochemistry, Geophysics, Geosystems has made Straume et al. (2019) free to read without a subscription to the journal at https://doi.org/10.1029/2018GC008115. Figure 4 shows the “Southern Ocean total sediment thickness with locations of seismic lines (white lines).”

Career opportunity: Tenure-Track & Postdoc Positions in Dept. of Atmospheric and Oceanic Sciences, Peking University. ht...
07/03/2019
Tenure-Track & Postdoc Positions in Dept. of Atmospheric and Oceanic Sciences, Peking University job with Department of Atmospheric and Oceanic Sciences, School of Physics, Peking University | 8010779

Career opportunity: Tenure-Track & Postdoc Positions in Dept. of Atmospheric and Oceanic Sciences, Peking University.

https://findajob.agu.org/job/8010779/tenure-track-and-postdoc-positions-in-dept-of-atmospheric-and-oceanic-sciences-peking-university/

Multiple tenure-track positions and postdoc positions are available in atmospheric and oceanic sciences with competitive compensation packages.

“On one very deep dive, around 10,700 meters or so, [Victor Vescovo] bumped into the seafloor by accident” and inadv...
07/03/2019
Limiting Factor Was a Science Opportunity for a Deep-Sea Geologist - Eos

“On one very deep dive, around 10,700 meters or so, [Victor Vescovo] bumped into the seafloor by accident” and inadvertently retrieved samples from some of the lowest depths in the ocean.

https://eos.org/articles/limiting-factor-was-a-science-opportunity-for-a-deep-sea-geologist

For Mariana Trench expert Patricia Fryer, an extreme explorer’s record-setting dive was a chance to retrieve some of the deepest samples ever collected.

In a Plain Language Summary, Yan et al. explain their recent research: “Understanding the response of coral reef growt...
07/01/2019

In a Plain Language Summary, Yan et al. explain their recent research: “Understanding the response of coral reef growth to past warm periods allows better predictions of the response of coral reefs to future climate change and evaluations of the potential for the locality to act as climate change refugia for coral reefs in the 21st century. We identify abrupt coral reef recovery in the northern South China Sea (SCS) since the last century (especially post‐1960 CE), indicating that the Current Warm Period is an optimal episode for reef growth in the northern SCS. As our results suggest that expansive coral growth occurred in the mid‐Holocene when sea surface temperatures were up to 2 °C higher than present, the northern SCS may represent critical refugia for future reefs in the 21st century.”

This week, JGR-Biogeosciences has made Yan et al. (2019) free to read without a subscription at https://doi.org/10.1029/2018JG004939. Figure 4 from the paper shows the “relative probability distribution plot of dead branching coral ages and palaeoclimate records for the South China Sea during the past 7,000 years.”

“The deep layers of the ocean are filled with cold dense water that sinks from the surface near Antarctica and in the ...
06/28/2019

“The deep layers of the ocean are filled with cold dense water that sinks from the surface near Antarctica and in the northern North Atlantic,” Toggweiler et al. explain in a Plain Language Summary of their recent research. “This process is understood reasonably well. The countervailing process—the way that the dense water is brought back up to the surface—is not as well understood. Oceanographers now agree that the ocean's deep water is drawn back up to the surface (“upwelled”) mainly around Antarctica as part of the wind‐driven overturning in the Antarctic Circumpolar Current (ACC). But cool water is also known to reach the surface in upwelling zones around the ocean's margins. Here we map the upwelling north of the ACC with the radioactive isotope carbon‐14 and show that the deep water upwelled to the surface around Antarctica seems to be drawn up to the surface a second time in the upwelling zones. The water drawn up to the surface in the upwelling zones then flows back to the North Atlantic and sinks again to complete the cycle.”

This week, JGR-Oceans has made Toggweiler et al. (2019) free to read without a journal subscription at https://doi.org/10.1029/2018JC014794.

