Rob's blog

Geomorphological characterisation of New Caledonia

In the seas around New Caledonia, geomorphological features of the seafloor (e.g. banks, atolls and seamounts) are sites of outstanding marine biodiversity, studied by local research initiatives such as the ZoNeCo program to assess the living and non-living marine resources of New Caledonia, and by the Institute of Research for Development in Noumea and the National Museum of Natural History in Paris.

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Marine geologist unlocks secrets of the Great Barrier Reef

Dr Robin Beaman may well be a modern-day James Cook. The marine geologist has dedicated the past 14 years to mapping uncharted territories, discovering new marine life, ancient corals and obscure underwater landscapes along the way. His research is redefining Australia’s maritime boundaries, will inform future rezoning of the Great Barrier Reef Marine Park and questions everything we know about the World Heritage-listed area.

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Zenith Plateau as the final resting place for MH370?

The underwater search for the missing Malaysia Airlines MH370 has become focused on the Zenith Plateau in the eastern Indian Ocean, lying about 1000 km to its nearest point on the Western Australia coast, or 1685 km north-west of Perth. The plateau is surrounded by the extensive Wharton Basin to the west and north, joins to the Quokka Rise and Wallaby (or Cuvier) Plateau to the east, and is bounded to the south by the Perth Abyssal Plain.

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Seabed of jet hunt zone mostly flat with one trench

Two miles beneath the sea surface where satellites and planes are looking for debris from the missing Malaysian jet, the ocean floor is cold, dark, covered in a squishy muck of dead plankton and — in a potential break for the search — mostly flat. The troubling exception is a steep, rocky drop ending in a deep trench.

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Autonomous underwater vehicle on the Great Barrier Reef

The Australian Centre for Field Robotics (ACFR) conducts numerous expeditions around Australia using their Sirius autonomous underwater vehicle (AUV). Here is a recent video captured by a GoPro mounted on the AUV while on a research expedition to the Great Barrier Reef with the Australian Institute of Marine Science (AIMS). The voyage departed from Townsville on the RV Cape Ferguson and explored the central Great Barrier Reef.

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