Oceanography

Oceanography is the study of the oceans as ecological systems. In this section, learn about topics like currents, deep-sea research or how rogue waves work.


Environmental researchers found that large river systems with lots of surrounding residents are the sources of plastic debris in the oceans.

Scientist and oceanographer Charles Moore confirmed the existence of a second huge plastic garbage patch in the Pacific Ocean.

Scientists are tracking the massive iceberg A-68, which recently calved from Antarctica's Larsen C ice shelf, to see where it drifts and whether it breaks up.

Measuring sea level has changed almost as much as the tides during the 200 or so years scientists have been tracking it. Find out how it's tracked today.

The Denmark Strait cataract dwarfs every other waterfall in the world, but you can't see it because it's deep under the Atlantic Ocean.

Climate change may be melting glaciers, but it's also reducing the oxygen of the world's oceans. Without oxygen, many marine organisms may no longer be able to survive.

Take a look inside the deadly brine pool in the Gulf of Mexico that's captivating the world's attention.

The NOAA ship Okeanos Explorer just wrapped up the third leg of its recent expedition into the deep Pacific waters, finding a number of cool new species.

A mind-boggling number of Earth’s species have yet to be discovered. A NOAA research team aboard the Okeanos Explorer is hunting in the deepest hole in the ocean.

With incredibly well-preserved metal figurines, lamps, coins and more, the sunken treasure find in Caesarea's harbor is being called the best of its kind in decades.

Underwater icicles, also called brinicles or sea stalactites, form when super-cold brine meets normal seawater. The sub-zero phenomenon can kill some sea life.

SeaOrbiter would allow scientists to live at sea, and could be the aquatic equivalent of the International Space Station – if it can get the $53 million needed to finish.

Tubeworms aren't antisocial; they just prefer an environment that's a little different from the rest of us — one that happens to be as hot as an oven and riddled with bacteria.

If you've ever been pulled underwater at the beach and came up sputtering with a mouthful of salt water, you might wonder where the ocean picked up that briny flavor. Read on to learn just where all that salt comes from.

There's still a lot we don't know about the world. A thousand years ago, we thought we could literally sail off the edge of the planet. Good thing we're quick learners. But while space may be the final frontier, the ocean may be the greater mystery.

There's no denying it: "Anomaly" is a great word, full of danger and mystery. So when an underwater object is declared a bona fide anomaly, it's no surprise our ears perk up a bit. But is the Baltic Sea anomaly worth the hype or just a big old dud?

To say geologic time moves at a snail's pace is an insult to snails. Our planet's continents are always in flux: Could a new ocean grow amid those incredibly slow changes?

The oceans are rising, and they're threatening to take down some of the world's brightest cultural gems. Here are 10 of the most notable spots potentially endangered by climate change.

The Pacific Ocean trash vortex is explained in this article. Learn about the Pacific Ocean trash vortex.

For hundreds of years, sailors have recounted coming upon miles and miles of pale, milky, glowing waters, sometimes stretching as far as the eye can see. So what causes this milky sea phenomenon?

Desalination has long been considered too expensive and too energy-intensive to make much sense. But with newer technologies, that line of thinking is changing. What are some of the most interesting desalination projects on the planet?

Very little of the world's water is usable because of its high salt content, but a process known as desalination may help change that. How does desalination work to turn salt water into fresh water?

The Dead Sea is host to tourists who visit in droves to soak in its mineral-rich waters. Is the saltiest body of water in the world about to dry up?

Early explorers drove flags into the ground to claim territories. But no one bothered to float a flag in the oceans. For the most part, we peaceably shared the oceans until we realized what valuable goods could be found in their dark and murky depths.

It's colorless, odorless and definitely life-sustaining, but is it invisible to the naked eye? Not usually. So what's going on with everyone's favorite liquid?