“Our study shows that you can store carbon dioxide in hydrates and produce energy at the same time,” said Darnell.ht...
06/28/2019
Study Shows How To Produce Natural Gas While Storing Carbon Dioxide - GeoSpace

“Our study shows that you can store carbon dioxide in hydrates and produce energy at the same time,” said Darnell.

https://blogs.agu.org/geospace/2019/06/27/study-shows-how-to-produce-natural-gas-while-storing-carbon-dioxide/

New research shows that injecting air and carbon dioxide into methane ice deposits buried beneath the Gulf of Mexico could unlock vast natural gas energy resources while helping fight climate change by trapping the carbon dioxide underground.

Career opportunity -- PhD Opportunity: Submesoscale coherent vortices in the Atlantic Ocean, Laboratory of Spatial and P...
06/27/2019
PhD Opportunity: Submesoscale coherent vortices in the Atlantic Ocean job with European Institute for Marine Studies (IUEM) | 8010759

Career opportunity -- PhD Opportunity: Submesoscale coherent vortices in the Atlantic Ocean, Laboratory of Spatial and Physical Oceanography (LOPS) - European Institute for Marine Studies (IUEM) in Plouzané, France.
https://findajob.agu.org/job/8010759/phd-opportunity-submesoscale-coherent-vortices-in-the-atlantic-ocean/

Submesoscale coherent vortices in the Atlantic and their impact on the large scale circulation

“Coal Oil Point is one of the largest and most studied natural underwater hydrocarbon seep sites in the world,” Padi...
06/26/2019

“Coal Oil Point is one of the largest and most studied natural underwater hydrocarbon seep sites in the world,” Padilla et al. write in a Plain Language Summary of their research. “Coal Oil Point is located within the Santa Barbara Channel off California's coast, and researchers have been studying this natural hydrocarbon site for five decades to understand how the release of petroleum from the seafloor affects the ocean, atmosphere and living organisms. This study combines acoustic measurements from a broad‐scale survey, with direct observations of gas flow rates, in order to map the contemporary distribution of seeps and obtain estimates of total gas flow rate for the study site. The total gas flow rate for the surveyed area, a total area of 4.1 km2, was approximately 23,800 m3/day. The gas flow rates from this study were compared to estimates reported in previous studies and showed that current gas flow rates range from 2 to 7 times lower than those reported in 1999 (total survey area of 18 km2). However, due to differences in the approaches used to estimate the gas flow rate in the region, it is difficult to address if the change in gas flow rates is caused by natural variability or due to differences in methodology between studies.”

This week, Padilla et al. (2019) has been made free to read without a subscription to JGR-Oceans at https://doi.org/10.1029/2018JC014573. Figure 6 from Padilla et al. (2019) shows “images from the drop camera of oil droplets and gas bubbles in the bubble catch device.”

In a Plain Language Summary, Li and Ellingsen describe their recent research: “Ocean surface wave models are important...
06/26/2019

In a Plain Language Summary, Li and Ellingsen describe their recent research: “Ocean surface wave models are important to seek solutions of key questions in a wide range of real‐life practices, for example, exchange of energy, mass, and momentum between ocean and atmosphere and the spread of nutrients as well as pollutants. In coastal waters, surface waves propagate in complex environments. For instance, they coexist with depth‐dependent currents and varying water depth. When developing those wave models, we need to consider complicated scenarios and meanwhile offer useful and practical implementations of the models. In the paper, we have developed a theoretical and numerical framework for simple, efficient, and accurate evaluation of surface wave models allowing presence of a current of arbitrary depth dependence and a slowly varying water depth. Our method has wide applicability in particular in an oceanographic setting. It is moreover favorable to existing approaches for a wide range of practical applications.”

This week, JGR-Oceans has made Li and Ellingsen (2019) free to read without a journal subscription; access it at https://doi.org/10.1029/2018JC014390. Figure 1 from the paper shows the “geometry of the three-dimensional wave and current system.”

Career opportunity: Post-doctoral opportunity: lake deposits, erosion, permafrost, and paleoclimate in the Arctic, Unive...
06/26/2019
Post-doctoral opportunity: lake deposits, erosion, permafrost, and paleoclimate in the Arctic job with Department of Geology and Environmental Science, University of Pittsburgh | 8010774

Career opportunity: Post-doctoral opportunity: lake deposits, erosion, permafrost, and paleoclimate in the Arctic, University of Pittsburgh.
https://findajob.agu.org/job/8010774/post-doctoral-opportunity-lake-deposits-erosion-permafrost-and-paleoclimate-in-the-arctic/

We seek a post-doctoral researcher interested in interactions between lake sediments, erosion, permafrost, and paleoclimate in high latitude areas.

