paleoceanography

Researchers have found the remains of an ancient lakebed off the edge of Antarctica's Pine Island Glacier, on what is now the seafloor. Such lakes lying today under the ice sheet may speed the flow of glaciers. (M. Turrin/Lamont-Doherty Earth Observatory)

Meltwater Lakes Existed Under Antarctic Ice in Ancient Times

In recent years, scientists have discovered hundreds of lakes lying hidden deep beneath the Antarctic ice sheet. Now a team of researchers has found the remains of at least one sub-ice lake that existed when the ice was far more extensive, in sediments on the Antarctic continental shelf.

by |June 1, 2017
A scientist surveys a large Porites coral colony in American Samoa, which is located in the South Pacific Convergence Zone (SPCZ) and impacted by the SPCZ zonal events Linsley et al. reconstructed using similar corals from Indonesia's Makassar Strait. Photo: Brad Linsley

Indonesian Corals Shed Light on Climate System

A new coral salinity record shows that the location of the most significant hydroclimatic feature in the Southern Hemisphere, the South Pacific Convergence Zone, influences a major Pacific Ocean current.

by |February 9, 2017
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John Imbrie, a Pioneer of Paleoceanography

Imbrie, a former head of the Department of Geological Sciences, helped confirmed connections between changes in Earth’s orbit and the timing of the ice ages and was a co-founder of CLIMAP, an international effort to use sediment cores to map Earth’s climate at the height of the last ice age.

by |May 19, 2016
With the right mix of nutrients, carbon-capturing phytoplankton grow quickly, creating blooms visible from space. (Robert Simmon and Jesse Allen/NASA)

Iron Fertilization Won’t Work in Equatorial Pacific, Study Suggests

Over the past half-million years, the equatorial Pacific Ocean has seen five spikes in the amount of iron-laden dust blown in from the continents. In theory, those bursts should have turbo-charged the growth of carbon-capturing algae, but a new study shows that the excess iron had little to no effect.

by |May 16, 2016
Maureen Raymo

Maureen Raymo Elected to National Academy of Sciences

Maureen Raymo, a marine geologist at Lamont-Doherty Earth Observatory whose name is connected with key theories about how ice ages wax and wane and how sea levels change, has been elected to the National Academy of Sciences, one of the highest honors awarded to scientists in the United States.

by |May 3, 2016
The state of the Equatorial Pacific has influenced global climate throughout Earth history. Interpretation of past trends can lend insight into the future of our planet. 
Source: NASA Earth Observatory

Tapping into Earth’s Secret History

In a study published last week, Lamont post-doctoral scholar Heather Ford and coauthors used 4 million-year-old fossils from the Pliocene to reconstruct the physical features of the Pacific Ocean that would have shaped the environment during a critical juncture in Earth history.

by |June 2, 2015
Lamont graduate student Bridgit Boulahanis takes a break from analyzing bathymetry data on the computer to process a fresh core.  (Gene Henry)

Photo Essay: Fire and Ice off Cascadia

A team of scientists traveled to the Pacific Northwest aboard the R/V Atlantis last fall to investigate whether the waxing and waning of ice ages and volcanic eruptions are somehow related.

by |January 26, 2015
Beautiful white sediment inside the core barrel.

Lucky 13 Gets Us 250,000 Years of Sediment

We have been steaming and searching for locations on the seafloor where the sediments are accumulating undisturbed. We tried without luck to take cores at several promising locations, however the cores came up less than perfect. On our thirteenth core attempt of the cruise we got lucky.

by |May 19, 2012
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Drilling Ancient Mud from Seafloor No Easy Task

Yesterday we left our first study region with new samples from the seafloor and a healthy respect for the ocean currents that can erode sediment deep in the ocean. The seafloor we surveyed was heavily eroded and we had to look carefully before finding sites that were promising enough to try sampling. Even then we ran into difficulties getting the sediments back to the ship.

by |May 9, 2012
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Through the Looking Glass: Peering Through the Bottom of the Ocean

Alice stepped through the mirror to see the world beyond, and we peer through the bottom of the ocean to see what is below. Short pulses of sound from the ship are focused on the seafloor, and we listen to the echo and reverberations that return.

by |May 6, 2012