“Eddies occur globally throughout the ocean carrying water, its properties, and biota,” Cetina-Heredia et al. explai...
06/24/2019

“Eddies occur globally throughout the ocean carrying water, its properties, and biota,” Cetina-Heredia et al. explain in a Plain Language Summary describing their recent research. “This study quantifies the time that eddies along southeast Australia retain water elucidating their potential to affect the environment, for instance, by transporting warm East Australian Current water poleward, or the larvae of marine organisms. Our results show that eddies typically retain water over a month irrespective of their direction of rotation; however, the time they retain water varies with geographical location. Water is retained for longer in anticyclonic eddies (rotating right) that distribute along the continental shelf break and in cyclonic eddies (rotating left) that occur offshore in the Tasman Sea. We also find that eddies that elongate tend to leak water while eddies that become more circular promote the retention of water. Our results suggest that eddies along southeast Australia are likely to affect marine ecosystems.”

This week, Cetina-Heredia (2019) has been made free to read without a journal subscription in JGR-Oceans; you can access it at https://doi.org/10.1029/2018JC014482. Figure 2 from the paper shows the trajectory of a blue particle through 2-D velocity fields used to characterize an eddy.

“Mangrove forests comprise the dominant plant communities in tropical and subtropical coasts and provide many importan...
06/22/2019

“Mangrove forests comprise the dominant plant communities in tropical and subtropical coasts and provide many important physical and biological functions,” Norris et al. explain in a Plain Language Summary of their work. “However, mangrove forests are largely in decline worldwide, and hence, there is interest in rehabilitating or replanting damaged forests. The success rate of these efforts may be improved by understanding the physical forces that shape mangrove ecosystems. In this study, we deployed several high‐resolution velocity sensors within the pneumatophore roots of a coastal mangrove forest in the lower Mekong Delta, Vietnam. From velocity measurements, we assessed the spatial distribution of turbulence that formed in the wake of the roots when they were submerged during the rising or falling tide. We found that enhanced turbulence was associated with denser vegetation, particularly near the bed. This result indicates that pneumatophore roots do not necessarily shelter the bed from erosional forces and instead may enhance sediment transport occurring within the forest.”

This week, JGR-Oceans has made Norris et al. (2019) free to read without a subscription to the journal; you can access a copy at https://doi.org/10.1029/2018JC014562. Figure 3 shows the experimental setup of Norris et al. (2019).

“Plastic pollution of the oceans is a serious problem,” van der Mheen, Pattiaratchi, and van Sebille explain in a Pl...
06/21/2019

“Plastic pollution of the oceans is a serious problem,” van der Mheen, Pattiaratchi, and van Sebille explain in a Plain Language Summary of their research. “To better understand how big the problem is, it is important to know how plastics move in the oceans and where they end up. Floating plastics move with ocean currents, waves, and wind. Because these interact with each other in complex ways, the exact movement of plastic in the ocean is hard to predict. From observations and computer simulations, it is known that plastic collects in subtropical “garbage patches” in the Pacific and Atlantic oceans, but it is not clear if this also happens in the Indian Ocean. The aim of this paper is to determine the different influences of ocean currents, waves, and wind on the development of a garbage patch in the Indian Ocean. Because we cannot track plastics, we use data from over 22,000 GPS‐tracked drifting buoys that have been released worldwide in the oceans since 1979 to simulate the movement of plastic. Our results show that waves and wind prevent a garbage patch forming in the Indian Ocean. Because large amounts of plastic waste probably enter the Indian Ocean, an important question for follow‐up research is what happens to these plastics if they do not collect in a garbage patch.”

This week, van der Mheen, Pattiaratchi, and van Sebille (2019) has been made free to read without a subscription to JGR-Oceans at https://doi.org/10.1029/2018JC014806. Figure 3 shows the “simulated tracer concentration and locations of the five subtropical accumulation regions.”

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